CONCORD – With today’s Coca-Cola 600 running on Memorial Day weekend, the atmosphere around Charlotte Motor Speedway will be understandably patriotic.
Much of the field in the race will be also showing its respect for the special weekend, with at least 20 cars displaying different military-themed logos and paint schemes.
Here’s a breakdown of the cars that will be sporting various salutes to the military or other patriotic symbols:
Drivers with cars displaying red, white and blue or stars and stripes include Landon Cassill (No. 00), Brad Keselowski (No. 2), Aric Almirola (No. 10), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17), Kyle Busch (No. 18), Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19), William Byron (No. 24), Corey LaJoie (No. 32), Matt Tifft (No. 36), David Ragan (No. 38), Ryan Preece (No. 47) and Alex Bowman (No. 88).
Drivers with cars displaying camouflage paint schemes will be Ty Dillon (No. 13), Michael McDowell (No. 34), Jimmie Johnson (No. 48) and Matt DiBenedetto (No. 95).
Other drivers who will show off patriotic tributes of some kind include Cody Ware (No. 51 – World War II-era P-40 Warhawk fighter plane), Bayley Currey (No. 52) and B.J. McLeod (No. 53), both of whom will honor the American military on their cars.
Ryan Newman’s No. 6 car will also sport a patriotic livery.
Reddick gets first win at CMS
For all that young Tyler Reddick has accomplished in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series, there still was one item missing from his ever-growing resume.
That changed on Saturday, when the 23-year old defending Xfinity Series points champion picked up his first win at Charlotte Motor Speedway, capturing the Alsco 300.
“I’ve been very disrespectful to this track in the past,” Reddick said of his history here. “I’ve been bouncing off the walls and doing things I shouldn’t have.
“This time around, I tried to remember all the dumb things I’ve done here in years prior, and I was saying, ‘If I can stop hitting the walls, I could run a good race today.’ And I think I did that.”
Reddick, who’s leading the Xfinity points race this season, notched his fifth career victory and second this year, both coming in his last three races (he also won at Talladega last month). In 11 starts this season, he now has nine top 10 finishes.
Jeffrey Earnhardt recognizes Mooresville policeman
Xfinity driver Jeffrey Earnhardt had a special paint scheme on his No. 18 car Saturday, one that honored Mooresville police officer Jordan Sheldon, who was killed May 4 during a routine traffic stop.
Sheldon was a graduate of Central Cabarrus High School and UNC Charlotte.
“There are no words to describe how thankful I am for the opportunity to pay tribute to Officer Sheldon and (K9 dog) Ramon,” Earnhardt, according to a NASCAR press release. “As a Mooresville native, it means so much to honor a man who put his life on the line to protect our community.
“Hopefully we can give Officer Sheldon’s friends and family a weekend to remember,” Earnhardt added.
A picture of Sheldon and Ramon is on the car, as well a logo of the Mooresville Police Department.
Earnhardt finished third in Saturday’s Alsco 300, the first top 5 finish of his career on the Xfinity circuit.
Goodyear to debut military-themed sidewall
For a decade now, Goodyear Tire has shown its support for the United States military at this time of the year by placing an “Eagle” on the sidewall of its racing tires. This weekend the company is taking a new approach to honor the special weekend.
Goodyear will replace the Eagle with an “Honor and Remember” logo on the sidewall for both weekend races. Honor and Remember is a national organization whose goal is to “perpetually recognize the sacrifice of America’s military fall service members and their families,” according to its website.