EASLEY — 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 today.
Among those honored is Easley native Capt. Kimberly Hampton.
NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola will commence with “600 Miles of Remembrance” during Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the country’s largest Memorial Day weekend celebration.
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.
Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson will carry Kimberly Hampton’s name during the Coca-Cola 600, which will be broadcast on FOX at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 27.
“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 International Speedway.
“This weekend is important to the Coca-Cola system,” said John Mount, Vice President, Marketing Assets & Activation, The Coca-Cola Company. “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 on site to share some of their favorite barbecue 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.
Fans can learn more about the fallen service members honored during 600 Miles of Remembrance by viewing a special gallery at www.NASCAR.com.
Additionally, during the broadcast of the Coca-Cola 600, FOX will display the name of every U.S. Armed Forces member who lost his or her life since last year’s Memorial Day weekend race as part of a special tribute titled “FOX Sports Remembers,” an initiative begun in 2009.
FOX’s scroll will begin running during its pre-race show at 5:30 p.m.
During Saturday’s Alsco 300, NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers will display red, white and blue Xfinity windshield decals on their race cars.
This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Goodyear will once again transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing the “Eagle” sidewall design with “Support Our Troops” messaging on all tires used during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
During the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway, Comcast will work with NASCAR and teams to replace its Xfinity branding with the names of military units from active military installations on all NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers’ windshield headers to commemorate Independence Day weekend.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-436-7496.