DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 23, 2017) - For the third consecutive year, windshield headers on all 40 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars will be replaced with the names of fallen military service members during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), NASCAR announced today.
This year's "600 Miles of Remembrance" tribute honoring those who bravely served our country, launches a six-week platform encapsulating the industry's collective expression of respect and gratitude - NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola.
"There is no prouder moment for our sport than when the entire NASCAR family rallies to honor and pay tribute to the United States Armed Forces," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer. "NASCAR Salutes continues to grow thanks to the support of our industry and partners who believe just as strongly in recognizing those who've served and continue to serve today."
Coca-Cola, the "Official Soft Drink of NASCAR®," has long honored and recognized the U.S. Armed Forces throughout the Coca-Cola 600 and Coke Zero 400 race weekends, which take place on Memorial Day Weekend and Independence Day Weekend, respectively.
This year, Coca-Cola's support will extend throughout the industry-wide effort to honor past and present members of the U.S. Armed Forces, as the presenting sponsor of NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola also partners with NASCAR on Troops to the Track, hosting service members from all military branches at race tracks during the season.
"The Coca-Cola Company has a longstanding history of supporting the U.S. military, veterans and their families. We are honored to continue to support U.S. service members with the NASCAR Salutes program," said Peggy Loos, vice president, Coca-Cola North America Connections Activation. "Throughout the Coca-Cola 600 race weekend, America's largest Memorial Day celebration, Coca-Cola will bring people together to pay tribute to our nation's Armed Forces - past and present - and their families for their extraordinary contributions to our country."
Many of the service members whose names will be displayed on the race cars Sunday were chosen by the race teams, including some with unique connections to the fallen. U.S. Army sergeant Gregory Allen Belanger, who was killed in Hallia, Iraq in 2003, was a friend of Team Penske employee Darin Russell, engine tuner for Ryan Blaney's No. 21 Ford Fusion.
Harold Tussey, whose name will be proudly displayed on Paul Menard's No. 27 Chevrolet SS, lost his life in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The third-class petty officer's great nephew, Troy Tussey, is a mechanic with Richard Childress Racing.
Several families of those recognized on the race cars will attend the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track will host more than 5,000 active military members at Sunday's race in honor of Memorial Day.
Throughout the NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola platform, fans at each of the six race weekends will have the opportunity to write the name of a service member close to their heart on a small poster, and "Rise to Honor" them during the pace laps preceding each event.
Among the other NASCAR Salutes events and activities are the following:
• Throughout the platform, fans can follow the NASCAR Salutes conversation on social media using #NASCARSalutes. A special NASCAR Salutes filter will be available on Snapchat for fans attending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
• This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1 p.m. ET. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service members from different branches of the military.
• During Saturday's Hisense 4K TV 300, NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will display red, white and blue XFINITY windshield decals on their race cars.
• Lilly Diabetes, the "Official Diabetes Health Partner of NASCAR®," unveiled a patriotic paint scheme that Ryan Reed, driver of the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang, will race in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Memorial Day Weekend.
• This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Goodyear will once again transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Owners in the Toyota Owners Hub at Charlotte Motor Speedway will have the opportunity to write letters of appreciation for military members serving overseas and can sign their name on a Camry race car hood, featuring a message of gratitude, which will be presented to the USO of North Carolina before the Coca-Cola 600.
• Nationwide, the "Official Auto, Home, Life and Business Insurance of NASCAR®," recently unveiled Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s patriotic paint scheme for his No. 88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet SS in the Coca-Cola 600.
• Mars, the "Official Chocolate of NASCAR®," created a patriotic red, white and blue M&Ms paint scheme for Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota Camry for the Coca-Cola 600 to coincide with M&M's Red, White, Blue, "One for you, One for the troops" program with Walmart, which gives consumers the opportunity to thank troops by buying M&M's domestically, and subsequently having a bag sent overseas to service members. Mars will also support the program with a pre-race Big & Rich concert at the Coca-Cola 600.
• During the DAYTONA Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway, Comcast will work with NASCAR and teams to replace its XFINITY branding with active military installations on all NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers' windshield headers to commemorate Independence Day Weekend.
• During the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ race at Gateway Motorsports Park, the track and drivers will celebrate Scott Air Force Base's 100th anniversary.
• Allegiant, the "Official Passenger Airline of NASCAR®," is offering free travel services to U.S. active or reserve duty and the National Guard members.
• Aspen Dental, the "Official Dentist of NASCAR®," is hosting its Day of Service, a program that provides a day of free dental care for veterans on Saturday, June 24, at all participating Aspen Dental practices.
• Hope For The Warriors, which provides assistance to combat wounded service members, their families, and families of those killed in action, has partnered with NASCAR Digital Media to raise funds during NASCAR Salutes. The organization will launch videos on NASCAR.com featuring drivers, and bring 24 Gold Star family members to Charlotte Motor Speedway to honor and remember family members whose names will be displayed on four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars.
Beginning Friday, fans can visit NASCAR.com/salutes to share their message of honor for the military, view an online gallery of the service members honored, and learn more about NASCAR Salutes activities.
-- NASCAR --