With NASCAR’s most patriotic weekend just two months away, teams are hard at work figuring out their special way of honoring fallen service members.
Rick Ware Racing is going all-out to remember the fallen as the team, and partners Biohaven Nurtec ODT, and Nine Line Apparel are rolling out four paint schemes representing the four branches of the United States military for the Coca-Cola 600.
The news was revealed Monday morning on FOX And Friends.
Their driver lineup includes the Navy No. 15 with James Davison, the Air Force No. 51 with Garrett Smithley, the Army No. 52 for Josh Bilicki, and the Marines No. 53 for JJ Yeley.
Respectively, SO1 Harris of the Navy, Capt. McCarthy of the Air Force, Capt. Pederson-Keel of the Army, and CPL. Rintamaki of the Marines will have their names adorned on the front windshield in honor, a long-standing tradition for the Coca-Cola 600 weekend.
“We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to honor our nation’s heroes in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” said team owner Rick Ware. “Nurtec ODT and Nine Line Apparel are both huge advocates for our active-duty service members and veterans. Working together with both organizations to create this opportunity, is very special for Rick Ware Racing as well as all of the family members who have lost someone who has served this great country.”
When the announcement came last year that Nurtec ODT and Rick Ware Racing were joining forces for 2021, honoring current, and fallen members of the military were well established in their minds. The Military Salutes program, an established initiative between the parties, is designed to visit military bases upwards of 50 military bases during 2021 with the No. 51 Camaro to show their appreciation to today’s service members.
“We are very proud to be a part of the Rick Ware Racing team, and work with Nine Line Apparel on such a meaningful opportunity to honor fallen service members,” said Vlad Coric, M.D., CEO of Biohaven. Through the Military Salutes Program, we have been able to spend time with active-duty service members, veterans, and their families and hear their migraine stories. We know that there are unique challenges faced by this population including a disproportionate impact of migraine and are grateful to have the opportunity to raise the level of discussion about this debilitating disease.”
In addition to the paint schemes, Nine Line Apparel is offering a commemorative T-shirt honoring fallen service members. Fans who purchase the shirt can submit the name of a service member that will be added to the hood of the respective car correlating with the branch of the military they served. The team is eyeing more than 2,000 names for the hoods of their entries.
“As a veteran-owned, giveback organization, our brand was built on the foundation of honoring those heroes we’ve lost on the battlefield, and supporting those still struggling back home,” said Rich Caponi, Chief Marketing Officer of Nine Line. “We know that Rick Ware Racing and the Nurtec ODT team share this same passion, which is why we’re proud to partner with them on this initiative. Memorial Day Weekend in Charlotte will be a time to honor the heroes who have given their lives in service to this great country, while also raising awareness and support for veterans fighting internal battles on the home front.”
Designing the four schemes for Rick Ware Racing is designer Joe Crowdes, who has had a hand in putting together quite a number of Rick Ware Racing cars in 2021.
“In December we started working with NurtecODT on their Coca-Cola 600 schemes,” Crowdes told TobyChristie.com. “They have a great relationship with the military and shared to pay tribute to the four branches of the military. We wanted to have a consistent look across the board and give it a team looks. This was a rare instance where there were not a whole lot of changes that were needed to be made and what we see today is almost identical to the concept pitched. It was a true honor to pay tribute to the brave men and women who fight for our freedom. I am extremely proud and excited to see all four RWR cars on track at the end of May!”
Fans can see the four Rick Ware Racing cars hit the track on Sunday, May 30th at 6:00 PM EST on FOX and the FOX Sports App.