Billed as the world’s largest Memorial Day Weekend celebration, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway kicks off the first at-track activation of “NASCAR Unites – An American Salute,” a six-week patriotic initiative uniting the NASCAR industry and fans this summer to celebrate America and support U.S. military families. The weekend’s festivities include a patriotic pre-race military salute, special USO race invitations and host Lieutenant Colonel Greg Gadson as Honorary Commander.
To highlight its pride, NASCAR Nation will be covered from head to toe – and from splitter to spoiler – in red, white and blue, starting and ending at two traditionally patriotic summer NASCAR events held at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day Weekend) and Daytona International Speedway (Coke Zero 400 on Independence Day Weekend).
Teams in all NASCAR series, along with their partners and sponsors, will showcase support for the program in their own individual ways, from displaying the customized logo on their cars and trucks to developing red, white and blue paint schemes. NASCAR has provided specially-designed, patriotic-themed packages that will incorporate the spoiler as well as other common areas of the car.
In honor of our country’s fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend, NASCAR and the Honor and Remember organization will host several Gold Star families who have each lost loved ones in their service to the United States. NASCAR and The NASCAR Foundation also will host a group of wounded warriors and their families from Ft. Bragg as part of the NASCAR “Troops to the Track” program in partnership with the Armed Forces Foundation. Each of these military families will be welcomed and treated to a VIP NASCAR experience during their visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Both the NASCAR “Troops to the Track” and Gold Star family programs build on a long, consistent and proud history of supporting men and women in uniform and their families at NASCAR races. The “Troops to the Track” program is a year-long initiative and is scheduled to include military families at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Michigan International Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Kentucky Speedway, and Daytona International Speedway.
While at the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR fans are invited to participate by filling out postcards with messages of encouragement and appreciation to service men and women as well as signing banners and items that will be shipped to troops actively engaged in combat through the USO’s USO2GO program. The NASCAR Foundation will designate a space for fan participation at the Sam Bass Gallery on Saturday, May 26th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fans may also fill out postcards at-track at the Air Force display and Motorsports Authentic Haulers.
Other partners and sponsors participating include: Miss Sprint Cup, who will unveil a never-seen-before patriotic-themed fire suit, Nationwide will run a special red, white and blue windshield application for all NASCAR Nationwide Series races from Charlotte to Daytona and Toyota will incorporate red, white and blue logos on their pace cars and driver intro trucks. Miss Coors Light will don a patriotic fire suit. Goodyear will launch their Goodyear ‘GivesBack Program Benefitting Support Our Troops’ program during the Coke Zero 400. As part of the USO2GO program, partners such as Kraft and Gillette are donating products that will be bundled and delivered to forward deployed troops. K’Nex will donate toys to be packaged with postcards to military children.
Red, white and blue products will also be provided to NASCAR officials, who will be outfitted in NASCAR pit caps by Motorsports Authentics, specially-themed gloves by Mechanix Wear and lanyards by Wincraft. Fans also can show their American pride by gearing up with NASCAR Unites – An American Salute apparel, which can be purchased via Motorsports Authentics and Americrown at trackside, Walmart and NASCAR.COM Superstore. Other available products include NASCAR Unites – An American Salute die-cast collectibles, headwear, t-shirts, novelties, plush and toys.
To launch the initiative, the NASCAR Unites – An American Salute paint scheme for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 National Guard Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was revealed on April 9th in the nation’s capital for the 134th Annual Easter Egg Roll event at the White House.
To learn more about the initiative, visit www.NASCAR.com/Unites. Facebook.com/NASCAR will be honoring service members via an “American Hero Salute.” Join the conversation on social media and digital platforms by using the hashtag #NASCARUnites