By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – To most, the Coca-Cola 600 is just another race. 2017’s marks the third annual 600 Miles of Remembrance for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Every driver’s windshield banner will display the name of a United State military veteran who sacrificed everything. Families are not only invited to the race as guests, but are also honored in a ceremony in which miniature windshields with the name of their loved ones are presented to them.
On Kyle Busch’s M&M’s Red, White, and Blue Toyota Camry, Private First Class William Johnson will be represented.
Busch was humbled that he would be honoring a veteran from North Carolina,
“Yeah, it’s a really neat deal that NASCAR and all of us are doing for bringing the Troops to the Track program obviously that we have, but also the names on the cars, and my gentleman is from Oxford, North Carolina, so it’s kind of a home game for their family, and just paying remembrance to him and what all he sacrificed for us and being able to allow us to go out here and race each and every weekend and to have a lot of fun. So, Memorial Day weekend is just that, to remember those men and women both that did so much for our country.”
Until last weekend’s Monster Energy All-Star Race, Busch had yet to win at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 26 point races in NASCAR’s premier series, the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion’s best finish at the 1.5-mile track has been second twice, in 2010 and 2011. Meanwhile in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Busch has eight victories at Charlotte, and seven in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
In 437 Cup career starts, Busch has 38 wins, 151 top fives, 224 Top 10s, and 19 pole positions.
Now Busch and his Joe Gibbs Racing team will look to honor Private First Class Johnson with a victory in the longest race on NASCAR’s schedule.