Chris Buescher Wraps Up 2024 Mission 600 with Visit to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island

Just 10 days before the before Charlotte Motor Speedway kicks off Memorial Day Weekend with three straight days of action-packed racing, the speedway hosted Chris Buescher for its final Mission 600 visit of the season, a day with Marines from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island.

Mission 600 is a campaign that pairs NASCAR drivers with military bases designed to educate the NASCAR community about the day-to-day lives of the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and to build meaningful connections between the worlds of motorsports and the military.

Buescher, alongside Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter and FOX Sports analyst Josh Sims, were immersed in the lives of the Marine recruits who begin their enlistment journey at Parris Island. From standing on the famed yellow footprints to flying an F-18 simulator, participating in a live-fire competition and rappelling down a 62-foot wall, the group experienced how the Marine Corps Recruit Depot transforms young men and women through the foundations of rigorous basic training, shared legacy and a commitment to core values, preparing them to win the nation’s battles in service to the country.

“To get a behind-the-scenes look at what all these recruits go through to become Marines, it’s been eye-opening,” Buescher said. “It’s been very special to get to do a ton of things that I didn’t have any knowledge about. It gives you an extra appreciation for what these Marines do. Leading up to Memorial Day weekend, it’s a good time to reflect and realize that a lot of brave men and women are making massive sacrifices and putting their lives on the line to give us the freedom to go to the race track and do something we love for a living.”

The Eastern Recruiting Region is responsible for force recruitment for both officer and enlisted accessions within the eastern United States and Puerto Rico. This includes Active Duty and Reserve Marine contracts. In support of the Marine Corps’ recruiting mission, Parris Island trains male recruits from the Eastern Recruiting Region and female recruits from the majority of the United States. Parris Island makes about 19,000 new Marines each fiscal year.

“The experience of standing on those yellow footprints and understanding what a recruit goes through, my heart was racing for a while after that,” Walter said. “The weapons training, the rappel wall, the degree of training that goes into the making of a Marine, I think we underestimate what it takes for that sense of professionalism. One of the stories that the gunnery sergeant said was that from the time the recruits get here until the time they leave, they are different people, and they are committed to something bigger than themselves. I think we got a glimpse of that today.”

Mission 600 serves as a prelude to Charlotte Motor Speedway’s patriotic pre-race salute to the troops prior to the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend. With representation from all six branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, the salute embodies the patriotism and service of the nation’s men and women in uniform.

“I think we’ve come to realize as a team at Charlotte Motor Speedway that this is so much more than just putting on an event where 40 cars race for the finish line,” Walter said. “This is about telling a story. The fact that we have these Gold Star Families who have suffered the heartbreak of losing a loved one during their service in the military. The fact that we tell the story of each of them, that we honor the military in a unique way. We showcase them and our fans who come from across the country and around the world are able to experience that.”

TICKETS:

Tickets are still available for the May 24-26 Coca-Cola 600 weekend, with three-day packages starting at $99. Weekend tickets for children ages 12 and under are just $10. Fans can purchase tickets online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Admission to BetMGM Speed Street concerts by tribute band Hairball (Friday) and country music sensation Kameron Marlowe (Saturday) is free with any race ticket. Sunday’s pre-race concert by MatchBox20 is free with purchase of a Coca-Cola 600 race ticket.

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