Richard Childress Racing, BK Racing and Front Row Motorsports among NASCAR teams to remember the fallen with Hope For The Warriors
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 26, 2016) – Several NASCAR teams and drivers will join Hope For the Warriors this Memorial Day weekend to honor several fallen service members during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. With the NASCAR Salutes initiative driving a patriotic theme for the weekend, Hope For The Warriors has capitalized on its relationships within the NASCAR garage to let several Gold Star families know that their loved ones are still remembered this Memorial Day weekend. The initiative incorporates drivers from Richard Childress Racing, BK Racing and Front Row Motorsports, who have partnered with Hope For The Warriors, to not only honor the fallen service members, but also to host the Gold Star families at Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 31 Whelen Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, will have his name removed from the front windshield of his car. In its place will be the name of SSgt Jason C. Ramseyer, whose widow, daughters, parents and in-laws will be in attendance. A member of the U.S. Marine Corps, SSgt Ramseyer was just 28 years old when he was killed in action in Haditha, Iraq on April 20, 2006.
Front Row Motorsports driver, Chris Buescher, will have his name replaced across the front windshield of his No. 34 CSX-Play It Safe Ford by that of SSgt Eric A. McIntosh. A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, SSgt McIntosh was among three Marines killed in an attack in Al Anbar, west of Baghdad on April 2, 2006. On Sunday afternoon, his mother, father, sister and best friend will all be in attendance to honor and remember him.
BK Racing and Cosmo Motors have partnered with Hope For The Warriors for a patriotic paint scheme that features the names of 60 fallen service members on the No. 83 Toyota driven by Matt DiBenedetto. DiBenedetto, whose brother currently serves in the U.S. Air Force, will have the families of three fallen service members attending the race with his team. Among the service members being honored are GySgt Ronald E. Baum, LCpl Christopher “Jacob” Levy and LCpl Jeffrey Walker. GySgt Baum was killed in action by hostile fire on May 3, 2004, while trying to save six soldiers and a fellow Marine in Anbar province, Iraq. LCpl Levy died on December 10, 2011 after sustaining life-threatening injuries while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was 21. LCpl Walker was just 21 years old when he was killed in action on May 14, 2007 while conducting combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq.
“Hope For The Warriors appreciates NASCAR’s efforts with the 600 Miles of Remembrance, as Memorial Day is a day to honor the fallen,” said Travis Hanson, Senior Director of Sports and Recreation for Hope For The Warriors. “Hope For The Warriors intention is to honor the families of those service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and ensure that their loved one’s sacrifice is not forgotten.”
The Gold Star families will gather for a private dinner on Saturday night before heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday morning. On race day, Newman, Buescher, DiBenedetto and David Ragan have each agreed to do private meet and greets with the group. The families will have an opportunity to attend the drivers meeting and pose for photos with the drivers and cars while lined up on the grid during prerace.
On a near weekly basis, Hope For The Warriors brings service members to the track through their Drive For Hope program, which focuses on engaging transitioning service members in a unique social setting while giving them an opportunity to learn about prospective careers, make networking connections and realize different ways their skills can transition as they reintegrate into the civilian sector.
To learn more about the program or find out how you can get involved, visit HopeForTheWarriors.org. Additionally, you can support Hope For The Warriors and its various programs by making a gift online, by phone at 877-246-7349, or by mail to 8003 Forbes Place, Ste. 201, Springfield, VA 22151. Text the word HOPE to 41518 to donate.