NASCAR and Richmond Raceway will pay tribute to victims and first responders on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 as part of the Salute to American Heroes presented by Toyota featuring the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race and Go Bowling 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, Sept. 11.
NASCAR has formed a working relationship with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to help shape recognition elements of this race weekend. The goal is to drive awareness for the principal institution tasked with ensuring this day is never forgotten, as well as educating a new generation with no lived memory of these events. A special decal has been created that will be made to all NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series entries to display on their cars during event weekend.
For the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders, NASCAR Cup Series teams will take a parade lap(s) led by first responder vehicles. Teams will be given American flags and 9/11 Memorial and Museum flags to stand with and display on pit road during this moment. Prior to the Cup race, small American flags will be distributed to fans at the gates to participate in the commemoration.
For the Go Bowling 250, NASCAR Xfinity Series teams will have an American flag and 9/11 Memorial and Museum flag at their pit boxes for the event. Race teams will unfurl both flags for display and stand on the pit road wall between laps 9-11 during the race. Fans will also be asked to stand during this time.
Richmond Raceway will have a large piece of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center (WTC) on display in the Midway. The piece of steel weighs 1,100 lbs. and was salvaged from the 92nd and 95th floor of the World Trade Center Tower 1. The piece of steel from the WTC is provided courtesy of the Freedom Flag Foundation and Cranemasters. The steel will be installed as part of a processional and 9/11 Memorial Ceremony with Henrico County First Responders at Richmond Raceway on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
Toyota, the race weekend entitlement partner, will have a Wall of Remembrance honoring and remembering all those lost on 9/11 in the Midway. The commemoration wall will be located in the Toyota display area in the Midway for fans to pay their respects.
Race teams will also honor and remember the victims and heroes of 9/11 with tribute or patriotic paint schemes including the No. 5 for Hendrick Motorsports, No. 8 for Richard Childress Racing, No. 10 for Stewart-Haas Racing, No. 17 for Roush Fenway Racing, No. 19 and No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing, No. 23 for 23XI Racing, No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing, No. 43 for Richmond Petty Motorsports, No. 51 for Petty Ware Racing, No. 52 for Rick Ware Racing and No. 78 for Live Fast Motorsports in the Cup Series and No. 0 for JD Motorsports, No. 02 for Our Motorsports and No. 8 for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr., who returns to competition in the Go Bowling 250, will drive the No. 8 United for America Chevrolet for JR Motorsports that will mirror the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s Tribute in Light. The No. 8’s blue-and-white paint scheme features four spotlights each representing the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the Flight 93 Memorial site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania with the axiom “Never Forget” on the lower-rear quarter panel, paying tribute to the brave souls lost during the terror attacks.
As part of special pre-race before the Federated Auto Parts Salute to First Responders, the Henrico Fire Choir will sing the National Anthem, the Air Force Chorus will sing God Bless America and 16 first responders will give the command. A Henrico County Fire Department ladder truck will be in Turn 4 with an unfurled American flag and a banner with all 2,977 names of lives lost on 9/11 will be unfurled as part of Cup pre-race. Prior to the Go Bowling 250, the Air Force Brass Quintet will perform the National Anthem.
NASCAR is working with select Cup Series and Xfinity Series teams to identify unique items used during the races on Sept. 11th this year for The NASCAR Foundation to auction off online, with all proceeds going to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s Next Forget Fund. For more information, be sure to stay tuned to The NASCAR Foundation on social media in the weeks ahead.
Fans can purchase a single ticket for Saturday, Sept. 11’s doubleheader with the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders Cup Series Playoff race and the Go Bowling 250 Xfinity Series race. Tickets are also available for the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150, the first Whelen Modified Tour race at Richmond since 2002. NASCAR tickets can be purchased via phone at 866-455-7223 or online at richmondraceway.com.
— Richmond Raceway —