Public Officials, War Heroes Come Together to Kick Off 2013 Coca-Cola 600, Nation's Largest Memorial Day Celebration
A United States senator, a lieutenant governor and a military hero will lead race fans in the commencement of the nation's largest Memorial Day celebration as they serve as race officials for the 2013 Coca-Cola 600. Sgt. Aaron Causey will be Grand Marshal; U.S. Sen. Tim Scott will serve as Honorary Starter and Tennessee's Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 54th running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26.
"It is our pleasure to welcome these distinguished elected officials, as well as a military hero to the 2013 Coca-Cola 600," said Lauren C. Steele, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Coca-Cola Consolidated. "It is exciting to have these state leaders to recognize America's servicemen and women at the largest Memorial Day celebration in the country. We are honored to have a true American hero announce those famous words: 'Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!'"
As race officials, Scott and Ramsey will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of more than 140,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Grand Marshal, Causey will give the race command, while Scott will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. As Honorary Race Director, Ramsey will ride in an official pace car.
Causey graduated from EOD school at Eglin Air Force Base in August 2001 and was then stationed in Aviano, Italy. He served in Iraq in 2004 along with many other international missions during his years in Aviano. In 2006, he left the Air Force to continue working in EOD, transferring to the Army. He deployed to Iraq 2006-08 out of Fort Stewart, Ga., then was stationed in Mannheim, Germany 2008-10. Later in 2010, he was stationed at Fort Drum, NY and deployed to Afghanistan in March 2011. On Sept. 7, 2011, he was performing dismounted operations in an attempt to disarm a suspected IED when one detonated under him. He ultimately lost both legs above the knees, two fingers, suffered broken arms and hand injuries, shrapnel wounds over most of his upper body, loss of tissue, and multiple other serious injuries. He lives with his wife of three years, Kat. After recovery is complete, they intend to stay in the DC-metro area and build a new life together.
Scott is a U.S. senator representing the great state of South Carolina. His goal is simple: to positively affect the lives of the American people. That path has taken him from a successful small businessman, to being elected to Charleston County Council, the South Carolina State House, the U.S. House of Representatives, and now the U.S Senate.
Ramsey is serving his fourth term as Lt. Governor of Tennessee. A small businessman himself, he has become a leading voice for economic growth in his state and region. He and his wife, Sindy, live in Blountville.
Continuing its tradition as the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in America, the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will pay tribute to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Welcome Home Our Troops Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will also include a performance of "I Will Give My All" by country music artist Jamie Tate and the 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus, a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band and "Taps" played by a Fort Bragg bugler. There will also be a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg Firing Squad.
Coca-Cola has been involved with stock car racing for more than 50 years and has been the official sparkling beverage of NASCAR since 1998. Through its partnerships with International Speedway Corporation, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Coca-Cola refreshes racing fans at the majority of NASCAR-sanctioned tracks. A signature part of the brand's NASCAR association is the Coca-Cola Racing Family - a group of top drivers that include Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart. The company also maintains relationships with Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty and Elliott Sadler. Coca-Cola Racing Family members make appearances and are featured in advertising, promotions and packaging.
Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can purchase two frontstretch tickets with excellent views of pit road and the world's largest HDTV for just $99 to the May 26 Coca-Cola 600.