NASCAR Announces Troops to the Track Joint Effort With Armed Forces Foundation

The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), in partnership with the Armed Forces Foundation, announced today the official formation of a Troops to the Track program that recognizes and hosts members of the U.S. Armed Forces at NASCAR races throughout the year.

Troops to the Track will provide over 100 wounded service members, or service members in jobs that are particularly emotional and physically demanding, an opportunity to get away from the challenges they face each day with an exclusive, VIP-style NASCAR race day experience.

“Troops to the Track showcases NASCAR’s commitment to our nation’s military, and we are more than excited to join forces with NASCAR in launching this program in support of our military men and women serving in the US Armed Forces,” said Patricia Driscoll, president and executive director of the Armed Forces Foundation. “Here at the Armed Forces Foundation, we constantly strive to ‘serve those who serve,’ and with the support from NASCAR and the NASCAR community through Troops to the Track, we will be able to provide more opportunities for service members and their families around the country to get away from the stresses of injuries and deployments while enjoying the patriotism of the NASCAR community.”

Troops to the Track is part of a broader NASCAR industry effort to support Joining Forces, the national initiative launched this April by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. Joining Forces aims to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned. Troops to the Track enables the NASCAR community to come together in support of the First Lady’s call to action by bringing attention to the unique needs and strengths of America’s military families, highlighting the skills and experiences of service men and women in the communities where NASCAR races, and in creating greater connections between the public and local military service men and women.

“NASCAR is pleased to work with the Armed Forces Foundation in support of the Troops to the Track program,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “The pride of the NASCAR community is reflected throughout our extended family when we all come together to join forces in support of our military members and their families.”

NASCAR and the Armed Forces Foundation started hosting troops as guests at and away from the race track during the 2010 season and into this season. Many NASCAR teams, drivers, sponsors, and track partners have enthusiastically supported the pilot program to date, including race team owner Richard Childress, who has hosted troops at his North Carolina-based winery, offered personal tours of the Richard Childress Racing museum and spent time with visiting troops at-track and in setting up meet-and-greets with team drivers.

“I have been involved in a number of military foundations over the years, all of which have done many great things, but the work of the Armed Forces Foundation for our military is phenomenal,” said Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing and the 2011 recipient of the AFF’s Bill and Beverly Young Humanitarian of the Year Award. “Patricia Driscoll and her staff are committed to making a positive difference in the lives of military personnel, both active and retired, and their families by assisting them in so many different ways. It’s an honor to be involved with the Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR in the Troops to the Track program and I look forward to meeting with some of the troops here this weekend and throughout the rest of the year.”

Childress is set to host guests from the U.S. Air Force Mortuary Services of nearby Dover Air Force Base this Sunday, May 15 at Dover International Speedway. Following Dover, six additional Troops to the Track race weekend visits are scheduled for the 2011 season.

2011 Troops to the Track Calendar

Date Track Guests

April 10 Texas Motor Speedway              USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment, Dallas

April 30 Richmond Int’l Raceway             USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment, Quantico

May 7               Darlington Raceway                   Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Jackson

May 15 Dover Int’l Speedway                 US Air Force Mortuary Services, Dover Air Force Base

May 29 Charlotte Motor Speedway         US Army Special Operations Command, Ft. Bragg

June 12             Pocono Raceway                      Warrior Transition Unit, West Point

September 10    Richmond Int’l Raceway             Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda

October 2          Dover Int’l Raceway                   US Air Force Mortuary Services, Dover Air Force Base

October 15        Charlotte Motor Speedway         US Army Special Operations Command, Ft. Bragg

November 6       Texas Motor Speedway              Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio

In setting up a Troops to the Tracks visit, the Armed Forces Foundation identifies a group of approximately 10 guests from local military bases and hospitals in the vicinity of the participating race track. NASCAR provides race credentials, garage tours, arranges meet-and-greets with drivers and owners, recognition at the drivers’ meeting, and works with tracks to secure tickets and parking.