Racing

Former Marine racing to new heights despite disability

Posted August 15

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.

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  • cetingen2 Aug 16, 4:34 p.m.

    Semper Fi Marine. Keep marching on

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Aug 16, 6:19 a.m.

    Good luck Liam Dwyer and thank you for your service.

    — Posted by Cornhuskers

    +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.

  • Cornhuskers Aug 15, 8:01 p.m.

    Good luck Liam Dwyer and thank you for your service.

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Final
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UNC 28
Final
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3rd
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Final
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Final
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Final
ILL 28
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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Final
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KSU 3
Final
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BC 23
Final
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CMICH 20
Final
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FATL 16
Final
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GT 56
Final
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LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
 
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
 
4th
WASU 23
ARZ 52
 
3rd
CLEM 3
SYR 6
 
3rd
LAMON 15
TXST 0
 
3rd
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 17
 
3rd
COLST 24
WYO 3
 
Half
LSU 3
MISS 7
 
2nd
TENN 7
ALA 27
 
Half
AUB 21
SCAR 21
 
2nd
PSU 0
OSU 7
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
2nd Intermission
TOR 0
BOS 2
 
3rd
NYI 4
DAL 4
 
3rd
PHI 1
DET 1
 
2nd Intermission
OTT 1
NJD 2
 
2nd Intermission
MON 2
NYR 1
 
1st Intermission
STL 1
CHI 1
 
2nd
NAS 0
PIT 1
 
2nd
MIN 4
TAM 1
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14