Richmond Raceway (Richmond) hosted Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, at Naval Air Station Oceana (NAS Oceana) in Virginia Beach, Va. Busch, along with the Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier, spent the day meeting with Service Members to share their appreciation for their service. As part of the experience, they received a behind-the-scenes look at NAS Oceana, which is celebrating its 75th Anniversary.
The first stop of the day was the Landing Signal Officer (LSO) school tour, where Busch took controls of their flight simulator over sand and sea. Busch had the touch for flying as he landed on a virtual aircraft carrier during his simulation. Busch next made his way to the Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106), where he sat in an F-18 as pilots shared their experiences flying the jet. He also had time to answer questions with a group of Naval members in the hanger and take photographs and sign autographs.
The tour continued with a climb up to view a squadron of F-18’s taking off and landing from the Tower Observation Deck. The final stop at NAS Oceana was a meeting with a group of new Service Members who were awaiting his arrival for lunch at the Galley. Busch talked about his experience as a race car driver while Service Members shared about their experience with the Navy.
“We had a great day going out to Naval Air Station Oceana – hanging out with some military members out there,” said Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry. “We had a lot of fun talking NASCAR, the upcoming race at Richmond Raceway and M&M’S. Answered a lot of great questions and signed a few autographs. More importantly, I got to try my hand at a simulator. I got to fly a jet and it was a lot of fun. To finish the day in Norfolk checking out the Battleship Wisconsin was pretty special. It was a cool day and had a lot of fun overall.”
“Richmond Raceway is a loyal supporter of our military, so it was an honor to thank them for their service with Kyle Busch at Naval Air Station Oceana today,” said Bickmeier. “Along with our Military Appreciation Program, Richmond Raceway will continue to share our gratefulness for the sacrifices and support of our Service Members. We look forward to having Kyle back at Richmond Raceway in a few weeks for the first-ever NASCAR Fall Playoff Race Weekend.”
The day ended with a tour of Nauticus, a maritime museum, and Battleship Wisconsin in downtown Norfolk, Va. Launching on December 7, 1943, Battleship Wisconsin is one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the U.S. Navy. It was moved to Nauticus in December 2000, and the City of Norfolk has now assumed stewardship in 2009.
“The Battleship Wisconsin at Nauticus in downtown Norfolk was a memorable experience as we could feel what it was like to be a sailor on it,” said Bickmeier. “Thanks to the City of Norfolk for the opportunity to spend time with race fans at one of the premier tourist attractions in their city.”
Busch will return to Richmond to compete in the second race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, September 22. Tickets are available for purchase at richmondraceway.com. For more information on our Military Appreciation Program, visit richmondraceway.com/military.
Richmond Raceway PR