CONCORD, N.C. – Charlotte Motor Speedway will incorporate all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces into the pre-race Salute to the Troops for the 59th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27.
This year’s edition of the Memorial Day weekend event will highlight the Department of Defense’s “This is Your Military” initiative by paying tribute to each of the military branches, featuring special guests and showcasing vehicles and awe-inspiring displays of military prowess from the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Fans and drivers will also get to #KnowYourMil through interactions with service members.
On race day, fans will be treated to aerial thrills and ground-shaking firepower as F-15 fighter jets and Blackhawk helicopters with a rappel team join Howitzers and Humvees in touring the iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway before the green flag.
“Charlotte Motor Speedway has a proud history of saluting our great nation’s armed forces, but this year’s pre-race show will be the biggest, most incredible one we’ve ever had,” said Greg Walter, the executive vice president of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We’re thankful that so many of our local service members join us each year at America’s Home for Racing to witness the awesome display of patriotism and racing excitement. Like the giant American flag we’ll have at the race, I can’t wait to see it unfold.”
In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense, Charlotte Motor Speedway is executing “Mission 600,” a series of visits by NASCAR drivers to regional military bases as a prelude to the Memorial Day weekend Salute to the Troops at the Coca-Cola 600.
Among the drivers tentatively scheduled to appear are Brad Keselowski (Naval Station Norfolk on April 19), Austin Dillon (Fort Bragg on April 26), Alex Bowman (U.S. Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach on May 3) and Darrell Wallace Jr. (Seymour Johnson Air Force Base on May 9).
An additional visit to Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune is in the planning stages.
Drivers will learn about the inner workings of daily life in the U.S. Armed Forces through military training, exercises, facility tours and meetings with the men and women who serve the nation.