Off to his strongest start in four seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series, Liberty University online student William Byron hasn’t forgotten those who have fought for — and sacrificed their lives in service to — the United States of America, assuring the freedom its citizens celebrate every Memorial Day.
For the fourth year in a row, Byron will drive in the 600 Miles of Remembrance at Charlotte Motor Speedway in honor of a fallen service member with Liberty ties. This year, Byron will sport the name of Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff on the windshield of his No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. The name and the car’s patriotic paint scheme were unveiled by the Hendrick Motorsports team on Thursday.
“It’s an honor to have Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff’s name on our car in Charlotte,” said Byron. “He made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and this is the least we can do to show our appreciation to him.”
The 600-mile Cup Series race will be held on Sunday, May 30, and broadcast on FOX at 6 p.m. EST.
Condiff, an active duty combat controller with the U.S. Air Force’s 23rd special tactics squadron, 24th special operations wing, was known as a devoted family man with deeply rooted beliefs who dedicated himself to God, patriotic freedom and peace. Through his military training, Condiff acquired skills as an air traffic controller, joint terminal attack controller, static line jump master, military freefall parachutist, and combat scuba diver. He had previous deployments to Afghanistan in 2018 in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and Africa in September 2016, supporting Operation Juniper Shield.
Condiff enlisted in 2012 and was promoted to staff sergeant in December 2017. He was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with Combat Device, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and an Oak Leaf Cluster.
In the spring of 2019, Condiff enrolled in Liberty’s online programs in pursuit of a B.S. in History. Previously, he attended Utah Valley University where he studied, skied, and played hockey.
In the 600 Miles of Remembrance last May, Byron drove in honor of U.S. Army Sgt. Robert J. Billings, a former Liberty online student, as well as World War II veteran and longtime Liberty administrator George Rogers. In 2019’s race, Byron honored U.S. Air Force Captain Mark Weber, who also studied through Liberty’s online programs. In 2018, Byron paid tribute to two former Liberty faculty members — U.S. Army Maj. Mike Donahue, a former assistant professor of military science for Liberty’s Army ROTC program, and Ret. Air Force Lt. Col. Charlie Davidson, who had a decorated 20-year career as a military chaplain before becoming director of Liberty’s Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program.
So far in 2021, Byron has posted 11 consecutive top-10 finishes. He now ranks second in the NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings this season. Byron said he is looking forward to maintaining the momentum he has gained this season while taking a stand for freedom over Memorial Day Weekend.
“The 600 is already a special race for me growing up in Charlotte and watching races at Charlotte Motor Speedway as a fan,” he said. “The 600 Miles of Remembrance just makes it even more special to be a part of, especially with both Staff Sgt. Condiff and myself being Liberty University students. Hopefully we can continue the success we have been having on track with the No. 24 Liberty University Chevy and can make the Condiff family proud.”
— Liberty University —