Huntersville, N.C. (May 18, 2017) – Drivers Gray Gaulding and Corey LaJoie will both carry the names of fallen members of the US Marine Corps during the All-Star weekend and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As part of the “600 Miles of Remembrance,” a program to honor and remember the men and women who have lost their lives fighting for this country, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars will feature the names of military members on their windshields.
Gray Gaulding, driver of the No. 23 BUBBA burger Toyota Camry, will honor Sgt Christopher Richard Hrbek, USMC, KIA.
Born in Westwood, NJ, on June 6, 1984, Sgt Hrbek was a member of 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, Camp Lejeune, N.C., as a field artillery cannoneer. Sgt Hrbek graduated from Westwood High School in 2002. After volunteering with his local fire company for nine years, Sgt Hrbek decided to join the Marine Corps in response to the 9/11 attacks. Personal awards include a Bronze Star with combat “V” for Valor and the Purple Heart. On January 14, 2010, while serving his fourth combat tour, Sgt Hrbek was killed in action in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was 25.
Corey LaJoie, driver of the No. 83 Hope for the Warriors Toyota Camry, will honor Capt Brandon A. “Bull” Barrett, USMC, KIA.
Born in Albuquerque, NM, on January 21, 1983, Capt Barrett was a member of 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Camp Lejeune, NC. Capt Barrett graduated from Marion High School in 2001. Upon graduation he entered the United States Naval Academy where he graduated in 2006 and joined the Marine Corps. An outstanding sportsman, Capt Barrett earned the nickname of Bull. Personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Purple Heart. On May 5, 2010, Capt Barrett was killed in action in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was 27.
Additionally, the No. 83 Hope For The Warriors Camry will also carry the names of 29 fallen service members that have ties to the organization on the deck lid of the car.
“Hope For The Warriors has a special relationship with BK Racing, and has for many years,” said BK Racing team owner, Ron Devine. “The work that they do for service members, as they return from battle, to re-acclimate them into society is so important. We are excited to have them join us at Charlotte, and we are excited for a long continued partnership with their organization.”
Family members of both Marines will be guests of BK Racing on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 600-mile Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, where they will get the opportunity to see the special military-themed cars in person, meet Gaulding and LaJoie, and participate in pre-race ceremonies with the BK Racing team.
About Hope For The Warriors:
Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served more than 13,000 through a variety of support programs focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement and connections to community resources. The nonprofit’s first program, A Warrior’s Wish, has granted 165 wishes to fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of more than 22,000 since 2010. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook or Twitter.