The patriotic tradition of presenting the Freedom Trophy at Talladega Superspeedway returns for its eighth race on Oct. 15 and will be awarded to the winner of the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) race by former Navy SEAL and HESCO BoneFrog Challenge Founder Brian Carney.
First introduced in the spring of 2014, the Freedom Trophy has quickly become a staple at Talladega Superspeedway, helping make it one the most patriotic facilities in NASCAR. The distinctive trophy features five-sided silver aluminum panels centered around a waterjet cut star. The panels are each engraved with a soldier and logo from one of our nation’s five military branches, setting this remarkable piece of hardware into a league of its own. The distinctive trophy has been presented to Talladega Superspeedway race winners by a member of each of the United States military branches – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
A native of Deerfield, Massachusetts, Carney enlisted in the United States Navy in 1999, and upon graduating high school in 2000, joined at age 17. He achieved the rank of Special Operations Chief (SEAL) and fulfilled seven combat deployments, while being honored with the Bronze Star with Valor three times.
After leaving the Navy, Carney founded the HESCO BoneFrog challenge, the world’s only Navy SEAL Obstacle Course Race (OCR), which is also owned and operated by U.S. Navy SEALs. The Navy SEAL-style obstacle course competition was held at NASCAR’s Biggest and Baddest track for the first time earlier this year. The challenge has three different lengths and features a variety of 50 Navy-SEAL like obstacles, many of which Carney designed with inspiration from the exact obstacles that Navy SEALs use for training. The challenge will visit Talladega's enormous 2.66-mile layout for a second time on March 24, 2018.
“At Talladega Superspeedway, we take great pride in showing support to our nation’s military for all they do in keeping us safe in our borders and beyond,” said Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway, Grant Lynch. “The Freedom Trophy is just another way for us to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to them. We’re thrilled to have Brian present the trophy to the winner of the Alabama 500 and express our gratitude to him for his service to our country. We are proud to honor those who fight for our freedom.”
While the Freedom Trophy is a renowned trophy at Talladega Superspeedway, the track will continue to showcase its patriotism with Johnny Ray’s fan-favorite semi-truck, which will drive down the frontstretch sporting a gigantic American flag during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The track is proud to offer special ticket prices for all members of the military and their families, as well as first responders for its upcoming race weekend. Don’t miss any of the action Oct.13-15 for not only the Alabama 500 MENCS playoff race on Sunday, where six-time TSS winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his final scheduled Talladega start, but also the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series elimination playoff race on Saturday where the field of contenders will be trimmed from eight to six at the checkered flag.