NASCAR is set to honor the victims and first responders of 9/11 during its second-round weekend in Virginia, with a driver praising NASCAR as the “most patriotic” sports organization “in the world.”
“It’s an honor to be in a sport like NASCAR, which comes together and allows us to pay these tributes,” driver Garrett Smithley told Fox News on Saturday as he drove to the event. “I would say it’s the most patriotic large sports organization, I would say, in the world.”
For Smithley, it will be “a race weekend I’ll Never Forget “, with NASCAR teaming up with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to display a 1,100-pound World Trade Center piece of steel, 9/11 tribute paint schemes on cars and a wall of Toyota sponsored remembrance honoring those who died that day. Smithley also touted that $ 120,000 will be donated to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation of “We Remember” T-shirts sales created by Nine Line Apparel.
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The event will also host Dale earnhardt jr. to the track, which has to drive a car inspired by Tribute in Lights from Ground Zero.
Smithley explained that he was in his fourth grade when the terrorist attacks struck 20 years ago, while living in Northern Virginia, and that patriotism was instilled in him from an early age.
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“Our family has always been very passionate about the military,” Smithley said, noting that both of his grandfathers were in the military.
“My parents raised me to love the American flag. The national anthem was pretty much the first song I ever learned. I sang it when I was three at a religious ceremony, so once again, I have always been very, very, patriotic. Very passionate about the army, very passionate about the flag, “he added.
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The love of the flag will continue in the event, with fans receiving American flags at the entrance to the circuit, and the Go Bowling 250 and NASCAR Xfinity Series teams unfurling an American flag and flags from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. in their stands.
Gary Gastelu of Fox News contributed to this report.