CONCORD, N.C. - Memorial Day weekend is a time to honor the fallen. A time to give thanks and pay tribute to those U.S. military service members and their families that made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms.
This will be seen throughout the pre-race festivities for Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race at the 1.5-mile venue caps off the NASCAR Salutes program during Military Appreciation Month.
FOX will display the names of every U.S. Armed Forces member who lost his or her life since last year’s Memorial Day weekend race as part of its "FOX Sports Remembers" initiative that began in 2009. Goodyear will continue its tradition of replacing its "Eagle" sidewall design with the words "Honor and Remember" for the race. After stage two of the four-stage race, the full field will be brought down pit road and cars will be shut off for moment of remembrance.
Every NASCAR Cup Series car will feature a fallen service member’s name on the windshield as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance. Which individuals are the Hendrick Motorsports cars honoring this weekend? Learn more about their stories below.
United States Army E4 Specialist (SP4) Martin J. DeHimer will be remembered on the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Enlisting in the Army, he started his tour in Vietnam in July 1969 as a member of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 7th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.
DeHimer was killed in action on March 11, 1970. For his actions, he was awarded the Silver Star, which is the third-highest award for valor. He also posthumously received the following medals: Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge and the National Defense Service Medal.
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United States Army Captain (CPT) Christopher Scott Seifert will be honored on the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The honoree for this car was identified through NAPA’s relationship with the Intrepid Fallen Hero Foundation. A native of Williams Township, Pennsylvania, CPT Seifert was a member of the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps at Lehigh University. He joined the Army ranks in 1997 and reclassified from the infantry to military intelligence in 2001.
CPT Seifert served as infantry platoon leader, Airborne School and Basic Infantryman Course graduate and was later assigned to the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) after attending the Military Intelligence Advanced Officer’s Course. He was killed in action on March 22, 2003 and survived by his wife Terri and son Ben.
United States Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO) Scott Cooper Dayton will be recognized on the No. 24 Liberty University Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. A 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, SCPO Dayton served as a member of the Navy Special Operations community known as the Explosive Ordnance Disposal. He deployed multiple times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. SCPO Dayton, a native of Woodbridge, Virginia, was killed in Northern Syria from wounds sustained from an Improvised Explosive Device on November 24, 2016. His death came as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, which was a U.S. led mission against ISIS.
SCPO Dayton’s awards and decorations (among others) are: The Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, seven Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, two Combat Action Ribbon awards and two National Defense Service Medals (2 awards). He is survived by his wife Kristin, daughter Hailey and son Cole.
United States Army Sergeant (SGT) Nicholas Allen Tomko will be honored on the No. 48 Ally Patriotic Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. SGT Tomko joined the Army Reserves in 1998. The McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, native, had been station in Iraq since February 2003 and had also served in Operation Join Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina for nine months.
SGT Tomko was killed in action at the age of 24 while serving as a door gunner during a night patrol on November 9, 2003, in Baghdad, Iraq. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Action Badge. SGT Tomko is survived by his fiancé Jessica and their son Ethan.
Those are just the stories behind the soldiers being honored on the Hendrick Motorsports cars. You can learn more by tuning in to the Charlotte race and the 600 Miles of Remembrance on Monday at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.