Coca-Cola 600 to be halted briefly for moment of remembrance
Charlotte Motor Speedway announced Tuesday that Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 will be stopped briefly during the midpoint of the event for a moment of remembrance.
Last year’s race featured a brief stoppage for a moment of remembrance.
Charlotte Motor Speedway stated in a news release that near the race’s midpoint NASCAR will instruct all drivers to go down pit road for a moment of remembrance in honor of all members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have sacrificed their lives.
Track officials did this for the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 when it was run on Memorial Day because of rain the previous day. The National Moment of Remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. ET on Memorial Day and people are asked to pause for a minute at that time. When this was done in the 2009 race, the field was stopped on the frontstretch and pit crews came out on to pit road.
Charlotte Motor Speedway also announced other ways troops will be saluted during Sunday’s race, which will feature no fans:
- U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will virtually share the 2020 “State of Freedom” address as part of the FOX pre-race show.
- Edward Schrank, a five-time head and neck cancer survivor from chemical exposure while serving 15 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, will perform a virtual national anthem.
- The Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation will conduct a live flyover featuring two vintage P-51 Mustang war birds flying alongside modern USAF F-16 and F-22 fighter attack jets.
- Active duty servicemen and women will offer video messages of support on behalf of each branch of service for Memorial Day Weekend.
- The U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg will execute a virtual 21-gun salute.
- Taps will be performed by United States Coast Guard Band Chief Musician Gino Villarreal.
- As part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance, each driver in the race will carry the name of a fallen service member across the windshield of their car.
“While the pandemic has forced us to change a lot about what makes Memorial Day Weekend so special, one thing it cannot change is our resolve to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms as well as those who continue the fight today,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, in a statement. “This year, our celebration here at America’s Home for Racing will be both virtual and at-track, and all shared with race fans through the Fox broadcast and on social media.”