CONCORD, N.C. – This Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series will once again honor the spirit of Memorial Day by taking on “600 Miles of Remembrance.”
Each car entered into Sunday’s 600-mile race will carry the name of a fallen service member on its windshield.
That includes all four Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s.
“Memorial Day weekend is a perfect time to honor these heroes,” Alex Bowman said.
Chase Elliott’s windshield will bear the name of Army Sgt. Bradley Marshall. Marshall was a paratrooper and a Forward Observer Field Artilleryman. A resident of Little Rock, Arkansas, he served in the Army from 1990 to 1994 and re-enlisted in 2006. He was deployed to Iraq shortly after re-enlisting.
Marshall was based in Fort Richardson, Alaska, as part of the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. He passed away July 7, 2006, at the age of 37 in Kalsu, Iraq, from wounds sustained from indirect fire.
The No. 9 team will also fly U.S. Coast Guard Gunner’s Mate Senior Chief Eric Lange’s American flag on the pit box for Sunday’s race. Lange also served in the U.S. Navy for five years beginning in 1990 and has been stationed in multiple locations across the United States, including Hawaii, Virginia and now Ohio. He will be retiring from the military in June.
William Byron’s Chevrolet will feature a tribute to U.S. Air Force Capt. Mark Weber. After graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2011, Weber went on to become a Combat Rescue Officer and Team Commander of the 308th rescue squadron in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Like Byron, who is in his junior year at Liberty University, Weber was a Liberty student enrolled in its online programs.
While supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq, Weber’s life was taken when he was involved in a helicopter crash on March 15, 2018. Known for his Christian faith and regarded as a humble leader, courageous airman and caring friend, Weber received his M.A. in executive leadership posthumously during Liberty’s May 2018 Commencement Ceremony, attended by his family.
Army Sgt. Richard Donlan, a native of Hampton, Virginia, who died in combat during the Vietnam War, will replace Johnson’s name on the windshield of the No. 48 Ally Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. In addition to the camoflauge-themed paint scheme, Johnson will also race an all-camo steering wheel.
“I’d like for nothing more than to take Sgt. Donlan to Victory Lane,” the driver said.
For Bowman and the No. 88 team, the name of Chief Petty Officer Jon “J.T.” Tumilson will adorn the top of the windshield and ride above the passenger side door this weekend's race. Tumilson, a native of Rockford, Iowa, was a Navy Seal. He and 29 other American Soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, when the helicopter they were traveling in was shot down. It was one of the deadliest attacks on U.S. forces in the decade-old deployment in Afghanistan.
In addition to Tumilson’s name on board, Nationwide has featured 30 stars and one paw print in the scheme to represent the 30 soldiers and military K-9 who died in Extortion 17. Tumilson’s two sisters, Joy McKeekan and Kristie Vieira, visited Hendrick Motorsports, where they selected the paint scheme that would honor their brother.
“Having J.T. on board and being able to honor the American soldiers and K-9 that lost their lives in 2011 is extremely special and humbling,” Bowman said. “Our whole team is very honored to carry J.T.’s name on board our Camaro ZL1.”
Check out all four paint schemes that will hit the track this weekend here.