Pit Note 9: Smithfield Announces Partnership; Fans Join World’s Largest Tweetup

SMITHFIELD ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH FOLDS OF HONOR – Officials from Smithfield Foods Inc. and Farmland announced Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway a new partnership with the ‘Folds of Honor’ foundation, which benefits families of fallen military personnel. Smithfield and Farmland, which sponsors of Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will make a $5,000 donation to the ‘Folds of Honor’ scholarship fund, up to $100,000, every time Almirola leads a lap for the remainder of the season.

Wesley Bauguess, widow of Major Larry Bauguess of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, said Farmland’s commitment to helping the families of fallen warriors was commendable.

“My husband is one of those fallen heroes, and I see his legacy every time look into the eyes of our daughters,” said Bauguess, whose husband lost his life in Afghanistan in 2007. “Supporting the ‘Folds of Honor’ foundation truly means the world to us.”

Additionally, Almirola will run the ‘Folds of Honor’ logo at Texas Motor Speedway, Kansas and Phoenix. There will also be a contest on the Farmland Facebook page for race fans to vote for their favorite paint scheme for the Phoenix car.

“I realize how lucky I am, not only as an individual, but also to have an opportunity to do what I love and drive a race car,” said Almirola. “What a weekend to make this announcement on Memorial Day weekend. I plan to make them give all $100,000 of that money.”

TWEET, TWEET – More than 1,000 race fans and military members gathered in the Fan Zone Sunday for the Coca-Cola and Charlotte Motor Speedway World’s Largest Tweetup.

Hosted by Doug Rice, president of Performance Racing Network, the event featured Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, Coca-Cola Racing Family Driver Kyle Petty, NASCAR on FOX personality Wendy Venturini, country music star Chelsea Bain as well as NASCAR tweetup weekly hosts Jeff Gluck, USA Today reporter, and Bob Pockrass, of the Sporting News.

Rice counted down the clock as fans furiously typed the tweet: I made history @cltmotorspdwy May 25, 2014 #WorldsLargestTweetUp #CocaCola600. The hashtags #CocaCola600 and #WorldsLargestTweetup immediately began trending on Twitter.

The first 1,000 fans who participated received a free Coca-Cola World’s Largest Tweetup t-shirt and a Coca-Cola. Two fans from Germany even won free garage passes.