For the third consecutive year, NASCAR Cup cars will feature the names of fallen military service members on the front windshield for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Some military members honored will have ties to a member of that team.
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 team.
Harold Tussey, whose name will be displayed on Paul Menard’s car, 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.
Among other events that will take place during NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola are:
Xfinity teams will display red, white and blue windshield decals on their cars for Saturday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR, with Honor and Remember Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service from each of the 50 United States throughout the Cup garage at Charlotte.
Goodyear will again have “Support Our Troops” on the sidewall of its tires this weekend.
Owners in the Toyota Owners Hub at Charlotte Motor Speedway will have the chance to write letters of appreciation to military members serving overseas and can sign their name on a Camry race car hood, which will be presented to the USO of North Carolina before the Coca-Cola 600.
NASCAR fans are encouraged to use #NASCARSalutes on social media. A special NASCAR Salutes filter will be available on Snapchat for fans.
NASCAR America: Elliott Sadler having fun mentoring William Byron
If there’s anyone in the Xfinity Series William Byron should turn to for advice during his rookie season in the series, it’s Elliott Sadler.
A veteran of more than 800 NASCAR races across all three of its national series, Sadler has taken the lead in advising the 19-year-old driver this season. During his appearance on NASCAR America, Sadler praised the driver and the time he’s spent with him.
“That kid is special,” Sadler said. “I want to be that guy (that helps), because I had that guy. I had Jeff Green when I started, I had Dale Jarrett, people I could lean on all the time that could help the learning curve.”
Sadler leads the points standings with four races left in the regular season, but he is winless so far. Byron has earned three wins and is second in points behind Sadler.
“He’s a student of the game,” Sadler said. “I’ve been in meetings with young kids that come along, we’ve been in the meeting and kids are still playing on their phones. I’m in a meeting with William … and he’s still learning and taking notes. He’s got great questions. We’re usually sitting beside each other on the airplanes and we’re talking about things for that particular weekend. I can’t help him drive the car faster. But I can help him maybe with restarts and getting on pit road. Maybe things to think about on Friday to maybe make your car better for Saturday.”
Roush Fenway Racing and artist Sam Bass have worked together to create Ryan Reed‘s throwback paint scheme for the Sept. 2 Xfinity race at Darlington Raceway on NBCSN.
Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford will resemble the No. 7 Zerex Ford driven by Alan Kulwicki in 1989.
Kulwicki was sponsored by Zerex from 1987-90, earning two of his five Cup wins in that time.
“My dad was huge fan of Alan and had a lot of respect for him, so it’s awesome to get to run this throwback scheme in Darlington,” Reed said in a press release. “My Dad ran his own race team and drove for himself throughout the 90s, just like Alan. Alan overcame a lot of challenges to become a champion and I can’t help but have a lot of respect for him.”
Bass, who lives with type 1 diabetes like Reed, worked with Kulwicki during his career and helped design Reed’s car. In a Facebook Live video, Bass said he took extra care to make the one in Reed’s No. 16 resemble Kulwicki’s No. 7.
Bass’ name will also be on the passenger-side nameplate on the roof of Reed’s car.
Reed’s car won’t be the only one at Darlington that will pay tribute to the 1992 Cup champion.