Chase Elliott finds perspective in NASCAR Salutes mission
MOORESVILLE, N.C. — For NASCAR drivers, Memorial Day weekend means a test of endurance in the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race of the year. It also marks an occasion for remembrance, something Chase Elliott says he’s embraced through the sport’s patriotic initiatives.
Elliott and the rest of the Monster Energy Series field will carry the names of fallen service members on their windshield visors in Sunday’s 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM). The event marks the start of the annual NASCAR Salutes program, a tradition now in its seventh year that honors U.S. military branches with a focus on Memorial Day at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Independence Day at Daytona International Speedway.
Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet is one of several cars that will sport a patriotic paint scheme this weekend at Charlotte, with stars and red and white stripes added to the customary NAPA blue. Elliott’s car will also display the name of Cpl. John Chester Robertson, a Marine from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, who was killed in combat during the Vietnam War. | Buy tickets for Coca-Cola 600
Elliott said the NASCAR Salutes program has provided him with perspective on the sacrifices that military members make on a daily basis.
“I’ve had a chance to spend some time with the family members of the servicemen and women, so it’s been definitely an eye-opener,” Elliott said Tuesday. “I think any time you’re put in those situations and you realize just what those families have gone through, really even when you’re around them, you don’t fully realize what they’ve gone through. Unless you’re in their shoes, you don’t understand and might as well not even try to understand.
“The best thing you can do is support them as best as you can, however you can, and thank them for what they do and what they’ve done in the past.”