Beginning Memorial Day weekend and running through Independence Day weekend, the NASCAR industry will honor United States Armed Forces heroes and their families as part of NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola – an industry-wide expression of respect, appreciation and reverence for those who have served the nation both past and present.
For the fifth straight year, NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola kicks off with the return of 600 Miles of Remembrance during Sunday’s 60th annual Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) – the nation’s largest Memorial Day weekend celebration.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ race cars will bear the name of a fallen service member on the windshield during the race in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“NASCAR has always taken immense pride in honoring the military men and women who’ve bravely served our nation,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR president. “Each year, NASCAR Salutes unites our industry to celebrate these heroes and their families and recognize them for the sacrifices made to preserve our freedoms.”
Coca-Cola, the “Official Fan Refreshment of NASCAR®,” returns as the presenting sponsor ofNASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola to honor the U.S. Armed Forces each week with efforts focused on Remembrance, Family, Future and Patriotism. For example, at the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR and Coca-Cola, alongside Chef Robert Irvine, will host a race-day brunch for Gold Star Families in remembrance of those who served our country.
Along with the USO, Coca-Cola will honor military spouses and their families across the different military branches at Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway. Then at Sonoma Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway, an at-track experience with Troops to the Track Hosted by Coca-Cola will showcase how the industry and its partners support military members in transition to civilian life.
“Our partnership with NASCAR is incredibly important to our system,” said John Mount, Vice President, Marketing Assets & Activation, Coca-Cola North America. “The NASCAR Salutes program and Coca-Cola 600 is a special way to spend Memorial Day as we honor our heroes, and remember our fallen military members.”
On Sunday, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host more than 5,000 active military members, veterans and their families at the Coca-Cola 600 to commemorate Memorial Day weekend. A pre-race Salute to the Troops will incorporate all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces in connection with the U.S. Department of Defense’s #KnowYourMil initiative.
A number of fallen service members who will be honored during 600 Miles of Remembrance have special connections to NASCAR race teams, including Army National Guard Sergeant First Class David Moore and Army Specialist William Jefferies. Both men served in the U.S. Armed Forces with Brian Burns, lead engineer for the No. 37 JTG-Daugherty Racing Chevrolet driven by Chris Buescher. Buescher and his teammate Ryan Preece will carry the names of SFC Moore and SPC Jefferies on their car windshields during the Coca-Cola 600.
Family members of many fallen service members will attend the Coca-Cola 600 and be honored during 600 Miles of Remembrance as well. Fans can learn more about the fallen heroes honored during 600 Miles of Remembrance by viewing a special gallery available on NASCAR.com/Salutes.
Among the other NASCAR Salutes events and activities are the following:
- Throughout the platform, fans can follow the NASCAR Salutes conversation on social media using #NASCARSalutes.
- This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- Mack Trucks, the “Official Hauler of NASCAR®,” will adorn NASCAR Salutes colors on its flagship NASCAR hauler and lead all hauler parades during the six-week program. This year’s Mack Anthem scheme was chosen by fans through a social media vote and will be unveiled leading up to the Coca-Cola 600.
- During Saturday’s Alsco 300, NASCAR Xfinity Series™ drivers will display red, white and blue Xfinity windshield decals on their race cars.
- For the 10th year in a row, Goodyear will transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing its iconic “Eagle” sidewall design with “Honor and Remember,” in recognition of the organization that worked closely with the industry for 600 Miles of Remembrance to honor military lives lost while serving.
- Sunoco is also working with Honor and Remember on a double flagging moment where a stationary Honor and Remember flag will wave next to the checkered flag at the Coca-Cola 600 and Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- Toyota will honor fallen service members on its Toyota pace and grand marshal vehicles during the Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Toyota will also host military members at its Toyota Owners Hub during the Coca-Cola 600. Through its partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Hire our Heroes, Toyota will include “Hire our Heroes” within Toyota PitPass for military veterans and spouses, which assists with resume writing, social media training and connects with employers looking to hire veterans.
- Mars, the “Official Chocolate of NASCAR®,” is highlighting its red, white and blue limited edition M&Ms with a paint scheme for Coca-Cola 600 reigning winner Kyle Busch. The paint scheme was unveiled at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in front of the parents of fallen Army Sergeant Dale Griffin, who will be honored by Busch during 600 Miles of Remembrance.
- During the broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600, FOX will display the name of every U.S. Armed Forces member who lost his or her life since last year’s Memorial Day weekend race as part of a special tribute titled “FOX Sports Remembers,” an initiative begun in 2009. FOX’s scroll will begin running during its pre-race show at 5:30 p.m. ET.
- This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1 p.m. ET. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service members from different branches of the military.
- At Pocono Raceway, NASCAR Salutes is joining forces with the USO Military Spouse Network to create a VIP race day experience for USO spouses representing all branches of the military.
- With Coca-Cola at Michigan International Speedway, fans will receive the opportunity to thank military spouses for their support, which will be featured at USO locations across the country.
- At Sonoma Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway, in celebration of 10 years of NASCAR Troops to the Track Hosted by Coca-Cola, active and veteran military members will shadow industry members to learn how the sport, its partners and Coca-Cola support military members in transition to civilian life.
- During the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway, Comcast will work with NASCAR and teams to replace its Xfinity branding with active military units and installations on all NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers’ windshield headers to commemorate Independence Day weekend.
- During the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway, in celebration of theNASCAR Salutes finale, Publix in partnership with Coca-Cola, will bring its “Race Day Salute” to the track midway for fans and military alike.
- AMR, the “Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR®,” will include NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola branding on its AMR Safety Trucks and honor a group of first responders with VIP race day experiences during the platform window.
- Sugarlands Shine, the “Official Moonshine of NASCAR®,” is accepting nominations for deserving armed forces, first responders and veterans throughout the NASCAR Saluteswindow for a VIP trip to this fall’s Sugarlands Shine 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. Submit a nomination today at www.moonshare.org.
Tickets to NASCAR national series events are available at NASCAR.com/tickets.