Steven B. Wilson
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Beginning Memorial Day weekend and running through Independence Day weekend, the NASCAR industry will honor United States Armed Forces heroes and their families as part of NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola – an industry-wide expression of respect, appreciation and reverence for those who have served the nation both past and present.
For the fifth straight year, NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola kicks off with the return of 600 Miles of Remembrance during Sunday’s 60th annual Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) – the nation’s largest Memorial Day weekend celebration.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ race cars will bear the name of a fallen service member on the windshield during the race in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“NASCAR has always taken immense pride in honoring the military men and women who’ve bravely served our nation,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR president. “Each year, NASCAR Salutes unites our industry to celebrate these heroes and their families and recognize them for the sacrifices made to preserve our freedoms.”
Coca-Cola, the “Official Fan Refreshment of NASCAR®,” returns as the presenting sponsor of NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola to honor the U.S. Armed Forces each week with efforts focused on Remembrance, Family, Future and Patriotism. For example, at the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR and Coca-Cola, alongside Chef Robert Irvine, will host a race-day brunch for Gold Star Families in remembrance of those who served our country.
Along with the USO, Coca-Cola will honor military spouses and their families across the different military branches at Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway. Then at Sonoma Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway, an at-track experience with Troops to the Track Hosted by Coca-Cola will showcase how the industry and its partners support military members in transition to civilian life.
“Our partnership with NASCAR is incredibly important to our system,” said John Mount, Vice President, Marketing Assets & Activation, Coca-Cola North America. “The NASCAR Salutes program and Coca-Cola 600 is a special way to spend Memorial Day as we honor our heroes, and remember our fallen military members.”
On Sunday, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host more than 5,000 active military members, veterans and their families at the Coca-Cola 600 to commemorate Memorial Day weekend. A pre-race Salute to the Troops will incorporate all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces in connection with the U.S. Department of Defense’s #KnowYourMil initiative.
A number of fallen service members who will be honored during 600 Miles of Remembrance have special connections to NASCAR race teams, including Army National Guard Sergeant First Class David Moore and Army Specialist William Jefferies. Both men served in the U.S. Armed Forces with Brian Burns, lead engineer for the No. 37 JTG-Daugherty Racing Chevrolet driven by Chris Buescher. Buescher and his teammate Ryan Preece will carry the names of SFC Moore and SPC Jefferies on their car windshields during the Coca-Cola 600.
Family members of many fallen service members will attend the Coca-Cola 600 and be honored during 600 Miles of Remembrance as well. Fans can learn more about the fallen heroes honored during 600 Miles of Remembrance by viewing a special gallery available on NASCAR.com/Salutes.
Among the other NASCAR Salutes events and activities are the following:
- Throughout the platform, fans can follow the NASCAR Salutes conversation on social media using #NASCARSalutes.
- This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- Mack Trucks, the “Official Hauler of NASCAR®,” will adorn NASCAR Salutes colors on its flagship NASCAR hauler and lead all hauler parades during the six-week program. This year’s Mack Anthem scheme was chosen by fans through a social media vote and will be unveiled leading up to the Coca-Cola 600.
- During Saturday’s Alsco 300, NASCAR Xfinity Series™ drivers will display red, white and blue Xfinity windshield decals on their race cars.
- For the 10th year in a row, Goodyear will transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing its iconic “Eagle” sidewall design with “Honor and Remember,” in recognition of the organization that worked closely with the industry for 600 Miles of Remembrance to honor military lives lost while serving.
- Sunoco is also working with Honor and Remember on a double flagging moment where a stationary Honor and Remember flag will wave next to the checkered flag at the Coca-Cola 600 and Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- Toyota will honor fallen service members on its Toyota pace and grand marshal vehicles during the Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Toyota will also host military members at its Toyota Owners Hub during the Coca-Cola 600. Through its partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Hire our Heroes, Toyota will include “Hire our Heroes” within Toyota PitPass for military veterans and spouses, which assists with resume writing, social media training and connects with employers looking to hire veterans.
- Mars, the “Official Chocolate of NASCAR®,” is highlighting its red, white and blue limited edition M&Ms with a paint scheme for Coca-Cola 600 reigning winner Kyle Busch. The paint scheme was unveiled at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in front of the parents of fallen Army Sergeant Dale Griffin, who will be honored by Busch during 600 Miles of Remembrance.
- During the broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600, FOX will display the name of every U.S. Armed Forces member who lost his or her life since last year’s Memorial Day weekend race as part of a special tribute titled “FOX Sports Remembers,” an initiative begun in 2009. FOX’s scroll will begin running during its pre-race show at 5:30 p.m. ET.
- This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1 p.m. ET. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service members from different branches of the military.
- At Pocono Raceway, NASCAR Salutes is joining forces with the USO Military Spouse Network to create a VIP race day experience for USO spouses representing all branches of the military.
- With Coca-Cola at Michigan International Speedway, fans will receive the opportunity to thank military spouses for their support, which will be featured at USO locations across the country.
- At Sonoma Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway, in celebration of 10 years of NASCAR Troops to the Track Hosted by Coca-Cola, active and veteran military members will shadow industry members to learn how the sport, its partners and Coca-Cola support military members in transition to civilian life.
- During the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway, Comcast will work with NASCAR and teams to replace its Xfinity branding with active military units and installations on all NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers’ windshield headers to commemorate Independence Day weekend.
- During the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway, in celebration of the NASCAR Salutes finale, Publix in partnership with Coca-Cola, will bring its “Race Day Salute” to the track midway for fans and military alike.
- AMR, the “Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR®,” will include NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola branding on its AMR Safety Trucks and honor a group of first responders with VIP race day experiences during the platform window.
- Sugarlands Shine, the “Official Moonshine of NASCAR®,” is accepting nominations for deserving armed forces, first responders and veterans throughout the NASCAR Salutes window for a VIP trip to this fall’s Sugarlands Shine 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. Submit a nomination today at www.moonshare.org.
Tickets to NASCAR national series events are available at NASCAR.com/tickets.
Clint Bowyer plans to rest, drink lots of water and prepare for a long, hot race late Sunday afternoon at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series holds its longest event of the season – the Coca-Cola 600.
With temperatures expected to touch the 97-degree mark Sunday in North Carolina, it’s appropriate Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will carry the decals of PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze in the 600-mile race. He thinks seeing his car on the track will be a good reminder for race fans to prepare for the hot weather, just like the drivers and race teams.
“What a weekend for PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze to make its debut on our Mustang,” Bowyer said. “I’m willing to bet, among the thousands of cars this weekend in the heat and humidity at Charlotte and with the hot weather all over the country, someone is going to wish they had put PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze in their car. If you’re going home and you see someone with their hood up on the side of the road, you’ll know they didn’t.”
Bowyer hopes the weather won’t lead to any mechanical issues on the racetrack as he tries to win one of the sport’s crown jewels. Sunday marks the greatest day of the year in motorsports with the running of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500, and the 600. Bowyer will join PEAK customers and fans at SHR’s race shop to watch some of the Monaco race, where PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF brands adorn the rear wing endplates of the Haas F1 Team cars driven by Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen and owned by SHR co-owner Gene Haas.
After the Monaco race, he’ll drive to the Charlotte track to fulfill more sponsor obligations, watch the Indianapolis race and prepare for 600 miles of racing.
“This is like Christmas Day for a race fan,” Bowyer said. “You could start watching Monaco early in the morning and keep watching racing until we are done late at night on Sunday.”
Bowyer should be one of the favorites this weekend. He won the pole and finished 12th in the Monster Energy All-Star Race last weekend at Charlotte. He owns a fall 2012 victory, two top-five finishes and five top-10s in 25 career starts on the Charlotte oval.
Amid the racing, the weekend is about honoring those in the military who gave their lives to their country. The Bowyer family is well aware of the sacrifices made by the military throughout history. Bowyer’s paternal grandfather Dale E. Bowyer was a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. He won the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism while fighting the armed enemy in Germany during World War II.
The Distinguished Service Cross, awarded for extraordinary heroism, is the second-highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the Army. While leading his platoon under heavy fire in an attack near Sinz, Germany, on Jan. 25, 1945, Lt. Bowyer was severely wounded by an enemy mine. He refused evacuation even though both his feet were shattered. He shouted instructions and encouragement where he lay. Inspired by his bravery, the men re-formed, moved clear of the minefield and continued the advance. Only then did Lt. Bowyer allow himself to be evacuated, crawling clear of the minefield to avoid injury to people.
“His devotion to duty and to his men, and his courage and fearless determination, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service,” read the commendation he received. Lt. Bowyer eventually lost a leg due to his injuries. After his career in the Army, he lived in Iola, Kansas, and worked in the dairy business. He passed away in June 1974. Bowyer never met his grandfather.
This Sunday, his grandson Clint Bowyer will carry the name of Medal of Honor Citation recipient Master Sergeant Gary Gordon of the Army. Gordon died Oct. 3, 1993, while serving as Sniper Team Leader, United States Army Special Operations Command, with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia. The heroism of Gordon and Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart, whose name is on SHR teammate Daniel Suarez’s No. 41 Ford in Sunday’s 600-mile race, were chronicled in the 2001 movie Black Hawk Down.
Gordon’s sniper team provided precision fires from the lead helicopter during an assault and at two helicopter crash sites while subjected to intense automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade fires. When Gordon learned that ground forces were not immediately available to secure the second crash site, he and another sniper unhesitatingly volunteered to be inserted to protect the four critically wounded personnel, despite being well aware of the growing number of enemy personnel closing in on the site. After his third request to be inserted, Gordon received permission to perform his volunteer mission.
When debris and enemy ground fire at the site caused them to abort the first attempt, Gordon was inserted 100 meters south of the crash site. Equipped with only his sniper rifle and a pistol, Gordon and his fellow sniper, while under intense small arms fire from the enemy, fought their way through a dense maze of shanties and shacks to reach the critically injured crew members. Gordon immediately pulled the pilot and the other crew members from the aircraft, establishing a perimeter that placed him and his fellow sniper in the most vulnerable position. Gordon used his long-range rifle and sidearm to kill an undetermined number of attackers until he depleted his ammunition. Gordon then went back to the wreckage to recover some of the crew’s weapons and ammunition.
Despite the fact he was critically low on ammunition, he provided some of it to the dazed pilot and then radioed for help. Gordon continued to travel the perimeter, protecting the downed crew. After his team member was fatally wounded and his own rifle ammunition exhausted, Gordon returned to the wreckage, recovering a rifle with the last five rounds of ammunition and gave it to the pilot with the words, “Good luck.” Then, armed only with his pistol, Gordon continued to fight until he was fatally wounded. His actions saved the pilot’s life.
“These are the real heroes in life and I’m honored we will carry Gary Gordon’s name on our car,” Bowyer said.
MAVTV-televised Nut Up Pro Late Model and 51FIFTY Energy Drink Jr. Late Model racing returns to Madera Speedway on Saturday night during the coveted Military Tribute Night. The one-third mile asphalt oval will celebrate veterans and those who were lost fighting for our nation’s freedom. Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros, Modified Super Toyotas, and Toyota Sedans will also be competing. All military get in for free for this patriotic night of racing.
Memorial Day Weekend is perhaps the most prestigious racing weekend on the planet and the large fields of Late Models at the speedway will be hungry for round #4 victories. $2,000 is on the line for the Nut Up Pro Late Model action for their 80 lap main event.
The third-generation drivers representing the Herzog family have had a tremendous start to the season. Austin Herzog, 16, leads the Pro Late Model championship with a win and third place finish on his resume. His cousin Tyler has a pair of top-tens in the series while also grabbing two wins and two second place finishes in the non-televised Madera Late Model Series.
Dylan Zampa, the 15 year-old winner of the $5,000 to win season opener, is second in the Pro standings. Two-time Pro series champion Matt Erickson ranks third and is still looking for his first Madera victory of 2019. Carlos Vieira’s first full-time effort in the series sees him running fourth overall ahead of 2018 Madera Late Model champion Jason Aguirre. Ross Strmiska, 2018 Short Track Shootout champion Logan Zampa, Tyler Herzog, Christian Roche, and Kolby Berry round out the top-ten in the standings.
Thirteen year-old Tanner Reif of Las Vegas, NV is the points leader in the 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models for drivers ages 10-16 years old. The 2019 season has been one of the most competitive in series history with an average car count of 18 cars through the first three races. Reif is one of the veterans of the group that features nine drivers running their first full-season of competition. He leads the championship by 11 points on the strength of three fast-times, two wins, and a second place finish. His qualifying record shows seven consecutive quick-times since last July.
Sixteen year-old Joey Iest hails from Madera, CA and recently won his first career adult Late Model event when he won on Mother’s Day Weekend in the Madera Late Model division. Iest has hit the cycle at Madera thus far with a win, a second, and a third for his second place in the Jr. standings. The battle for third in the standings is a close one between Jay Juleson, Seth Wise, and Tyler Reif. Just 14 points separates the trio.
The 51FIFTY Jr. Late Models race for 70 laps this weekend with a 40 lap opening segment and a 30 lap conclusion.
Mini Cups vs. Bandoleros rounds out the MAVTV-televised divisions that will be competing. Rookie Dylan Baptista swept the April 27th action with fast-time, winning his heat race, and taking the main event win in just his second ever Bandolero start. The Quarter Midget graduate leads 2018 champion Riley Massey and season opening winner Ethan Nascimento in the standings. Bakersfield’s Trenton Eurto and Nathaniel Edwards round out the top-five. Rookie driver Joey Kennealy leads the Mini Cup half of the field heading into Saturday’s 20 lap main event.
Jason Lawton has had a perfect season in the Toyota Sedans with six victories, twice defeating former champion Jillaun Holden for the honors. In Modified Super Toyotas Shawn Reynolds enjoys a five point advantage of Ryan Reynolds with prior champion Bert Stephens in third. Sedan graduate Kyle Labrie is having a great rookie season that included a win on Mother’s Day weekend to rank fourth in the series.
Action gets started on Friday evening with practice from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday’s program begins with pit gates opening at 11:30 a.m. Practices run from 1:15 – 3:00 p.m. with qualifying and heat races to follow. The first set of main events starts at 5:00 p.m. including the Mini Cup feature and the Late Model B Main. Opening ceremonies are at 6:00 p.m.
Tickets for this great night of racing are just $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $7 for youth ages 6-12, and kids five and under are free! All military will be admitted free of charge!
For more information about Madera Racing on MAVTV please visit www.racemadera.com or www.mavtv.com. For more information on Nut Up Industries please visit www.nutupindustries.com and for more information about 51FIFTY Energy Drink visit www.51fiftyenergydrink.com
Madera Speedway is presented by major partners Nut Up Industries, 51FIFTY Energy Drink, iPull-uPull, and Color Fast Industries. Contingency sponsors include Five Star Bodies, Maita Motorsports, McCallister Precision Marketing, and StopTech Brakes.
Madera Racing on MAVTV airs Thursdays every week. The show airs at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. PST and is also available on the Lucas Oil Racing TV app. 2018 episodes will continue airing until the late spring, before 2019 episodes hit the airwaves on June 6th.
Regaining the ARCA Menards Series points lead on the strength of his fourth top five finish of the season last weekend in Toledo, Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) hopes to keep the momentum rolling during tomorrow’s General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“I’ve been waiting for this point on the schedule the entire year,” says Self when asked about the next three races, and the transition from short tracks to intermediate speedways.
“I really enjoy racing on, and driving the bigger tracks. When I looked at the schedule, there weren’t many races within the first six that I really felt great about. There were a lot of short tracks and the two superspeedways, none of which I felt were really my strong suit. When we get to the tracks like Charlotte, that’s when I get excited because I genuinely enjoy driving at those places, even though Charlotte wasn’t a good race for me last year.”
Thursday’s prime time event marks the series’ seventh event of the season as well as Self’s second career start on Charlotte’s 1.5-mile surface. Last year in the series first appearance since 2005, Self qualified fifth and finished 21st after an incident on his second qualifying lap forced him to a backup car for the race.
Self, who now hold a 25-point advantage over Travis Braden for the top spot knows the importance of consistency during ARCA’s 20-race schedule.
“The points battle is so tight, I think everyone competing for it has to be conscious of the big picture and minimize mistakes. Everyone who has been the points leader up to this point has been plagued it seems. Christian got sick at Salem then had a wreck at Talladega, I got caught in a wreck at Nashville, and Travis got caught up in one at Toledo. I want to minimize those kinds of issues, and go out and have some fun and try to win on these tracks I really enjoy racing at.”
This week’s race will be the Utah driver’s 25th overall ARCA start since breaking into the series with Venturini Motorsports in 2014. Winning 20% of all races entered, Self looks to better his stats with his sixth career victory and fourth on an intermediate or superspeedway.
The ARCA Menards Series returns to Charlotte on Thursday, May 23 as part of a double header which features Pole Night for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600. Two hours of practice for the General Tire 150 is scheduled for 11:30 am ET, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 5 pm ET, and the race is set to go green shortly after 9 pm ET. The race will be televised live on FS1
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Cars' most patriotic race weekend became even more "United" on Tuesday. United Rentals has signed on as entitlement sponsor for the inaugural United Rentals Patriot Nationals, a two-day showcase of sprint car excitement on Friday and Saturday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Sprint car stars including Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet, Daryn Pittman and Carson Macedo will take on The Dirt Track at Charlotte's high-speed, four-tenths-mile dirt oval beginning with Friday's first night of action and concluding with a patriotic bang on Saturday - just one night before the green flag for the 60th running of the Coca-Cola 600.
Each Patriot Nationals sprint car feature will pay $15,000 to win and $1,000 to start, creating a two-day mad dash for Outlaw cash at America's Home for Racing.
"United Rentals is extremely proud to sponsor the United Rentals Patriot Nationals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte," said Dave Brown, the regional sales manager in the Southeast and the Carolinas. "We've enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway and are excited to take the next step by sponsoring one of dirt racing's most exciting weekends."
Fans in attendance will also witness the fender-banging FUEL Racing Series on Friday and the SECA Late Models on Saturday which will serve as action-packed undercards for the United Rentals Patriot Nationals.
"There's an abundance of excitement this weekend at America's Home for Racing," said Greg Walter, the executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Memorial Day weekend is a special time for all of us to reflect on the freedoms provided to us by our nation's Armed Forces. Adding United Rentals to the fold with the United Rentals Patriot Nationals gives us an extra chance to thrill our race fans at The Dirt Track while saluting our servicemen and women with the ultimate patriotic dirt-racing experience."
The last weekend in May always has special meaning to Americans, for whom it is a time to remember and honor the soldiers who lost their lives while serving in the United States military.
For race fans in particular, the weekend is uniquely special in that America’s fallen soldiers are honored in the many festivities surrounding what is widely recognized as the country’s biggest racing weekend of the year. In the United States, the racing day starts at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the iconic Indianapolis 500 and finishes under the lights at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway with the longest race of the Monster Energy NASCAR’s Cup Series season – the Coca-Cola 600. Not only are they famous and historic racing events, but both host many active duty military and both have traditions that honor soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
With that, a familiar way of honoring fallen soldiers returns with the NASCAR Salutes program over the summer, beginning with this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600. NASCAR Salutes at Charlotte features “600 Miles of Remembrance,” during which each car in the field will carry the name of a fallen soldier on the windshield. Busch has the honor of displaying the name of SGT Dale Griffin on his M&M’S Red, White & Blue Toyota. Griffin, a native of Terre Haute, Indiana lost his life in Afghanistan in October 2009.
Busch, the defending Coca-Cola 600 winner, unveiled the patriotic paint scheme that will adorn his No. 18 M&M’S Red, White & Blue Toyota Camry in this year’s race back on May 8 and was honored to be joined by Dona and Gene Griffin, the parents of Army SGT Griffin. Busch hopes that, just like SGT Eric Toth one year ago, he can take SGT Griffin’s name and legacy to victory lane this weekend.
In addition to honoring a fallen soldier, the No. 18 M&M’S Red, White & Blue Toyota Camry features a patriotic paint scheme itself that celebrates M&M’S Red, White & Blue Mix available at local retailers where the M&M’S brand will help to support America’s troops. For every pack of M&M’S Red, White & Blue Mix purchased between May 1 and Aug. 31, a donation will be made to the USO to help entertain the troops. This is part of the $250,000 that Mars Wrigley Confectionery has pledged to the USO this year.
Busch will look to honor Griffin and all fallen soldiers with a strong run in his patriotic scheme, and he’ll be heading into the 13th points race of the season looking to bring home back-to-back victories in the crown jewel Coca-Cola 600 to follow up his dominant performance from one year ago.
Busch actually broke through in the Cup Series at Charlotte two years ago in the non-points All-Star Race for his first Cup Series win of any kind at the 1.5-mile oval. Ever since his childhood in Las Vegas, some of Busch’s favorite race-watching memories came during Charlotte’s iconic Coca-Cola 600 and All-Star Race during the month of May. He dreamed that one day he, too, could be the one hoisting the trophy at one of stock car racing’s most hallowed grounds, and he finally accomplished that goal with the 2017 All-Star win and last year’s Coca-Cola 600 win, both on the 1.5-mile oval.
In his 29 previous Cup Series starts at Charlotte over the past 13-plus seasons, Busch has managed to enjoy plenty of success there with 12 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s. In addition to solid Cup Series finishes, Busch has captured eight NASCAR Xfinity Series wins at Charlotte – May 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010, October 2008 and 2009, and both May and October 2013. He also has eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins at the track – 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2019.
So, this Memorial Day weekend, Busch will look to bring home his second crown jewel win at Charlotte and, at the same time, honor SGT Griffin and all troops who have given the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those who continue to serve America and the Red, White & Blue.
JTG Daugherty Racing Teams to Honor Fallen Service Members During 600 Miles of Remembrance at Charlotte Motor Speedway21 May 2019
JTG Daugherty Racing will honor two fallen service members on the windshields of Ryan Preece and Chris Buescher’s Camaro ZL1s during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26. Both fallen soldiers served in the US Army National Guard with the lead engineer on the No, 37 team, Brian Burns. Burns served from 1993 to 2001 before pursuing a career in motorsports.
SPC William Jeffries graduated from Evansville (Ind.) Reitz High School in 1982 and spent a decade with the Air Force before joining the Indiana National Guard. He originally enlisted in The United States Air Force in 1987 serving as a Security Policeman and served there for 10 years. He then enlisted in The Army National Guard. He was deployed to Kuwait and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom until his death on March 31st, 2003. He was assigned to D Company, 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment, Indiana Army National Guard. SPC Jeffries will be on the windshield of Preece’s Kroger Camaro ZL1.
“I’m really grateful to be able to honor a fallen soldier with such a personal connection to the team,” Preece said. “With this being my first Coca-Cola 600, I’m proud to have SPC Jeffries’ name on the windshield of our Kroger Camaro ZL1 for 600 miles at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The NASCAR Salutes program is so special and unlike anything else we do throughout the season to honor our military who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
“It is such a great personal feeling to be able to show my appreciation for these fallen soldiers,” Burns said. “I served eight years in the National Guard and was privileged in getting to work with both heroes. At the end of my eight-year service term, I decided to pursue a career in motorsports. A very short time after making this decision, my unit was activated and deployed to serve during Operation Iraqi Freedom. SPC Jeffries was a guy that made it hard to be in a bad mood if you were in his presence. I can’t ever remember a time seeing him that he didn’t have a great big grin on his face.”
SFC David Moore enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1986 and was a decorated solider. He served three tours in Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq assigned to the 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment, Indiana Army National Guard along with SPC Jeffries and Burns. SFC Moore served 20 years with the Army National Guard and passed away on February 4, 2008 from complications after being exposed to chemicals while deployed. He will ride for 600 miles on the windshield of Chris Buescher’s Thrill of the Grill Camaro ZL1.
“It’s an absolute honor to have the name of someone my engineer served with on the windshield of our Thrill of the Grill Camaro ZL1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Buescher said. “Brian Burns has been my engineer since I started at JTG Daugherty Racing, and we’re like a big family on our No. 37 team. It’s hard to put into words how special it is to have SFC Moore’s name on our car for 600 miles and pay tribute to someone who is an extension of our own family here.”
“I have been able to enjoy an exciting career in NASCAR and live a wonderful life with my family because these two brave men made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Burns said. “SFC Moore was a great leader and mentor for me during my time in service. He always took care of his soldiers and had the respect of everyone around him. I was able to give him a tour of the garage and pit area at ISM Raceway during one of his military leaves and got to hear about many of his wartime experiences. I am grateful to JTG Daugherty Racing for showing the families and friends of these two warriors that we will never forget the sacrifices that they have made for this country.”
The Coca-Cola 600 will run on May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway beginning at 6pmET on FOX. Buescher and Preece will race for 600 miles at the 1.5-mile track in the backyard of the JTG Daugherty Racing shop in Concord, N.C.
JTG Racing PR
Today, Team Penske announced a new multi-year partnership with Dent Wizard, North America’s largest provider of automotive reconditioning services and vehicle protection products. The Dent Wizard brand will debut as the primary sponsor on the No. 12 Ford Mustang driven by Ryan Blaney for two races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS), including the August 17 race at Bristol Motor Speedway and the October 13 event at Talladega Superspeedway.
Headquartered in Bridgeton, Mo., Dent Wizard provides a full array of automotive reconditioning services across multiple channels that include auction, dealer, rental, finance & insurance (F&I), collision centers, catastrophe and OEM’s. . Founded in 1983, Dent Wizard’s 2,100- technicians service thousands of customers within the automotive reconditioning space.
“Dent Wizard has established itself as an industry leader and we welcome them as our newest partner at Team Penske,” said Roger Penske. “We have enjoyed new opportunities with some new partners since our NASCAR Cup Series program expanded to three full-time entries last season with Ryan (Blaney) joining Brad (Keselowski) and Joey (Logano). We are excited to work with Dent Wizard to help build the company’s brand and showcase its services.”
Dent Wizard will maximize the new partnership to engage with potential and current customers through Team Penske’s motorsports programs, including at-track hospitality and social/digital assets. Dent Wizard also hopes to capitalize on business-to-business opportunities by working with existing Team Penske partners.
“We are excited about the Team Penske partnership,” said Mike Black, Dent Wizard President and CEO. “At Dent Wizard, our team of 3,000+ associates pride ourselves on exemplifying our core values of integrity, innovation, customer devotion and excellence. Having spent the last 35 years in the reconditioning industry, we have learned to value great partnerships that create a win-win for both parties. Dent Wizard is happy to continue building our business and brand within the automotive space.”
At just 25 years old, Blaney has emerged as one of NASCAR’s brightest young stars. In 2018, he captured his second career Cup Series victory at the ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway, while he won three poles and finished10th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. This season, Blaney won the pole at ISM Raceway in March and he is currently ranked 10th in the standings.
“It’s great to build a new relationship with Dent Wizard and have them as part of the No. 12 Mustang team,” said Blaney. “I hope to bring their brand a ton of new exposure at two great tracks later this year and into the future.”
The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season continues with the 60th Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26 starting at 6:00 p.m. ET on FOX.
Team Penske PR