JTG Daugherty Racing will honor two fallen service members on the windshields of Ryan Preece and Chris Buescher’s Camaro ZL1s during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26. Both fallen soldiers served in the US Army National Guard with the lead engineer on the No, 37 team, Brian Burns. Burns served from 1993 to 2001 before pursuing a career in motorsports.
SPC William Jeffries graduated from Evansville (Ind.) Reitz High School in 1982 and spent a decade with the Air Force before joining the Indiana National Guard. He originally enlisted in The United States Air Force in 1987 serving as a Security Policeman and served there for 10 years. He then enlisted in The Army National Guard. He was deployed to Kuwait and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom until his death on March 31st, 2003. He was assigned to D Company, 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment, Indiana Army National Guard. SPC Jeffries will be on the windshield of Preece’s Kroger Camaro ZL1.
"I’m really grateful to be able to honor a fallen soldier with such a personal connection to the team," Preece said. "With this being my first Coca-Cola 600, I’m proud to have SPC Jeffries’ name on the windshield of our Kroger Camaro ZL1 for 600 miles at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The NASCAR Salutes program is so special and unlike anything else we do throughout the season to honor our military who made the ultimate sacrifice."
"It is such a great personal feeling to be able to show my appreciation for these fallen soldiers," Burns said. "I served eight years in the National Guard and was privileged in getting to work with both heroes. At the end of my eight-year service term, I decided to pursue a career in motorsports. A very short time after making this decision, my unit was activated and deployed to serve during Operation Iraqi Freedom. SPC Jeffries was a guy that made it hard to be in a bad mood if you were in his presence. I can’t ever remember a time seeing him that he didn’t have a great big grin on his face."
SFC David Moore enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1986 and was a decorated solider. He served three tours in Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq assigned to the 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry Regiment, Indiana Army National Guard along with SPC Jeffries and Burns. SFC Moore served 20 years with the Army National Guard and passed away on February 4, 2008 from complications after being exposed to chemicals while deployed. He will ride for 600 miles on the windshield of Chris Buescher’s Thrill of the Grill Camaro ZL1.
"It’s an absolute honor to have the name of someone my engineer served with on the windshield of our Thrill of the Grill Camaro ZL1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway," Buescher said. "Brian Burns has been my engineer since I started at JTG Daugherty Racing, and we’re like a big family on our No. 37 team. It’s hard to put into words how special it is to have SFC Moore’s name on our car for 600 miles and pay tribute to someone who is an extension of our own family here."
"I have been able to enjoy an exciting career in NASCAR and live a wonderful life with my family because these two brave men made the ultimate sacrifice for our country," Burns said. "SFC Moore was a great leader and mentor for me during my time in service. He always took care of his soldiers and had the respect of everyone around him. I was able to give him a tour of the garage and pit area at ISM Raceway during one of his military leaves and got to hear about many of his wartime experiences. I am grateful to JTG Daugherty Racing for showing the families and friends of these two warriors that we will never forget the sacrifices that they have made for this country."
The Coca-Cola 600 will run on May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway beginning at 6pmET on FOX. Buescher and Preece will race for 600 miles at the 1.5-mile track in the backyard of the JTG Daugherty Racing shop in Concord, N.C.
— JTG Daugherty Racing —