While the Coca-Cola 600 always shares the Sunday before Memorial Day with the famed Indianapolis 500, the Coca-Cola 600 deliberately incorporates patriotic themes into the race and more overtly honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Billed as 600 Miles of Remembrance, the race itself encourages participants and race fans to don themselves in Red, White, and Blue, while drivers decorate their cars with American regalia and prominently display the name of a fallen hero rather than their own.
Here are some of the cars that will be featured in this year’s race:
Kyle Larson’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will have the name of U.S. Army Specialist Rel Allen Ravago IV of Glendale, California, who was killed in Mosul, Iraq, in 2003 at age 21.
Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will honor U.S. Army Sgt. William R. Thiem, an enlistee who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1968.
Corey LaJoie’s Spire Motorsports Chevrolet is doing a double salute by promoting the USO and bearing the name of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Rylee J. McCollum, who was among the 13 U.S. troops killed by a suicide bomber at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2021.
Aric Almirola grew up on an military base in Florida, and his car honors U.S. Army National Guardsman Private First Class Adam Lee Marion, a combat engineer killed during an attack on his base near Baghdad in 2008.
Tyler Reddick’s Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet will have the name of U.S. Army Specialist Four Albert F. Tristan on it. Tristan was killed in action in Vietnam in 1970 and awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Silver Star, Combat Infantry Badge and Army Commendation Medal.
(All pictures and descriptions are courtesy of Fox News)
The Coca-Cola 600 begins later in the day since some NASCAR drivers in the past have competed in the Indy 500 as well. However, last year’s Coca-Cola 600 winner Kyle Larson has never participated in the Indy 500, though he says he wants to at some point.
The Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to begin in Charlotte, NC at 6 p.m. ET Sunday, May 29 on FOX. In keeping with the solemnity of the Memorial Day observance, FOX will be listing the names of the 19 members of the U.S. military who were killed in action since last Memorial Day on a continuous scroll at the bottom of the screen.