I hope you enjoyed your long weekend. Certainly with the best day of racing in the entire year on Sunday, it wouldn’t have been a bad one. Whether you thrilled to the F1 show on the French Riviera in Monaco, were stunned by rookie Alexander Rossi drinking the milk in Indy, or wiped a tear of relief for Martin Truex Jr. in Charlotte, your inner racing fan was surely sated with all the thrilling competition.
However, Monday was Memorial Day and time to reflect on all the men and women who have given their lives in service to our country. Charlotte Motor Speedway always makes a special effort to welcome the Armed Forces for the Coca-Cola 600 weekend and to honor our fallen heroes. NASCAR and the competitors also take the time to give shout outs to members of the military. The field of 40 cars was filled with an assortment of special paint schemes with patriotic themes. Here are some of my favorites from the Sprint Cup field. Listed first is the fallen service member whom the team honored by placing their name on the windshield. Click on the links for a pic of the car.
Staff Sergeant Forrest B. Sibley, Air Force Voted my favorite was Aric Almirola’s No. 43 with the lightning bolt Air Force paint job. The electric storm sparking across the hood and doors flickered under the lights at the track. http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2016/cup/cms1/CMS_600MOR_Almirola_052616.jpg
LT COL Paul Keith Mikeal, Air Force The No. 23 driven by David Ragan featured a tasteful image on the hood sponsored by Bubba Burger. The silhouettes of soldiers in the field over dark camo with “We Salute You” as a caption was nicely done. http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2016/cup/cms1/CMS_600MOR_Ragan_052616.jpg
SPC Christopher Shane Wright, Army Casey Mears No. 13 Geico Chevrolet’s camo paint job nearly disappeared under the primary black label. However, the gecko looked very smart in his helmet. http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2016/cup/cms1/CMS_600MOR_Mears_052616.jpg
LCPL Aaron Howard Reed, Marines Nationwide and the No. 88 team took special pains with the interpretation of the usual blue and white coloring of Dale Jr.’s machine. The use of stars & stripes certainly stirred the heart as the car sped around the track. http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2016/cup/cms1/CMS_600MOR_EarnhardtJr_052616.jpg
LCPL Cody Steven Childers, Marines The No. 7 machine driven by Regan Smith is usually rather striking in its black and electric blue scheme for Nikko RC. However, when paired with some shooting stars over a field of rippling stripes, the resulting paint job was both patriotic and beautiful. http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2016/cup/cms1/CMS_600MOR_Smith_052616.jpg
PFC Robert Stephan Underwood, Army Just like a bag of our favorite chocolate snack, the No. 18 M&M’s Camry was decorated in a collection of color. The Red Guy danced on the rear quarter panel, sporting a hat channeling Uncle Sam. Bright, fun and still showing reverence for our nation, the circles of red, white & blue were quite eye catching. http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2016/cup/cms1/CMS_600MOR_BuschKy_052616.jpg
SFC Kyle B. Wehrly, Army The No. 48 team usually puts together a sharp paint scheme for the Lowe’s Chevrolet. This week, the simple clean lines recalled the stripes often found on a military ribbon, honoring those for their service rendered. Nicely done. http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2016/cup/cms1/CMS_600MOR_Johnson_052616.jpg
I hope you got to spend time over the weekend honoring those who have given their time and sometimes their lives just so we can enjoy hot dogs and potato salad in our backyards.
For my part a hearty thank you goes out to everyone who is serving, has served or is entering into service with the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Your sacrifice will never go unnoticed. Thank you again.
A simple and poignant illustration of the cost of human life given in service to our nation while fighting its enemies: 37,000 flags are planted on Boston Common every Memorial Day. Each flag is for a single fallen soldier from Massachusetts who has died since the Revolutionary War.
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