For decades, Charlotte Motor Speedway has paid tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces each Memorial Day weekend with a patriotic celebration prior to the Coca-Cola 600.
On Sunday, May 26, the 60th running of NASCAR’s ultimate test of man and machine will follow one of the largest military appreciation pre-race extravaganzas in the track’s storied history.
“The Salute to the Troops portion of our pre-race show gives us a chance to say thank you to those who have served or continue to serve our country and protect our freedom,” said Marcus Smith, CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., Charlotte Motor Speedway’s parent company. “It’s a tradition our fans look forward to every year; seeing military demonstrations at live speed and the firepower is always impressive. We are always proud to work with our area military bases to bring this show to the fans.”
During this year’s pre-race show, troops from Fort Bragg will utilize Humvees and Howitzers as they participate in simulated ground exercises, and rope teams will descend from Blackhawk helicopters during the re-enactment of an aerial invasion.
Each of the five military branches – Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard – will be represented as 600 members of the U.S. Armed Forces participate in the pre-race pageantry. A member of the Navy is scheduled to sing the national anthem and the 82nd Airborne Chorus will present a patriotic performance.
As part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program, each car in the starting field for the Coca-Cola 600 will carry the name of a fallen member of the U.S. Armed Forces across the top of the windshield.