NASCAR VS. THE FIREFIGHTERS: NASCAR crew members will have the chance to prove their mettle next weekend as they compete alongside firefighters in what’s being billed as the “toughest two minutes in sports.” NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray will be on hand to cheer on the competitors in the Firefighter Combat Challenge presented by LiftMaster Sunday at Gate 18 (outside turn 2) at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR crew members and Firefighter Combat Challenge competitors will be outfitted in complete firefighting gear and will compete in teams of five in challenges such as climbing a five-story tower; hoisting, chopping, and dragging hoses; and rescuing a life-sized 175-lb. victim as they race against the clock.
Kids can get in on the fun as well, taking part in a scaled-down version of the challenge, which will be set up all weekend.
GOODYEAR GIVES BACK: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced Thursday its fourth annual “Gives Back” charitable campaign benefiting the Support Our Troops organization.
To launch this year’s campaign, Goodyear has replaced the Eagle logo on their racing tires with desert camouflage lettering that reads “Support Our Troops” on all NASCAR tires used during all of the 10 Greatest Days in Racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“There is probably not another organization in sports that has a better connection to the military than NASCAR,” said Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires for Goodyear. “It is something that really fits: NASCAR and the military; the military and NASCAR. We have been supplying tires to the sport for over 56 years. And on top of that, Goodyear has had a relationship with the military for over 100 years. Our message is pretty simple: We want to acknowledge and honor the sacrifices the military and their families make every single day. What better weekend to do that than Memorial Day weekend? On behalf of Goodyear, I’m proud to be able to do this program one more time.”
This year’s program will also include a charity auction featuring autographed NASCAR memorabilia, at-track activities and multiple opportunities for race fans to participate. Race fans can bid on items by going to www.Goodyear.com/GivesBack.
In fact, during Goodyear’s announcement, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards bid $100 for one of his used tires.
“This is pretty neat for me to bid on one of my own tires,” said Edwards, “I hear there’s a blimp ride on here too, if you can help me find that. That would really be cool. This online auction is amazing, and Goodyear is matching the proceeds up to $50,000.”
Another way for fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway to get involved this weekend was the care-package-stuffing that happened Thursday in the garage area. About 30 race fans volunteered their afternoon at the track to stuff almost 5,000 care packages with Sprint hats, Stewart-Haas shirts, Goody’s powder, Boy Scouts’ popcorn, lip balm from Great Clips and 5-hour Energy drinks.
Marcia and Marvin White were filling care packages Thursday in honor of their son Kerry, a member of the U.S. Air Force who is currently stationed in Germany.
“I knew I wanted to do this, because I knew I was helping the troops, and I was helping my son,” said Marvin White, a National Guard veteran himself. “We’re here 'til the end.”
Fans like the Whites had a chance to rub elbows with a few celebrities during their time stuffing boxes as well, watching as Ryan Newman entered the tent and stuffed boxes. Matt Kenseth, Miss Sprint Cup and several crew members also stopped by to help the effort.
The Goodyear Gives Back program has donated over $700,000 to supporting troops and their families to date.