CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY AND THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP TEAMS WELCOME HOME THE TROOPS AT THE COCA-COLA 600
CONCORD, N.C. – This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will truly Welcome Home Our Troops with a unique program in which each of the 43 teams is hosting a recently returned military member and their guest for race day activities. As adjunct members of the race teams, the military members will attend the drivers’ meeting, help the team prepare for the day, accompany the driver and pit crew on pit road for driver introductions and the spectacular pre-race show, then join the team in the pit box for the opening laps of the Coca-Cola 600.
The participating military members are from the:
· U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division
· U.S. Army 108th Defense Artillery Brigade
· U.S. Air Force 21st, 43rd, 14th, 440th and 36th Squadrons
· U.S. Marine 4th Maintenance Battalion
“I am honored to be able to join in such a prestigious and time-honored event that honors NASCAR and the world’s finest military and show the world that this Memorial Day we have not forgotten, said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Russell Collie, who is assigned to Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Time Warner Chevrolet. “This special event is a reflection of where we have been, where we come from and where we are going.”
There are a number of unique pairings for the teams.
· Denny Hamlin’s military member plays free safety on a semi-pro football team out of Fayetteville, N.C., so is looking for a few tips from the coach
· Juan Pablo Montoya is paired with a sergeant who is originally from Columbia
· The sergeant serving with Dale Earnhardt Jr is a longtime fan of Dale and his father, but this is his first race
· Danica Patrick is paired with a female master sergeant with 24 years of service
· Trevor Bayne’s military member is a member of the U.S. Army Shooting Team and is one of the top 100 shooters in the nation
As part of their day at the track, the 43 military members and their guests will join approximately 10,000 other troop members for a special Welcome Home Celebration luncheon at zMAX Dragway. The lunched, hosted by John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John’s International, will feature headline guests Robin Meade of CNN; Lt. Col. Oliver North; Willie Robertson, star of “Duck Dynasty;” Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row car, and the USO of North Carolina.
For more information on the Welcome Home Our Troops program or to interview any of the participating military members, please contact Debby Robinson at 312.505.433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.