As it has each year for nearly a decade, the NASCAR community will come together to formally honor and recognize the United States Armed Forces during Military Appreciation Month through the annual NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola program.
This marks the ninth season of NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola celebrating the service and sacrifice of U.S. military members and their families through a multitude of at-track integrations, original content features and fan engagement opportunities.
A new 30-second television spot debuted during FOX’s broadcast of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega this past Sunday, April 23, to kick off the campaign. The ad subtly connects this campaign to NASCAR’s 75th anniversary celebration, underscoring the importance of remembering the sacrifice that enables the sport’s existence when revisiting iconic moments throughout its journey.
“The NASCAR industry and our fans relish the opportunity to rally around NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola to recognize the immeasurable sacrifice United States service members and their families make to protect our freedom,” said Michelle Byron, Senior Vice President of Partnership Marketing, NASCAR. “Especially as we continue celebrating NASCAR’s 75th anniversary and recalling so many memories made along the way, it’s important to reflect on the bravery and selflessness of countless individuals who provide us this great privilege.”
Tributes will begin this weekend at Dover Motor Speedway, where the U.S. Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps will perform prior to Sunday’s Cup Series race (2 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM Radio).
New to the celebration this year, inside the NASCAR Experience fan zone footprint at Kansas and Darlington will be a No. 75 show car draped in a NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola livery that features white space for fans to write thank-you messages to military members.
To conclude NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola, NASCAR and Coca-Cola will again host Gold Star Families during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where the show car with fan messages will be on display. Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 will continue the tradition of all 40 NASCAR Cup Series cars featuring the name of a fallen service member on the windshield.
“In partnership with NASCAR, Speedway Motorsports and the racing community, Coca-Cola North America is proud to honor our country’s service members and their families at the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend,” said Chris Bigda, Director of Sports Marketing at Coca-Cola North America. “During this year’s Coca-Cola 600, we are honored to recognize recipients of The Gold Star – paying tribute to the military members and their families who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.”
In addition to those mentioned above, other NASCAR Salutes activities across the industry include:
- NASCAR social and digital platforms will feature a bevy of dedicated stories and content features, including the story of Lyndon Amick – a former NASCAR Xfinity Series driver who enlisted in the National Guard and served in Afghanistan, a tribute to NASCAR’s history of honoring the Armed Forces throughout its 75 years, Xfinity Series driver and Navy Officer Jesse Iwuji visiting with fellow Navy members, and more. Fans can view it all at nascar.com/salutes and engage on social media using #NASCARSalutes.
- Discounted grandstand tickets are available to military members throughout NASCAR Salutes and all season long with NASCAR MILTIX Presented by GEICO. Active military and veterans can verify their status through SheerID and purchase tickets by visiting NASCAR.com/miltix.
- At NASCAR events during the month of May, service members from local bases will have access to complimentary grandstand tickets and unique VIP experiences made possible by Vet Tix and the NASCAR Troops to the Track Program.
- For a sixth season, Mack Trucks, the “Official Hauler of NASCAR”, will wrap one of its NASCAR haulers in support of NASCAR Salutes leading into Memorial Day weekend. Fans can vote for one of several different paint schemes now through May 2 at contests.macktrucks.com/nascar-salutes. Mack will reveal the winning scheme on its social media channels leading into the Coca-Cola 600 weekend.
- Charlotte Motor Speedway continues its annual Mission 600, pairing the Coca-Cola Racing Family and other drivers with military bases to educate the NASCAR community about the day-to-day lives of the men and women who serve.
- Xfinity, a Proud Premier Partner, will display red, white and blue Xfinity windshield headers on their race cars during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway to showcase their company’s commitment to hiring veterans, National Guard and reserve service members, and military spouses who bring unique skills and experiences to Comcast NBCUniversal.
- The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series will also display red, white and blue windshield decals on all trucks racing in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- AMR, the “Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR,” will feature the NASCAR Salutes branding on its NASCAR safety trucks and safety team helmets throughout the program.
- Continuing its tradition, Goodyear will replace its iconic “Eagle” sidewall design with “Honor and Remember” during the Coca-Cola 600 in recognition of the organization working closely with the industry to honor Gold Star Families who have lost family members as a result of serving.
- During the Coca-Cola 600 broadcast, FOX will display the name of every U.S. Armed Forces member who lost his or her life since last year’s Memorial Day weekend race as part of a special tribute titled “FOX Sports Remembers,” an initiative begun in 2009.
- The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, with the help of JDV Productions, will feature roof decals on all race cars honoring fallen service members during the Granite State Derby at Lee USA Speedway on May 27. Whelen Modified Tour cars will also carry separate NASCAR Salutesdecals for the May 6 race at Monadnock Speedway and the May 20 race at Riverhead Raceway.
- The ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East will feature NASCAR Salutes decals on cars racing at Dover Motor Speedway (April 28), Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (May 13), Flat Rock Speedway (May 20), Kansas Speedway (May 6) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 26)