Carl Edwards has celebrated some of the most magical moments of his NASCAR career at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and an exciting return to the iconic 1.5-mile superspeedway saw the defending Coca-Cola 600 winner ride in a military Humvee and meet with officials and dignitaries prior to the beginning of the unforgettable 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, which will roar to life on Friday.

"The Coca-Cola 600 is a tough race for a number of reasons," Edwards said. "It's so fast, you've got to be aggressive all the time, and 600 miles wears anyone out. It's fitting that such a difficult race is that special and it's got such a place in our sport because if you win it, you've really done something."

"No tradition is stronger or better than what happens right here at Charlotte Motor Speedway every year with the Coca-Cola 600," said Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith. "We love to reach out to the troops and their families to let them know we support them and we appreciate them."

Ben Reiling, the director of sports marketing for Coca-Cola USA, also unveiled a new, patriotic-themed can design that the company will feature throughout this summer. The cans are a part of Coca-Cola's celebration of the USO's 75th anniversary. The cans have limited-edition Share a Coke and a Song packaging featuring the classic "I'm Proud To Be An American" song lyric, and are available for purchase from Memorial Day Weekend to July 4.
Those in attendance also saluted USO of North Carolina President John Falkenbury, who next week will officially receive Charlotte Motor Speedway's prestigious Stonewall Jackson Award for immeasurable contributions in the name of patriotism.

Weekend passes for the 32nd running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway start at just $99 and include admission to the May 20 Sprint Showdown and North Carolina Education Lottery 200, a pre-race concert featuring triple-platinum recording artist Andy Grammer and a great view of no-speed-limit qualifying. Frontstretch tickets for the May 29 Coca-Cola 600, which include a moving pre-race military salute and a pre-race concert with country music superstar Lee Brice, start at just two for $99. To purchase single-day tickets, Mega Passes, camping and race-day upgrades to any 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder event, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at

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