Wounded Warrior Project and Coca-Cola Team up for Soldier Ride to Charlotte Motor Speedway – Alumni of the Wounded Warrior Project will begin a two-day cycling event that will end tomorrow at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the participants enjoying the Bank of America 500. Soldier Ride of the Carolinas will kick off in front on the State Capitol building in Columbia, S.C., today, and the participants will ride 20 miles to Fort Jackson and back. This evening, a heroes reception will be held at USC’s Williams Brice Stadium. On Saturday, the riders will start from the corner of Trade and Tryon streets in uptown Charlotte to make the trek to the speedway.

Soldier Ride is a nationwide program that provides wounded soldiers the opportunity to reclaim their confidence and strength through cycling.

“It’s our honor and privilege to be able to support these warriors as they ride across the country,” said Bill Elmore, president and COO of Coca-Cola Consolidated. “The support we have gotten from our partners like Charlotte Motor Speedway and the University of South Carolina has been tremendous.”

“When Coca-Cola and Wounded Warrior Project came to us about partnering on this project and finishing the Soldier Ride in a big way, we knew we wanted to help,” said Dan Farrell, senior vice president of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Watching these courageous warriors finish the ride in front of 140,000 cheering fans will be simply awesome.”

The ride starts on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and is expected to conclude at 1:30 p.m. There will be a luncheon and concert for the riders. They will also participate in a Champions Lap at 5:30 during pre-race ceremonies.

Additional Media Note: Wounded Warrior SGT/E-5 Daniel Smith of North Augusta, S.C.,

will join everyone in the Time Warner Media Center on Saturday afternoon at approximately 3:45 p.m. Smith was wounded when a roadside bomb exploded beside the Humvee he was riding in as the gunner. The injuries Smith sustained were shrapnel damage; the shockwave broke his back in three places, and he sustained a traumatic brain injury. Smith is currently working on a standup comedy project to raise money for wounded soldiers.