NASCAR, Swan Racing and Michael Waltrip To Pay Tribute To Sandy Hook victims
By Elizabeth Roman, Associate Producer -
Photo Cutline: 'Two time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip stands by the car he will race in next Sunday's Daytona 500 honoring the victims from Sandy Hook Elementary'. Photo: Greg Engle
DAYTONABEACH Fla.- Michael Waltrip will be racing for a cause this year in the Daytona500. He has partnered with Swan Racing to pay tribute to the community ofNewtown, Connecticut. They will be honoring the victims who lost their lives inthe Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting last year.
Theymet last week with Newtown town officials, community leaders, first respondersand victim's families about the plans. The car Waltrip will drive in their namewas unveiled Thursday at NASCAR's Daytona 500 Media Day. The Toyota has thenumber 26 Sandy Hook School Support Fund on it. It also has a decal encouragingpeople to donate ten dollars to the cause by texting Newtown to 80888.
"Americanseverywhere are heartbroken about the tragedy in Newtown and Swan Racing isproud to join NASCAR and the United Way of Western Connecticut to help thecommunity move forward," said Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis.
Inaddition all three Michael Waltrip racing entries will also run the same decalfor the Daytona 500.
"Drivingthe No. 26 Sandy Hook School Support Fund Toyota is like nothing I have everbeen part of in my NASCAR career," Waltrip said. "It will be an emotional weekknowing that we have the potential to do so much good for the Newtowncommunity. I'm racing for a reason."
Notto mention, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France's wife Amy will kick off theNASCAR industry's support. She will personally donate $50,000 to the fund, andthat money will be matched by The NASCAR Foundation.
"Beingin Newtown last week and delivering a moment of happiness to that community wasunlike anything I've ever experienced," said Brian France. "Looking out at aroom of smiling faces amidst the aftermath of a horrible tragedy was verypowerful. It hit me that the NASCAR industry and our passionate fan base havean unbelievable opportunity to rally around this cause and make a hugedifference for a community in need. I am excited to witness firsthand theNASCAR community's embrace and support of the Sandy Hook School Support Fund."
Twentychildren and six teachers were killed when a gunman opened fire inside SandyHook Elementary school last December. The shooter, Adam Lanza, took his lifeafter incident.