Garrett Smithley will return to Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at Auto Club Speedway where the team will partner with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and 10 Tanker Air Carrier to raise awareness for the CDF Benevolent Fund.
The CDF Benevolent Fund, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, participates exclusively in charitable and educational activities supporting the families of firefighters and other fire suppression professionals in times of financial need or hardship.
The Fund also assists burn victims and their families, while supporting research and studies on occupational hazards and exposures unique to firefighting.
Joe Tapia, a firefighter with the Butte County Fire Department, along with his wife and 16-year-old son, lost their home in the recent California wild fires, is receiving support from the CDF Benevolent Fund and will be guests of the team this weekend at the two-mile Fontana, Calif., oval.
“The fire ravaged our hometown of Paradise and destroyed our home of 20 years while I was engaged in safeguarding my community,” Tapia said. “My family was left homeless and with almost nothing, the immediate support provided by the foundation has come at a crucial time for my family as we rebuild our lives. My family and I will be forever grateful.”
“Having the CDF Benevolent Fund on board this weekend hits very close to home,” explained Smithley. “My dad, RK Smithley, is a captain of the DC-10 aircraft owned and operated by 10 Tanker Air Carriers. His work ties directly into what CAL FIRE and the CDF Benelovent Fund are doing. To help raise awareness for such an important cause and to have my father here to share the moment is very special.”
10 Tanker Air Carrier operates DC-10 aircraft in support of the world’s firefighting community. DC-10 aircraft, highly regarded for their durability as passenger and cargo airliners, are modified by the company and operated as highly effective aerial firefighting tankers. Capable of carrying 11,600 gallons (44,080 liters) of retardant, gel, foam, or water in its constant flow external tank system, the DC-10 has consistently proven to be effective in both direct and indirect applications.
On Saturday, prior to the Production Alliance Group 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, the elder Smithley will perform the flyover aboard a 10 Tanker Air Carrier DC-10.
CAL FIRE is the largest fire department in California and the third largest fire department in the United States. Its firefighters protect 33 million acres of State Responsibility Area (SRA) across the Golden State. From the Oregon border to the Otay Mountains in San Diego, CAL FIRE professionals are among the best-trained firefighters in the world. CAL FIRE provides comprehensive fire protection and other related emergency services, including protection of life and property.
To learn more about the CDF Benevolent Fund, and how to donate to the foundation visit http://www.cdffirefighters.foundation/donate. You can also text “CDFRACECAR” to 77453 to donate.
The Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway will be televised live on FOX Sunday, March 17 beginning at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The fifth of 36 races on the 2019 MENCS schedule will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Spire Motorsports PR