DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — As part of the annual NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola initiative, the NASCAR industry will honor United States Armed Forces heroes and their families throughout Military Appreciation Month, beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
Now in its seventh year, NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola begins for the first time at Kansas Speedway with the Buschy McBusch Race 400 (May 2 at 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM) and concludes with the return of 600 Miles of Remembrance during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway taking place Memorial Day weekend (May 30, at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM).
“The NASCAR industry takes tremendous pride in honoring those who serve our country, along with their families and communities,” said Michelle Byron, vice president of partnership marketing, NASCAR. “It‘s impossible to describe their sacrifices to protect and support our communities throughout the past year during the pandemic — it‘s our privilege to recognize them through NASCAR Salutes annually.”
In conjunction with this program, U.S. Naval Officer and NASCAR driver Jesse Iwuji, will be welcomed as the newest Coca-Cola ambassador and will host many of the NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola events.
As part of the 2021 platform, NASCAR and Coca-Cola will celebrate the military community by showcasing stories of everyday heroes from local bases, in partnership with the USO, while also hosting at-track and virtual experiences led by Iwuji for military families through Troops to the Track.
Beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway, a weekly pre-race show will launch on NASCAR.com and Facebook hosted by Iwuji alongside NASCAR personality Kim Coon. The show will highlight NASCAR Salutes for fans who are unable to attend a race in person and feature special celebrity guests, including Coca-Cola Racing Family drivers, race dignitaries and more.
“Coca-Cola is proud to support and honor the sacrifice and service of all military members and their families in partnership with NASCAR,” said Chris Bigda, director of sports marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “We are excited to welcome Jesse as a Coca-Cola ambassador to help bring communities together that share an appreciation for our military and the love of racing.”
Throughout NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola, FOX Sports will highlight military service stories from the industry across its NASCAR programming. Fans can learn more about the heroes honored throughout the NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola program by visiting NASCAR.com/Salutes. Fans can participate this year by sharing a military member or family they salute on social media tagging #NASCARSalutes.
During the Coca-Cola 600 race weekend, NASCAR and Coca-Cola will host Gold Star Families, many of whom will have loved ones honored during the annual Memorial Day weekend 600 Miles of Remembrance. All 40 NASCAR Cup Series cars will feature the name of a fallen service member on the windshield during the race in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Among the other NASCAR Salutes events and activities are the following:
- Throughout the platform, fans can follow and engage with the NASCAR Salutes conversation on social media using #NASCARSalutes.
- At Kansas Speedway and Darlington Raceway, as part of NASCAR Troops to the Track Hosted by Coca-Cola, active servicemembers from local bases will receive grandstand tickets.
- AMR, the “Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR,” will feature the NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola branding on its NASCAR safety trucks and safety team helmets throughout the program.
- In support of NASCAR Salutes, Charlotte Motor Speedway is again hosting its annual Mission 600 as a prelude to its pre-race salute to the troops prior to the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. This year‘s program includes a mix of virtual and in-person experiences to connect members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family and other drivers with military bases.
- Mack Trucks, the “Official Hauler of NASCAR,” will again adorn NASCAR Salutes colors on its flagship NASCAR hauler. This year‘s Mack Anthem scheme will be chosen by fans through a social media vote taking place until Friday, April 30 and will be unveiled on Saturday, May 1.
- M&M‘S, the “Official Chocolate of NASCAR,” will provide 100 tickets to active-duty service members and their families from Fort Hood as a part of their partnership with Operation Gratitude during NASCAR‘s debut weekend at Circuit of the Americas.
- For more than 10 years, Goodyear has transformed its NASCAR race tires by replacing its iconic “Eagle” sidewall design with a message to honor America’s military. In 2021, for the third season, Goodyear will feature “Honor and Remember,” in recognition of the organization that worked closely with the industry for “600 Miles of Remembrance” to honor military lives lost while serving.
- Through a new special at-track experience in partnership with Coca-Cola, the USO and Charlotte Motor Speedway, a group of service members and their families will have the opportunity to learn to race simulators from eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series competitors. The simulators will then be donated to the USO.
- During the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Xfinity, a Proud Premier Partner, will display red, white and blue Xfinity windshield headers on their race cars to showcase their company‘s commitment to hiring 21,000 veterans, National Guard and reserve service members, and military spouses who bring unique skills and experiences to Comcast NBCUniversal.
- During Memorial Day weekend, Camping World will celebrate with red, white and blue windshield decals on all trucks racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Camping World is a strong supporter of all military branches and proudly displays 3,200 square foot American flags at its nationwide retail locations.
- Leading into the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1 p.m. ET. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service members from different branches of the military.
- 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. ET.