Retired Army Sgt. Mike Dizmang-Espy went to a local Price Chopper grocery store in Kansas City, Kan., on Friday to pick up what he thought were complimentary tickets to Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway.
Dizmang-Espy got his tickets – to honor his military service to this country – and so much more.
He and his family will serve as honorary pit crew members of and sit upon Aric Almirola’s pit box during the Hollywood Casino 400, and they’ll drive there in style in a brand-new 2016 Ford Fusion, courtesy of sausage and deli meats producer Eckrich.
NASCAR Hall of Famer and team owner Richard Petty drove up in the new car and then presented the keys to a shocked Dizmang-Espy, his wife Diana (a member of the National Guard) and their four children. The family also received a year’s worth of free groceries.
“I really don’t know what to say, but to thank everyone for these wonderful gifts,” Mike said after the surprise. “You can tell that Eckrich really put a lot of effort to make today special, and I can’t thank everyone enough. We do sacrifice a lot in service and it’s just nice to know that people out there want to give back.”