NASCAR Video: Honoring Our Fallen Soldiers

Bass Pro Shops sponsored cars pay tribute to United States military heroes during Memorial Day weekend’s NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

NASCAR Video: Honoring Our Fallen Soldiers

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died in service to our country. Originally known as Decoration Day, it began as a way to honor soldiers who died in the Civil War, but the day now honors all United States veterans who have sacrificed their lives. Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday in May, which in 2023 is May 29.

On Sunday, May 28, about 100,000 fans will pack into Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, for the 64th running of the Coca-Cola 600. Drivers will race on the quad-oval 1.5-mile track for 400 laps, but after stage two of the four-stage race, the full field of drivers will head to pit road. Then, the cars will be shut off for a moment of remembrance. The Coca-Cola 600 is the final race of the NASCAR Salutes program during Military Appreciation Month.

If you watch Sunday’s race, look closely when the cars are stopped and you’ll notice that every one has the name of a United States service member on the windshield as part of NASCAR’s 600 Miles of Remembrance. 

In the 30-second Facebook video below, NASCAR driver Austin Dylan unveils the paint scheme for his No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the Coca-Cola 600. Bass Pro Shops sponsors the No. 3, so you’ll that familiar logo on all sides of the car. Dylan honors Master Chief Mark Crampton on his windshield.

MCPO Crampton was born in 1959 and served 27 years on active duty in the Naval Special Warfare community. He held multiple leadership positions from Leading Petty Officer, Platoon Chief and Command Master Chief of SEAL Team SEVEN, SEAL Team ONE and the Naval Special Warfare Center (BUD/S). He was a member of the Navy Leap Frogs Parachute Team and he also served as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Special Operations Directorate of Iraq. He completed 10 deployments to Southeast and Southwest Asia, one deployment to Afghanistan and two deployments to Iraq. He earned two Bronze Star Medals, one with Combat “V” Distinguishing Device, two Combat Action Ribbons, and multiple personal and campaign medals. After military retirement he served 10 years as the Education Program Specialist/Instructor at Naval Special Warfare Center until his retirement in 2019. Most recently Mark was a member of the Training Cadre at SEALFIT. MCPO Crampton loved deep-sea fishing on his boat, as well as hunting with his boys and friends.

Bass Pro Shops also sponsors the No. 19 Toyota Camry TRD, which is driven by Martin Truex Jr. During the Coca-Cola 600, the No. 19 pays tribute to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Radford Smith.

During NASCAR’s 2023 Coca-Cola 600, Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 19 will honor Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith.
During NASCAR’s 2023 Coca-Cola 600, Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 19 will honor Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith.

CW2 Smith passed away in a helicopter accident near Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on March 29, 2023, at 32 years of age. Smith attended Missouri S&T and later joined the U.S. Army and served as a Blackhawk pilot in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) with C. Company Sixth Battalion, 101st Combat Airborne Brigade. Smith joined the Army in 2012. He had multiple deployments, including two combat tours to Afghanistan and Europe for the Atlantic Resolve. He was a decorated war veteran and received the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal, along with others. Smith was an avid outdoorsman.

This Memorial Day, the staff at Grand View Outdoors remembers those men and women who died in service to our country.

Video note: Click enter fullscreen and turn up the volume for best viewing.


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