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Crown Royal, NASCAR honors twin U.S. Marines

Matthew and Daniel Hansen. Twins who are also

Matthew and Daniel Hansen. Twins who are also Marines. A NASCAR race was named in their honor. Credit: Handout

This weekend at Richmond International Raceway, Crown Royal and NASCAR pays tribute to Matthew and Daniel Hansen, U.S. Marine twins and grand-prize winners of the Crown Royal “Your Name Here” contest.  The contest awarded them with naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, April 30, officially titled, Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400

Traditionally, the race has donned only the name of the contest winner, but this year’s race will recognize Matthew, as well as his identical twin brother and fellow Marine, Daniel, who was killed in action on Feb. 14, 2009.

"It's been great," said Matthew Hansen, from Richmond this morning. "I've been doing a lot of interviews, taking photographs. It's a great honor. I'm so glad Crown Royal put this on and allowed us to honor my brother and his service as well as the service of all the military members out there."

This year marked the second time that Crown Royal focused the annual promotion solely on military service members.  Matthew’s nomination was submitted by his godmother and chronicled his steadfast service during three tours of duty in Iraq, despite losing his twin brother and best friend.

Hansen admitted he wasn't a huge NASCAR fan until he entered the contest. But since that time, he was taken to a race at Fontana, where he met Matt Kenseth and was an honorary pit crew member.

"I watched the race from the pits," said Hansen. "It was loud. It was an eye opener. I learned a lot and I really enjoyed it, especially the way the pit crew worked on the cars so fast."

The race can be seen on FOX starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Follow Bobby Cassidy on twitter: @casswriter44.

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