CONCORD, N.C. -- Each Hendrick Motorsports driver will honor a frontline worker for Sunday's race at Darlington Raceway with a personalized decal over the driver's window as part of The Real Heroes Project.
The frontline workers' names will go where the drivers' names normally are. Each individual being honored has personally worked to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“As the coronavirus challenges our country in unprecedented ways, the frontline healthcare workers – the nurses, paramedics, emergency physicians and many others – continue to inspire us with their strength and bravery in caring for their fellow Americans,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR executive vice president. “These men and women are the real heroes and the NASCAR industry is incredibly proud to honor their selflessness and service as we return to racing on Sunday.”
The frontline workers selected will serve as honorary grand marshals for The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway. Take a look at the names on the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LEs below.
On the No. 9 Camaro, Chase Elliott will have the name of Atlanta paramedic Walter “Buddy” Standridge, who is a more than 20-year veteran of Grady Emergency Medical Services. In addition to his work in the field, Standridge is a paramedic preceptor and trains new EMS staff. During the COVID-19 crisis, he continues to arrive at EMS headquarters at least 90 minutes ahead of his shift to make sure he’s there when needed.
William Byron will have registered nurse Shirley Gardiner’s on his No. 24 Chevrolet Sunday above the driver’s side door. As an RN for 18 years in Philadelphia and an employee at Temple Hospital for 25 years, Gardiner has been regularly working the ICU and COVID-19 floor.
During Sunday's event in Darlington, Jimmie Johnson's Ally Chevrolet will feature the name of emergency room nurse Michael Palmer. An avid No. 48 fan, Palmer lives in Walled Lake, Michigan, and works the overnight shift at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital within the Henry Ford Health System. Palmer was recently surprised by Johnson during an appearance on “Lunch Talk Live” with Mike Tirico on NBCSN.
Alex Bowman's No. 88 Chevrolet will feature Misty Brooks' name above the driver-side door on Sunday. Brooks is a registered nurse in the emergency department at Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. She provides compassionate care and has recently treated numerous COVID-19 patients. Brooks is a charge nurse, efficiently managing patient flow.