NASCAR Salutes Army Guard, Reserve Troops and Employers
American Forces Press Service
ARLINGTON, Va., April 6, 2004 Richard Childress Racing and Bobby Labonte, the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series champion, joined forces with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve at the Texas Motor Speedway April 3 in the first of a NASCAR "Dream Team" lineup of drivers.
NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte is flanked by Bob Hollingsworth, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve executive director, left, and Maj. Ted Hart, ESGR regional deputy director, as they pose with Army Reserve troops at the Texas Motor Speedway, April 3. DoD photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Labonte drove the ESGR No. 29 Army National Guard/Army Reserve car in a first of five Busch Series Races to salute supportive employers of National Guardsmen and reservists.
The program's driver lineup, announced at the Daytona International Speedway in February, also includes Tony Stewart, Ricky Craven, Kerry Earnhardt and Kevin Harvick.
Stewart is scheduled to compete May 1 at the California Speedway, representing the Marine Corps Reserve. Craven will run July 10 at the Chicagoland Speedway for the Navy Reserve. Earnhardt will follow Sept. 25 at the Dover (Del.) International Speedway in the Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve car, and Harvick will wrap up the program Nov. 2 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, representing the Coast Guard Reserve.
Also, Richard Childress Racing's No. 2 AC Delco Chevrolet, driven by Ron Hornaday, will carry the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve logo on its rear deck lid for the entire 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season.
"It's a great opportunity to get back in the Busch Series in a very unique situation, driving a car for Richard Childress, which is not like driving for Joe Gibbs or one on my own," said Labonte. "Texas is the only planned race for me to be in the ESGR car this year. That makes this unique because it's a one- time deal for me."
"I really appreciate Bobby starting the ESGR program for ESGR and RCR," said Childress, president of the racing team that bears his name. "It makes sense to have him do this in his home state of Texas. This program is about honoring the employers who have signed statements of support for the ESGR, and are doing everything they can to support their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve."