Drivers Saluting The Troops

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Six NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers and two Nationwide Series drivers will lead all NASCAR fans in the USO Salute the Troops Memorial Day tribute to the armed forces on Saturday, May 24th, and Sunday, May 25th, at Lowe's Motor Speedway to kick off a nationwide effort to raise funds for military families worldwide. All will drive specially designed cars supporting branches of the military. NHRA star Tony Schumacher will join the effort with a special car at the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Participating drivers include Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Mark Martin, Jon Wood, Brad Keselowski, Cale Gale and Tony Schumacher.

Several of those drivers, including Mark Martin, Jon Wood and Brad Keselowski were at Lowe's Motor Speedway today for the unveiling of the special cars. Distinguished members of the military kicked off the Salute the Troops tribute in grand style with a military color guard presentation and the presentation of the cars that will run in the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day and the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals the previous weekend to show their support for America's armed forces. The USO Salute the Troops program hopes to raise funds for American military families in need through the effort.

"I love the fact that we are able to, through our Salute the Troops race weekend, show how much we care, show how much our troops mean to us and show our support,” said Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Salute the Troops Chevrolet. "I would like to do more because I think that is what Memorial Day is all about -- paying tribute to the men and women that fight so hard for us. They put their lives on the line for us to have the freedom to be able to do this every weekend and to be able to live in a country that has so many benefits.”

The NASCAR and NHRA team owners, sponsors, drivers and employees donated the space on their cars to collectively thank the armed forces at the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, Coca-Cola 600 and O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Diecast models and officially licensed merchandise of the participating drivers will be available for sale through Motorsports Authentics.

“The USO is proud to be the beneficiary of the Salute the Troops campaign,” said Edward A. Powell, USO president and CEO. “We thank Speedway Motorsports, Motorsports Authentics, the racing community and its fans for their continued support of our men and women in uniform and the USO. It is with great pleasure that the USO joins you in conveying our gratitude for their service and sacrifice”

“It is an honor for Motorsports Authentics to be a part of this program with Speedway Motorsports, General Sadler, Victory Management and the teams,” said Mark Dyer, president of Motorsports Authentics. “All of the men and women serving selflessly in the military are heroes and we recognize their immense sacrifice. This is a great opportunity to recognize, celebrate and support them in a meaningful way. Our sincere hope is that people will come out in force to show their support of this program and to help the heroes among us.”

Participating USO Salute the Troops drivers, teams, cars and sponsors include:

Driver Car Team
Jeff Gordon No. 24 Dupont Salute the Troops Chevrolet Hendrick Mtrsprts
Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 88 National Guard Salute the Troops Chevrolet Hendrick Mtrsprts
Mark Martin No. 8 Army Salute the Troops Chevrolet DEI
Jimmie Johnson No. 48 Lowe's Salute the Troops Chevrolet Hendrick Mtrsprts
Clint Bowyer No. 07 Jack Daniels Toast the Troops Chevrolet Richard Childress
Jon Wood No. 21 Air Force Salute the Troops Ford Wood Brothers
Brad Keselowski No. 88 NAVY Salute the Troops Chevrolet JR Motorsports
Cale Gale No.77 VFW Salute the Troops Chevrolet KHI Racing
Tony Schumacher No. 1 Army Salute the Troops Top Fuel Schumacher Racing

Lowe's Motor Speedway, Motorsports Authentics, Victory Management Group and the NASCAR and NHRA teams and their respective sponsors developed the program. JHE Productions and Lowe's Motor Speedway will collaborate to create a fantastic pre-race tribute presentation.

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