DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the NASCAR industry will honor United States Armed Forces heroes and their families as part of NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola – a collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who served and continue to defend America.
NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola will commence with “600 Miles of Remembrance” during Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, all 40 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars will bear the name of a fallen service member on their car windshields during the race.
“Throughout our sport’s history, NASCAR has held the men and women who’ve served and continue to serve in the highest regard,” said Brent Dewar, NASCAR president. “Each year, NASCAR Salutes unites our entire industry to honor and celebrate these heroes, and to reflect on the sacrifices each has made for their country.”
Coca-Cola returns to honor past and present members of the U.S. Armed Forces as presenting sponsor of NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola, which culminates Independence Day weekend with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on July 7 at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
“This weekend is important to the Coca-Cola system,” said John Mount, Vice President, Marketing Assets & Activation, The Coca-Cola Co. “We are thrilled to partner with NASCAR and the NASCAR Salutes platform in which we will Honor our Heroes, get Troops to the Track and remember our fallen military members.”
On Sunday, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host more than 5,000 active military members 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 “This is Your Military” initiative.
Coca-Cola will debut the Coca-Cola Kitchen at the Coca-Cola 600, where invited service members and their families can enjoy refreshments, meals and special appearances throughout the day. Culinary experts representing every military branch will be onsite to share some of their favorite barbeque dishes. The Coca-Cola Kitchen will also host service members during the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
In attendance at the Coca-Cola 600 will also be many of the families of the fallen service members being honored during 600 Miles of Remembrance, now in its fourth year.
A few service members whose names will be displayed on car windshields have special connections to race teams, including U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Chris Eckard. Gunnery Sergeant Eckard, who was killed in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in 2010, was a close friend of Casey Mahoney, a chassis fabricator for Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Team Penske Ford Fusion.