For the 62nd running of the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on April 3 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, Goody’s Headache Powder, title sponsor of the race since 1983, has designated Wounded Warrior Project heroes Joe Brazzle, Rashe Hall and Sue Downs as the grand marshals, and Victory Junction camper Garon Parris as the honorary starter for the 500-lap event.
Through the Goody’s and BC Powder Pick A Powder campaign (www.pickapowder.com) rivals and spokesmen – country music superstar Trace Adkins and racing legend Richard Petty – have formed a closer partnership with Adkins chosen charity, Wounded Warrior Project on behalf of BC and Petty’s chosen charity Victory Junction on behalf of Goody’s, making both service-oriented charities a pivotal aspect of the Goody’s Fast Relief 500.
Pick A Powder, the friendly rivalry to see which brand –BC or Goody’s– is most effective on pain and has the most loyal users, will take a back seat on April 3 as Wounded Warrior Project and Victory Junction take center stage.
“Throughout the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 weekend, Goody’s will be focusing on both worthy charities, and these honorary positions are just one way we honor them during race weekend,” said Traci Plate, brand manager at GlaxoSmithKline, the marketers of Goody’s and BC. “We want fans to enjoy the fast pain relief of Goody’s, but more importantly, this weekend is about celebrating Wounded Warrior Project and Victory Junction and bringing meaningful attention to the worthy causes the charities serve – wounded service members and children with chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses.”
Both charitable organizations will play a key role in pre-race ceremonies serving as grand marshals and honorary starter. In addition, Goody’s and BC will make a financial donation to each organization based on a portion of the sales from specially-marked packs featuring Victory Junction and Wounded Warrior Project that fans purchased between January and March.
Wounded Warrior Project – Grand Marshals
Wounded Warrior Project heroes Joe Brazzle, Rashe Hall and Sue Downs will give the command for the most famous words in racing - “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines”. Wounded Warrior Project is dedicated to honoring and empowering more than 40,000 armed forces that have been physically wounded during recent military conflicts.
John “Joe” Brazzle, a Pennsylvania native, currently lives in Fayetteville, N.C., at Fort Bragg. From a military family, Brazzle served in Afghanistan three times all without incident. On August 17, 2007, during a training event at Fort Bragg, Brazzle was involved in an explosion that burned his body and blinded him in his left eye and partially in the right.
Also living in Fayetteville, N.C., Rashe Hall is originally from Ventura, Calif. A former college football player, Hall joined the military in 2000 as a combat engineer. Six months into his tour in Afghanistan he was involved in an ambush. The first rocket-propelled grenade bounced off his chest plate and imploded inside the vehicle. The explosion lodged metal in his neck and burned Hall. He was medically evacuated from Afghanistan to a base in Houston, Texas, where he was introduced to Wounded Warrior Project.
From Tazewell, Tenn., Downs and her husband, Gabriel, have both served in the military. After her husband was medically discharged in December 2004, she decided to join the military and serve as a military police officer. Ten months after arriving in Afghanistan, Downs and her unit were on a mission and hit a land mine, killing two fellow soldiers and leaving her legs amputated from both knees down. It was at that time that she went to Walter Reed and was introduced to Wounded Warrior Project.
Victory Junction – Honorary Starter
Garon Parris, a Victory Junction camper from Trinity, N.C., will wave the green flag to start the 43-car field on the 0.526 Virginia short track.
An eight-year-old who attends Archdale Elementary School, Parris was diagnosed at 17 months old with diabetes. He has been on an insulin pump since he was three years old which also is the age he began pricking his finger. Parris receives four shots a day to properly maintain his sugar levels.
He first attended Victory Junction in September 2009 and again in April 2010 for a family weekend. He enjoys all of the activities camp has to offer including fishing, bowling, horseback riding and making new friends.
Martinsville Speedway PR