FONTANA, Calif. (March 16, 2016) – U.S. Marine and Hero, USMC Staff Sergeant Charlie Linville, will serve as Honorary Starter for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 20. As Honorary Starter, Staff Sergeant Linville will wave the green flag to start the Auto Club 400, and watch the stock cars take their first lap on one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit. The event will be televised at Noon (PT) on FOX.
As an Honorary Race Official, Linville will be involved with pre-race ceremony activities including driver introductions and special NASCAR awards. He will be joined by Miss Sprint Cup, Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, Kevin Ortiz, Regional Mexican Artist, John Lynch, NFL on FOX, Nine Time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champ, Actor Eric Dane, and other dignitaries.
On January 20, 2011, while conducting an IED sweep in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, USMC Staff Sergeant Linville was blasted several yards into the air by a tertiary explosive device. By the time he landed in the blast crater, he had suffered devastating injuries to his right foot and hand. By summer of 2013, despite over a year of attempts at rehabilitation, he lost his right foot to an amputation below the knee.
After the NASCAR Auto Club 400, he will climb Mount Everest in April and will become the first combat wounded veteran to summit the world’s biggest mountain. Linville partnered with The Heroes Project, a 501(c)3 (EIN: 27-1288926) that leads mountaineering expeditions with gravely wounded veterans and active service members, enabling them to rediscover their strength and pride by scaling the world’s most challenging summits.
Purchase tickets to Auto Club 400 race weekend by calling 800-944-RACE (7223), log on to www.autoclubspeedway.com, or visit the Auto Club Speedway Ticket Office.
About Auto Club Speedway: Located 50 miles east of Los Angeles in Fontana, Auto Club Speedway is California’s premier motorsports facility, hosting over 320 days of track activity each year including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 weekend March 18-20, 2016. The two-mile D-shaped oval is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit. The Speedway is also home to numerous movies, television and commercial productions, photo shoots, new car testing, club racing and a variety of racing schools. For more information on events at Auto Club Speedway call 1-800-944-RACE (7223) or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.