By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – After coming within a lap of possibly winning the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Kyle Larson looks forward to the Coca-Cola 600 and the 600 Miles of Remembrance. The 600 Miles of Remembrance is a NASCAR initiative that pays tribute to Fallen Service members. For the 600 Miles of Remembrance, the names of Fallen Servicemen and women will be on the windshields of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, as well as the pacecar.
Larson talked about the 600 Miles of Remembrance, and the story that hits close to home for him and his No. 42 Target team.
“NASCAR has always done a great job honoring fallen service members,” Larson Said. “This week, my jackman, Graham Molatch, he’s an ex-Navy Seal, when he was going through his training in Virginia Beach, he was roommates with Dennis Miranda. They lived together for a little over a year. Denis went to Iraq and his helicopter crashed, and he passed away.
“Last year was Graham’s first time on our car for the 600, and he thought it would be cool in the future to put a friend of his on our car to honor. Denis, his name will be on our windshield, his family will be here. I went to New York earlier this week and did some interviews with Denis’ brother, Kevin. He’ll be in town here soon, and I’m looking forward to it. Like I said before, NASCAR does a great job this weekend, and really throughout the whole year. It will be exciting, and hopefully we will have a good run for their family and honor them in the best way possible.”
When Larson was asked what it would mean to him to get his first career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, he said, “It would mean a lot to get it anywhere, but especially here at Charlotte, it’s so close to home with friends and family. All of the teams’ families are here. It just means a lot if you can win in your hometown or your home racetrack.”
Larson continued, “We’ve been rolling well the past few weeks, hopefully we can keep the momentum going. Our cars have been getting a lot faster. Everybody at the shop has been working very hard all year long. We started the year off not great, everyone stayed positive and kept digging. Lately we have been bringing really good stuff to the track. It’s really cool to see how our hard work has been paying off and how we’ve been close. It’ll be tough though, the 600 is a really tough race. A lot of the times, I’ve seen that drivers who run good in the All-Star Race doesn’t run so good in the 600. Hopefully that’s not the case this week, we’ll try to have a good run, and hopefully it all works out.”
Image: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images