Budweiser and Outback Steakhouse, both primary sponsors of Kevin Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), have long histories of supporting military-based charities. Both entities have partnered with the Folds of Honor Foundation to honor the memories of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States Armed Forces, and also remember the families they left behind.
Founded in May 2007, the Folds of Honor Foundation gives back to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in action through scholarships and other assistance. For this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Harvick’s No. 4 Chevrolet SS will feature a patriotic scheme showcasing the foundation.
The Folds of Honor Foundation was founded by Maj. Dan Rooney, a former F-16 fighter pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard. A decorated military pilot, Maj. Rooney served three combat tours in Iraq. It was after his second tour, while as a passenger on a commercial flight, that he witnessed an event that would profoundly change his life.
As the plane landed, the pilot announced that an American hero was on board and asked the passengers to remain seated while the family received him in his final homecoming. Maj. Rooney watched through the window of the plane as a flag-draped casket was lowered. That solemn homecoming was the inspiration behind the creation of the Folds of Honor Foundation.
Budweiser, an American brand rooted in patriotism, has actively supported the U.S military for more than 150 years through charitable partnerships, event sponsorships and employee support programs. Budweiser first partnered with the Folds of Honor Foundation in 2010. Since that time, Budweiser and its wholesalers have raised nearly $10 million for military families and funding thousands of scholarships across the country.
Similarly, Outback Steakhouse has a 20-year history of proudly supporting our nation’s troops. Outback has donated more than $2 million to Operation Homefront to assist military families during difficult financial times by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items and financial assistance. The company is in its first year partnering with the Folds of Honor Foundation.
With the patriotic paint scheme adorning Harvick’s No. 4 Chevrolet this weekend, the two-time race winner already in 2014 would like nothing more than to draw attention to the Folds of Honor Foundation and pay tribute to this country’s military heroes by making a trip to victory lane at the 10-turn, 1.99-mile Sonoma road course.
While Sonoma is one of seven tracks on the Sprint Cup tour where the Bakersfield, California native has yet to notch a win, he’s certainly come close to victory there. In his 13 starts at Sonoma, Harvick has three top-five finishes, including a runner-up effort in 2007, and third-place runs in 2003 and 2010.
As Harvick and his No. 4 team enter the first of two road-course races of the 2014 Sprint Cup season, there are two primary items on the agenda – to honor the veterans whose sacrifice and service allow all of us the freedom to pursue our individual dreams by bringing attention to the Fold of Honor Foundation, and to continue adding to his on-track successes for the No. 4 team with another trip to victory lane.