Daytona International Speedway has created great traditions over the past six decades, but none as important as honoring the military during events at the “World Center of Racing.” That tradition continues with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Weekend, July 4-6, with numerous initiatives to show appreciation for current and retired military this Independence Day holiday weekend.
· Special Military Pricing: Military members and veterans looking to enjoy the stars of NASCAR on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway can take advantage of special military ticket pricing, which is available on military bases throughout the country and at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/military.
· Toyota Operation Donation: On Friday and Saturday, fans can drop off non-perishable items at the Toyota Injector; the items will be included in care packages sent to American troops overseas.
· Military Appreciation Suite: Military members (with their military ID) and their families can stop by the Military Appreciation Suite and enjoy complimentary Coca-Cola products and snacks, as well as driver appearances, prior to Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400, the midseason, midsummer Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
· NASCAR Salutes Presented By Coca-Cola: Daytona International Speedway will serve as the final event weekend of the NASCAR Salutes program. During Friday’s Circle K Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Xfinity Series race, teams will sport patriotic paint schemes and carry the name of a military unit across the top of their windshield.
· Medal of Honor Recipients: For the 11th consecutive year, DIS will salute Medal of Honor recipients, a tradition instituted in the 1970s by Bill France Sr., the founder of DIS and NASCAR. Two Medal of Honor recipients, Command Sergeant Major Gary Littrell (Vietnam) and Staff Sergeant Ronald Shurer (War in Afghanistan), both representing the U.S. Army, will be honored prior to the race on both Friday and Saturday night. The two recipients will also attend the drivers meetings and participate in an autograph session in the UNOH Fanzone on Saturday. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration given by the United States Government.
· Coke Zero Sugar 400 pre-race ceremonies
o Honorary Pace Truck Driver – Dr. Hal Kushner, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and Daytona Beach Shores resident who served in Vietnam and was held as a prisoner of war for 5 ½ years, will pace the field in a Chevrolet Silverado prior to the race
o National anthem singer – U.S. Air Force Captain John McKinney
o Presentation of colors – Patrick Air Force Base Color Guard
o Flyover – Two F-22s from Tyndall Air Force Base’s 43rd Fighter Squadron
o American flag – Over 100 active duty members from all five branches of the military will help display the football-field sized American flag during the national anthem
o U.S. Air Force DEP Ceremony – a swearing-in ceremony for cadets
· ‘Stand and Salute:’ Just prior to the waving of the green flag on the Coke Zero Sugar 400, fans will be invited to stand and salute during pace laps two and three while race teams stand on pit wall and wave American flags.
· 50/50 Drawing benefiting Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix): Vet Tix will offer a 50/50 Drawing from July 1-6 with the winning number being selected following the conclusion of the Coke Zero Sugar 400. The winner will receive half of the prize pool with the other half going to Vet Tix, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides currently-serving military and veterans with tickets to events, encouraging them to stay engaged with local communities and providing them with positive experiences. Fans can purchase 50/50 tickets at the speedway on Friday and Saturday or online via their mobile device at www.Daytona5050.com (mobile device sales are open to anyone in the state of Florida).
Tickets for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Weekend on July 4-6 and all Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest speedway news.