Racing

Former Marine racing to new heights despite disability

Posted August 15, 2014

Liam Dwyer is not afraid to aim big.

"I think it was the sense of opportunity to complete a dream," said Dwyer.

That dream was to drive fast.

"I knew I had the skills to do it,” he said. “I saw the lap times they were doing and I said ‘I could do this.’"

But that's where Dwyer's story takes a very sharp turn. Just three years ago, Marine Staff Sergeant Dwyer stepped on an explosive device in Afghanistan. The explosion took his left leg, but not his dream.

"To be doing this while injured is just... I sit here in disbelief of myself sometimes," he admitted.

The journey wasn't easy. One therapist told Dwyer he would never drive a stick shift again, let alone a race car.

"You as a person, let alone a therapist, have no right to tell anybody they can't do anything,” Dwyer said. “You can tell them it could be difficult, there's going to be a lot of challenges with it, but you have no right to tell them they're not going to be able to do something, and scoff at it, which is what this person did and I did not like that at all. So I made it my mission to go out and prove to her that I can.

Dwyer didn't stop there. After meeting Raleigh driver Tom Long, Dwyer started driving competitively on the Tudor United Sports Car series. He doesn't even need any special controls, just a bracket and a Velcro strip to keep his prosthetic leg on the clutch

"Me staying alive was a team effort,” he said. “It wasn't because of one guy, it was because of a whole line of people. And that's exactly what we have with this race team"

In May of this year, on the anniversary of his injury, his Alive Day, Dwyer teamed up with Long to win at Lime Rock in Connecticut.

"Surreal. When you think of a surreal moment in your life, multiply that by a hundred, and that's the way I felt."

Long and Dwyer team up again this month at Virginia International Raceway to continue a story that goes well beyond the track.

3 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Clinton Tingen Aug 16, 2014
    user avatar

    Semper Fi Marine. Keep marching on

  • Jeanne Gunn Aug 16, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    +1 Good for Dwyer for not listening to that therapist and refusing to accept that he wouldn't be able to drive a stick shift, and pursuing his dream instead.

  • Doc Holliday Aug 15, 2014

    Good luck Liam Dwyer and thank you for your service.

  • CBB: UNC at Boston College

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-FM

NFL Scoreboard
Sunday, Jan. 22
Green Bay 12:05 PT1:05 MT2:05 CT3:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST2:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)15:05 ETNaN:�
Preview
Atlanta 
Pittsburgh 3:40 PT4:40 MT5:40 CT6:40 ET23:40 GMT7:40 北京时间4:40 MST6:40 EST5:40 CT3:40 UAE (+1)18:40 ETNaN:�
Preview
New England 
NBA Scoreboard
Milwaukee89:19
1st Qtr
Orlando2
Portland107:42
1st Qtr
Philadelphia6
Toronto67:49
1st Qtr
Charlotte12
Chicago 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Atlanta 
Brooklyn 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
New Orleans 
Golden State 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Houston 
Sacramento 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
Memphis 
Utah 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 MST8:30 EST5:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Dallas 
Indiana 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET3:30 GMT11:30 8:30 MST10:30 EST7:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
LA Lakers 
NHL Scoreboard
Chicago014:10
1st
Boston0
Detroit014:20
1st
Buffalo0
Pittsburgh014:20
1st
Carolina0
Montreal 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
New Jersey 
Nashville 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Edmonton 
Florida 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET3:00 GMT11:00 北京时间8:00 MST10:00 EST7:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Vancouver 
ATP Scoreboard
Friday, Jan. 20
Australian Open (ATP/WTA)
Third Round
(27) B. Tomic5 62 63   
D. Evans7 77 77   
(5) K. Nishikori6 6 6   
L. Lacko4 4 4   
(10) T. Berdych2 4 4   
(17) R. Federer6 6 6   
(11) D. Goffin 
(20) I. Karlovic 
(8) D. Thiem 
B. Paire 
(9) R. Nadal 
(24) A. Zverev 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Friday, Jan. 20
Australian Open (ATP/WTA)
Third Round
S. Cirstea6 77    
A. Riske2 62    
A. Barty4 6 3   
M. Barthel6 3 6   
(7) G. Muguruza6 6    
(32) A. Sevastova4 2    
(16) B. Strycova0     
(21) C. Garcia0     
(14) E. Vesnina 
J. Brady 
(6) D. Cibulkova 
(30) E. Makarova 
M. Sakkari 
M. Lucic-Baro 
(2) S. Williams 
N. Gibbs 
(9) J. Konta 
(17) C. Wozniacki