JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – NASCAR Cup Series Driver Aric Almirola and members of the Charlotte Motor Speedway paid a visit to Camp Lejeune ahead of the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend.
Almirola and members of the Marine Corps here at Camp Lejeune swap stories as part of Mission 600 Day.
Its an orientation Marines have for drivers ahead of the Coca-Cola 600 which falls on Memorial Day weekend to give them a closer look at some of their more tactical base operations.
Charlotte Motor Speedway pays respects as well during the race. They typically have names of troops who lost their lives in the line of duty on the windshields of the cars participating in the race.
Marines showed Almirola some of the tank and artillery operations.
“He was very excited to see the weapon systems and throw on our packs and see what our gear looks like,” said SSgt Nicholas Adams.
“It makes me feel just really blessed to be able to have this opportunity and come and engage with with all these people here that are fighting for me and you to live in a free country,” said Almirola
The son of a Marine veteran, Greg Walter, president of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, understands the honor in the work they do everyday.
“It never gets old and it never gets old because you’re reminded of the jobs they have the coke 600 Memorial Day last the greatest day in racing it’s also the eve of one of the most solemn holidays on the calendar,” said Walter.
The speedway says it will pause the race halfway through and pay tribute with a roll call of the names of the last 600 lives lost in the line of duty.