If you’re going to hold a race during Memorial Day weekend, it better be special. For the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night, NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway have found a distinctive way to help set this weekend apart for the military and fallen soldiers.
Instead of the normal stickers across the top of the windshield that read, “Harvick” or “Johnson,” they will have titles like, “SGT Mracek” and “Lt. Henderson II”—names of soldiers we’ve lost in battle.
“The NASCAR community rallying to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, has long been part of our sport’s heritage,” NASCAR chief operating officer Brent Dewar said in a release. “As part of NASCAR: An American Salute, 600 Miles of Remembrance represents a special moment in time as we pay tribute to service members who have sacrificed dearly for our freedom.”
The list of names on the windshields are not limited to just the Iraq War. Private Dean Van Dyke, who was killed in the Vietnam War, was a relative of No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle. Army First Lieutenant Daniel Hyde, killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, served alongside Chris Clayton, tire changer on the No. 83 BK Racing team.
Hendrick Motorsports provides a look at Jimmie Johnson’s machine for this weekend.
— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) May 18, 2015
Along with the salute to the military on the track, NASCAR will also make it memorable for fans off the track. Several events will be held at different races, finishing with the Coke Zero 400 race at Daytona on Independence Day weekend.
Between patriotic paint scheme featured on Johnson’s car and the name each driver will have across the windshield, the Coca-Cola 600 will be another huge event for the military. After all, none of this would have been possible without the names across each machine.
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