memorial day

How an encounter at NASCAR Hall of Fame changed Ryan Newman’s view of the military (video)

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Ryan Newman‘s appreciation for the military and its purpose was strengthened by a chance encounter with a service member at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

In an interview with NASCAR America, the Richard Childress Racing driver spoke about the meeting, which resulted in a friendship.

“He came up to me and introduced himself and looked me square in the eye and says ‘You’re who we fight for,” Newman said. “I’m like, ‘what are you talking about?’ He goes, ‘You. You and your family, that’s who we fight for. That’s why we go do what we do. Because you represent America. You represent the freedoms that we try to keep and have for our kids. You’re who we fight for.'”

“It hit me and it hit me hard,” Newman said.

Newman and the rest of the drivers in tonight’s Coca-Cola 600 will feature names of fallen soldiers on the top of their windshields.

Newman’s No. 31 Chevrolet will honor Lance Corporal Daniel Freeman Swaim of the United States Marine Corps.

Swaim is the cousin of Cruz Gonzales, the gas man on Newman’s team. Swaim served in the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. On Nov. 10, 2005, he passed away from wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces during Operation Steel Curtain in Iraq.

A look at military veterans now on Sprint Cup race teams

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Memorial Day Weekend is here and with it comes many tributes to the men and women who serve in the Unites States’ armed forces.

Many veterans now find themselves employed on NASCAR teams. Below is a list of veterans who now work for Sprint Cup teams.


Team Car Number Employee Name Branch of Service Rank
BK Racing Chris Clayton Army Sergeant
Robbie Wall Army E5 SGT
Mitch Lash Navy E4
Richard Garcia Army E4
Jim Vanase Marine Corps Sergeant
Paul “Pee Wee” Rice Marine Corps CPL, Vietnam
Front Row Motorsports 34, 38 Kurt Bartley Air Force
34,38 Robert Nicoletos Air Force
34,38 Mike Mizzelle Marine Corps
34,38 Robert “Shorty” Edwards US Army
Furniture Row Racing 78 Barney Visser Army
78 Charlie Krauch Army
78 Craig Phillips Air Force
78 John Parks Marine Corps
78 Greg Huls Marine Corps
79 Chuck LeMay Navy
79 Barry Huston Navy
Chip Ganassi Racing 42 Graham Molatch Navy SEAL
Go Fas Racing 32 Edward Joseph Baggs Army 82 Airborne, Ranger Field Artillery Sgt.
32 Antonio Ramirez Navy ABE3
32 Ron Utter Air Force A1C
Hendrick Motorsports 48 Earl Barban Marine Corps
Joe Gibbs Racing Hugh Bass Marine Corps
Ray Beller Army
Melissa Broussard Navy
Ron Broussard Navy
Rick Burke Army
Tommy Cash Navy
Charles Childers Marine Corps
Tim Day Army
Mike Erickson Army
19 Randy Fuller Air Force Chief Master Sergeant (E-9)
Frank Hodel Marine Corps
Chris House Marine Corps
AJ Klum Marine Corps
Kurt Kroger Marine Corps
Greg Martin Army
Jeff Paxton Navy
Roger Phillips Navy
Jamie “Montana” Price Army
Bob Sims Army
Craig Smith Navy
Dan Snyder Air Force
Amy Taylor Air Force
Chris Taylor Marine Corps
Jim Tobias Air Force
Leavine Family Racing 95 Mike Bartlett – Fabricator National Guard
95 Bob Moore –
Parts Mechanic, Show Car Transporter Driver
Army Mechanic
Richard Childress Racing 3 Allen Steele –
Front Tire Carrier
Stewart-Haas Racing 10 Tony Cardamone Coast Guard