Drivers Share Thoughts On Racing On Memorial Day Weekend at Coca-Cola 600

(CMS photo)

 With rousing pre-race tributes, enlistment ceremonies and awe-inspiring aerial demonstrations, the Coca-Cola 600 is about more than racing, as drivers, teams and fans take in the crown jewel event at the iconic Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition to serving as one of NASCAR’s premiere races, the Coca-Cola 600 honors and remembers those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, a notion that is not taken lightly by the men who suit up and strap into their cars every Sunday.

From the pre-race ceremonies to the moment of remembrance at the end of stage two where the full field pits, cars shut off as the entire speedway observes a moment of silence, Coca-Cola 600 weekend strives to honor our active duty and those who never made it home.

Here are some of what drivers are saying looking ahead to the 65th running of the Coca-Cola 600 at America’s Home for Racing:

“Memorial Day weekend is such a special weekend to have the Coke 600 in remembrance of all the people that have served for our country. It’s more than racing. And what we’re doing out there is just a symbol of ‘thank you’ to all the members who have served.”
– Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing

“I enjoy meeting the families of the soldiers who are on our windshields. Having them out to the track and showing them around is definitely a special experience that we get to be a part of. It’s the least that we can really do to show our respect.”
– Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 12 for Team Penske

“I try to take the time to thank them and enhance their experience for me and being there and tell them how much I appreciate what they do for keeping us safe and letting us drive in circles on the weekends.”
– Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 for Hendrick Motorsports

“Just to see the pre-race and all the military there and their presence, you just get chills. You really feel how special it is to be there on that day and be able to race and do the things we do because of the people that keep us safe. So, you know, just a very, very thankful feeling and a very special feeling.”
– Martin Truex Jr, driver of the No. 19 for Joe Gibbs Racing

“Memorial Day weekend is a special weekend for a lot of reasons, but I think over the years, being at the Coke 600 and being a part of it and having family members of fallen soldiers come in and come see the shop and be a part of the team for the weekend, it just changes how you feel about it. When you meet a fallen soldier’s mom or dad or you meet a fallen soldier’s kids and being a father of five, when you meet their four kids, it becomes very real that, you know, that they paid the ultimate sacrifice and their family members left behind are paying the ultimate sacrifice. So it’s not just a name on a windshield, and it’s not just a weekend. It’s truly honoring those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice and the families that are there to be a part of that special weekend for them.”
– Michael McDowell, driver of the No. 34 for Front Row Motorsports


Fans can purchase tickets to the May 24-26 Coca-Cola 600 weekend events online at or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

Charlotte Motor Speedway PR

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