As the nation celebrates the Independence Day holiday weekend, Daytona International Speedway and tens of thousands of race fans in attendance for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola will pay tribute to four Medal of Honor recipients.
It’s the third straight year that Daytona International Speedway will honor Medal of Honor recipients, a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s.
The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, to be honored are:
- Jon Cavaiani, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant
- Harold Fritz, retired U.S. Army Captain
- Don Jenkins, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant
- Leo Thorsness, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel
All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver’s meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 1 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 2.
During Saturday’s 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, a special salute will take place for the four Medal of Honor recipients during pre-race ceremonies.
In addition, the four Medal of Honor recipients will take part in an autograph session with race fans in the Sprint FANZONE on Saturday prior to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
“We’re proud to continue the tradition of honoring Medal of Honor recipients at this year’s Coke Zero 400,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “These four individuals clearly distinguished themselves with their courageous actions and we’re looking forward to paying tribute to their heroic service.”
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It’s bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.