As part of the continued efforts to show appreciation for the United States Armed Forces through NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola, NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will bear the names of active military units and installations on their race car windshields during Friday's Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Military installations like U.S. Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110) and 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division are among the military units and installations from all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces that will replace the XFINITY header on NASCAR XFINITY Series cars.
"Our sport and our fans take immense pride in the tradition of honoring the U.S. Armed Forces on Independence Day Weekend," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola will elevate that sense of appreciation this weekend with a special NASCAR XFINITY Series tribute to the military units and bases vital to protecting our country's freedom."
Culminating at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola (#NASCARSalutes) is the industry's six-week collective expression of respect and gratitude for those who bravely served and continue to defend the United States today. NASCAR and Coca-Cola will once again offer fans 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 the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola.
NASCAR XFINITY Series teams had the opportunity to identify a unit or installation to honor, and NASCAR worked with the Comcast NBCUniversal Military and Veteran Affairs team to place others for the NASCAR Salutes tribute during the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250.
Matt Tifft will drive the #19 Comcast NBCUniversal Salute to Service Toyota during the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway and honor the 3rd Infantry Division based out of Ft. Stewart, Georgia, where a Comcast NBCUniversal Military and Veterans Affairs employee served.
Several NASCAR XFINITY Series teams have personal or direct ties to the units displayed this year. Brennan Poole's windshield will read "1BCT, 10TH MTN DIV," and honor the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team, out of Fort Drum, New York, where team engineer Katelyn Supan's brother is currently serving.
"It's such a privilege to pay tribute to those who serve our country each year at Daytona, and we're thankful Comcast feels the same, providing a prominent place to do so," said Poole. "The #48 crew is like family, and we chose to recognize the base of our teammate's brother's unit. This weekend is a small token of gratitude compared to what all our service members deserve."
Harrison Rhodes' windshield will be adorned with "56TH CIVIL ENGINEER SQ," located at Luke Air Force Base, where Rhodes' lifelong friend is stationed. JJ Yeley visited Camp Pendleton earlier this year and will be honoring the Wounded Warrior Battalion-West based there.
Members from the military bases and installations honored on the NASCAR XFINITY Series race cars will be hosted throughout the race weekend. NASCAR Troops to the Track, presented by Coca-Cola will welcome Sailors from U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship Crews 114 & 115 based out of Naval Station Mayport, Florida, to the Coke Zero 400. Additionally, Coca-Cola is hosting guests from the USO throughout the race weekend, and Comcast is hosting service men and women from military installations in Georgia and Florida on NASCAR XFINITY Series race day.
For the ninth consecutive year, Daytona International Speedway will honor three Medal of Honor recipients during the race weekend. A number of service members will serve in honorary roles, including U.S. Army General (ret.) Wesley Clark, who will serve as Grand Marshal for the Coke Zero 400 and U.S. Navy Captain (ret.) Bob Buehn, Chairman of the Board for the USO Greater Jacksonville, who will serve as Grand Marshal for the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250. Additionally, the Navy Band Southeast will perform the National Anthem for the 59th annual Coke Zero 400.
Earlier this month, the NASCAR industry and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ race teams honored fallen service members with "600 Miles of Remembrance" at the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend, a similar tribute to the one taking place at Daytona International Speedway.
The Gateway Motorsports Park NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ race celebrated the 100th anniversary of Scott Air Force Base, located near the speedway. As part of that event, fans waved American flags during a four-wide salute at the start of the race, and drivers donned Scott Air Force Base decals. Scott Air Force Base members were hosted for the event at a Camping World hospitality area.
Fans can still 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 --