During the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 3-5, Daytona International Speedway will continue the tradition of saluting the nation’s military service men and women.
“From recognizing three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to having the U.S. Navy Band of the Southeast perform the national anthem, we’re honored to have the different branches of the military play an integral part in this weekend’s activities,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said.
Below are some of the different military-themed activities planned for this weekend at Daytona International Speedway:
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients: Three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients – Gary Littrell, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army; Salvatore Giunta, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army; and Ryan Pitts, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army – will be introduced during pre-race on Saturday prior to the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR XFINITY Series race and on Sunday prior to the 57th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Immediately following the national anthem on Sunday is a special ceremony during which the recipients will be surrounded by 36 colorful feather flags, held by representatives of each branch of the military, which will create one large American flag. The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government.
National Anthem: Prior to Sunday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, the U.S. Navy Band of the Southeast – a 23-member instrumental band – will perform the national anthem, with the Patrick Air Force Base Honor Guard presenting the colors. The U.S. Air Force will perform the flyover with two F-16s from the 125th Fighter Squadron, the “Tulsa Vipers”, a unit of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. The U.S. Navy Band of the Southeast will also perform a 20-minute pre-race concert on the pre-race stage.
For Saturday’s Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola, the Patrol Squadron Thirty, stationed aboard Naval Air Station Jacksonville, will provide the color guard.
Honorary Pace Car Driver: Petty Officer First Class Terrell Sisk will lead Sunday’s 43-car field to the green flag as Honorary Pace Car Driver for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Sisk serves in the U.S. Coast Guard on the Aids to Navigation team out of Ponce Inlet, Fla.
Borinqueneers: The U.S. Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment out of Puerto Rico will be visiting the “World Center of Racing” for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola as part of NASCAR: An American Salute, the sport’s seven-week tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces. The Borinqueneers were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last year for their service during WWI, WWII and Korea. The Borinqueneers are named such after Puerto Rico’s original name, Borinquen. The group amassed 10 Distinguished Service Crosses, 250+ Silver Stars, 600+ Bronze Stars and almost 3,000 Purple Hearts.
Military Uniform Display: On display in the Sprint FANZONE will be six uniforms representing the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps., U.S. Army, and U.S. Air Force on loan from the Military Museum of North Florida. The uniforms will represent various wars from WWII through the War in Afghanistan.
Fireworks: Daytona International Speedway will celebrate the Independence Day holiday weekend with fireworks shows both Saturday and Sunday nights over Lake Lloyd after the checkered flag in the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 3-5. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR XFINITY Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
Fans can follow NASCAR and stay up to speed on the latest news by using #NASCAR and #COKEZERO400. Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for the latest news all season long. Fans can also follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch renovation at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.