Dakota Meyer received the Medal of Honor from President Obama on September 15, 2011.
Meyer's first race.
Meyer and his car.
SALEM, IN (WAVE) - He was caught in a deadly ambush with the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2009. Last year, he received a Medal of Honor for what he did. Saturday, Dakota Meyer was honored and took part in the Salem Speedway's ARCA 200 Fall Classic. The Classic was Meyer's first race ever.
"I'm calm," he said before the race. "But, I'm sure once we get starting the engines and get ready to get going, I'm going to start getting nervous."
He enjoys racing so much, he bought car number 20 after a test lap.
"I enjoyed it. It's probably one of the first things I've enjoyed in the last three years of my life because I've been so busy," Meyer said. "It's like I can finally get away and relax."
The names of Meyer's lost battle buddies are emblazoned on the side of his race car.
"I should have died on September 8, 2009. So, I want to make the most of it and honor those guys and all the men and women serving," Meyer said.
He even carries a flag that flew atop the World Trade Center memorial.
"I want to hopefully provide an inspiration to people around me so we can rise above this level of mediocrity and know that we live in the greatest nation on Earth," he said as he held the flag.
Thousands of people were out to see the races. "About any race in Salem is a good race," Earl Wesley, of Seymour said.
With a wave of the green flag, the race was on and the cars sped around the track. The noise and vibration of the race felt all over the track area. During the race, Meyer held his own during a good portion and the fans watched intently.
However, Meyer said another driver intentionally spun him out. Meyer's car had to be pushed off the track and he could not finish the race.
"It'll take something a lot worse than this to deter me," he said.
Meyer said he plans on racing in North Carolina in November or back at Salem in October. His new book Into the Fire will be out September 25. He said it is about the lives of the people who were lost three years ago during that ambush.
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