Richard Childress spurs move to donate ammunition to Ukraine to fight Russian troops

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Car owner Richard Childress says that what Russian President Vladimir Putin “is doing to the people in Ukraine right now is inhumane” and that “I can’t say what I would really like to (about Putin) or you would be bleeping it.”

Childress is a member of the board of directors of Ammo Inc., an ammunition company that will donate one million rounds to the Armed Forces of Ukraine fighting Russian troops.

Childress said he was moved by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refuting calls for him to leave Kyiv, the country’s capital, saying: “I don’t need a ride, I need more ammunition.”

Childress said: “That just hit me where I could do a little something to help.”

He called Fred Wagenhals, chairman and chief executive officer of Ammo Inc., and suggested the company send a million rounds of ammunition.

Russia intensified its offensive Wednesday on Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kherson and Kyiv, NBC News reported. A senior U.S. defense official told NBC News that the U.S. had counted more than 450 Russian missile launches since the invasion began.

The U.S. has delivered hundreds of stinger missiles to Ukraine this week, NBC News reported. Those missiles are used to shoot down aircraft. Germany announced last weekend that it is sending 500 stinger missiles to Ukraine. Canada is sending antitank weapons systems and “upgraded” ammunition.

Childress said he had been in discussions with congressional representatives Wednesday to expedite the process to ship the ammunition. He said he hopes to begin shipping the ammunition in a couple of days.

Childress said Putin’s actions are “messing with public lives, citizens. … There are so many innocent people in the Ukraine that he has taken lives (of) and the devastating loses to the property over there. That takes years to build back what he’s destroyed.”

Childress has been a board of director of Ammo Inc. since January 2021. The company is building a new 160,000-square foot facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin that is expected to open this summer. Wagenhals said in an earnings call with investor analysts last month that the facility will have a capacity to produce “approaching one billion rounds annually.”

Also, Hendrick Motorsports will help bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and encourage relief donations. Team owner Rick Hendrick and sponsor Hendrick Automotive Group have committed $200,000 to Samaritan’s Purse to support disaster assistance.

The Hendrick organization also will contribute $2,000 toward Ukraine relief for each lap led by the four-car Hendrick Motorsports stable at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The team led a combined 150 laps last March. This weekend, the Samaritan’s Purse website, SamaritansPurse.org, will appear prominently on Kyle Larson‘s car at Las Vegas. Donations that directly support relief efforts in Ukraine can be made via the site.