If you’ve ever been to Talladega Superspeedway since 2001, chances are you’ve seen a gold, silver and black semi truck carrying a monster-sized American flag pump up the crowd by zooming around the track during the National Anthem.
John Ray Sr., a former NASCAR Cup Series driver who was a dear friend of the late Dale Earnhardt, got the idea to do it after the September 11th attacks in 2001. When Talladega came back around, Ray knew just how to respectfully show patriotism.got the idea to do it after the September 11th attacks in 2001. When Talladega came back around, Ray knew just how to respectfully show patriotism.
In an instant, a new tradition was formed.
In recent years, Roger Haynes has been taking care of driving duties.
However, in May, Haynes passed away after a battle with cancer.
On Wednesday, Rick Ware Racing unveiled that their No. 51 car, which will be driven by Austin Theriault in Sunday’s 1000 Bulbs 500, will carry a paint scheme just like the one that Ray’s big rig has.
The car, which was designed by SMD Racing, will be sponsored by Jacob Companies.
This is an incredible tribute to an unsung hero that brought joy to countless race fans over the years and it will sure resonate well with fans who have attended races at the 2.66-mile Speedway over the years.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.