NASCAR Xfinity Series star Brandon Jones and ISM Raceway President Julie Giese visited with servicemen and women at Luke Air Force Base yesterday ahead of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway on March 9. As part of the visit, Jones and Giese received a behind-the-scenes look at Luke Air Force Base, including the largest F-35 wing in world. Video is available for download here.
The afternoon began with a tour of TITAN Arena, a fitness facility solely dedicated to the fitness and injury prevention of F-35 pilots. Following the TITAN Arena, Jones and Giese jumped in adjacent F-16 simulators at the Training Squadron. Instructed by Maj Patrick "Rainman" McAndrew and Maj Glen "Fist" Goossen, Jones and Giese learned to fire at moving targets and how to land the aircraft during both day and night. The last half of the visit consisted of a thorough tour of the 61st Fighter Squadron, the very first F-35 Squadron in the USAF.
"This was awesome today, getting a behind-the-scenes look at Luke Air Force Base and meeting many of the airmen that work out of there," said Jones. "Seeing the F-35 up close with Maj Zelasko was definitely a highlight of the day. I’m fortunate to be a part of a sport and a team like Toyota that supports our military in so many ways because it’s something very close to my heart. These men and women put their lives on the line every day for us and the fact that many of them took time out of their schedules to show me around means a lot."
In addition to holding the largest F-35 wing in the world, Luke Air Force Base is also home to 70% of F-35 pilots. Maj Zelasko, an F-35 Instructor Pilot, gave Jones, Giese and media in attendance a tour of their facility, including where all of the pilots’ gear and g-suits are kept and an up-close look at the fifth-generation combat planes themselves.
"Supporting members of our military has always been an important initiative for ISM Raceway and to have the opportunity to visit our neighbors at Luke and get a peek into their daily lives was an unforgettable experience," said Giese.
Jones will return to ISM Raceway when he takes to the track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on March 9. Tickets for the entire TicketGuardian 500 Weekend, March 8, 9 and 10 are still available online at ISMRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223), or in person at the ISM Raceway ticket office. Military packages, including 20% off all seats and INfield access passes are available at the base ITT/MWR Office, or online at ISMRaceway.com/Buy-Tickets/Military.
ISM Raceway PR