Racing Team to Salute Guard, Reserve Employers
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2004 A "dream team" of all-stars will race this year in NASCAR Busch Series salute to supportive employers of National Guardsmen and reservists.
ESGR Car No. 29 will take to the speedway this year as a team effort between the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and Richard Childress Racing. The first race is slated April 3 at Texas Motor Speedway near Dallas. Five all-star racers will take the wheel.
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The National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and Richard Childress Racing have teamed up for the effort. The ESGR No. 29 car will display the colors and logos of the seven Reserve components and will feature well-known drivers in the following races:
Bobby Labonte April 3 - Texas Motor Speedway Army National Guard/Army Reserve
Tony Stewart May 1 - California Speedway Marine Corps Reserve
Ricky Craven July 10 - Chicagoland Speedway Navy Reserve
Kerry Earnhardt Sept. 25 - Dover Speedway Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve
Kevin Harvick Nov.20 - Homestead-Miami Speedway Coast Guard Reserve
"The trips I've taken overseas with ESGR to meet with our troops in places like Iraq, Kuwait and Bosnia have made me even more proud of the dedication and patriotism our troops have for our country," said Richard Childress, the racing team's president and chief executive officer. "It's very important for all employers to support their employees who are defending our country in the Guard and Reserve." He noted that he especially appreciated the drivers agreeing to take the wheel of the ESGR No. 29 car.
"We are excited to partner with the RCR team and the five all-star drivers that Richard has recruited to drive for America's outstanding employers," said Bob Hollingsworth, ESGR executive director.
The car will be featured at each selected Busch Series race. A show car, known as "America's Car," will tour the United States, stopping in up to 100 cities, Hollingsworth noted. ESGR, in cooperation with local chambers of commerce, will host a series of educational breakfast forums designed to recognize more than 10,000 employers nationwide, he added.
Local employers will have the opportunity to be photographed with America's Car and to sign statements pledging their support for National Guard and Reserve member employees.
People who attend can have their pictures taken with America's Car and can show their support for mobilized National Guardsmen and reservists by signing their name to several large banners associated with the show car, Hollingsworth said.
"Our goal is to get one signature of support for every one of the 1.2 million men and women who serve," he added. "Today, in support of the war on terrorism and the ongoing operations in Southwest Asia, an essential alliance has been formed with many of America's employers who have become inextricably linked to the nation's defense by sharing their most precious asset, their employees." Signed banners will be sent to Guard and Reserve units serving overseas.
Also, ESGR officials are arranging leadership symposiums for 15 U.S. cities featuring Defense Department and Homeland Security officials.
(Based on press releases from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.)