Landon Cassill’s No. 38 team will pay tribute to a fallen soldier with a Front Row Motorsports family connection for the Memorial Day weekend Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Cassill’s MDS Transport Ford Fusion will carry the windshield name decal of Pvt. Earl Platt, a World World I Army infantryman who fought in two of the Great War’s biggest battles before dying from the effects of mustard gas poisoning.
Pvt. Platt was the great uncle of Gwen Bartley, the wife of Front Row Motorsports suspension mechanic and U.S. Air Force veteran Kurt Bartley.
Pvt. Platt, from Vestaburg, Mich., served in the Army from 1918 to 1919. He fought in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, which was the largest offensive in U.S. military history. His family likes to tell a heroic story in which Pvt. Platt ran out of ammunition behind enemy lines, but captured a battery of German soldiers after constructing an imitation Tommy Gun out of a lawn mower wheel and an axle.
His combat years included exposure to mustard gas, a chemical weapon used by the enemy, and Pvt. Platt succumbed to the effects of the poisoning after returning to the States after the war.
“When you hear stories about military heroes like Pvt. Platt, it really makes you stop and think about some of the things these soldiers went through and really appreciate the sacrifices they made for their country,” Cassill said. “Knowing that there is a Front Row Motorsports family connection to the name on the windshield makes it even more special and an even greater honor.”
Cassill’s No. 38 MDS Transport Ford will run a patriotic paint scheme for the Memorial Day weekend race, promoting the transportation company’s support for the U.S. military.