NASCAR President Steve Phelps appeared on “Fox Report” Saturday to preview Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina and to discuss how the motor sport will honor fallen U.S. service members during the event.
“The Coca-Cola 600, which starts at 6 p.m. on FOX, is it’s just a special race. We have no other race like it,” Phelps said. “Not only is it our longest race, but as you said this, you know, the fallen soldiers, and the name of the fallen soldiers on top of the windshield in honoring the Gold Star families… it’s just a really special time for us.”
Each car on Sunday will carry the name of a fallen service member above its windshield, and the field will pull into the pits mid-race for a moment of remembrance.
Giving the command to fire things up at the race will reportedly be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
Anchor Jon Scott asked Phelps why NASCAR fans have such a huge appreciation for the military.
“I think part of it is… a fan is twice as likely to have served in the military in NASCAR than any other sport. And so there’s just a natural connection between NASCAR and the military,” Phelps explained. “There are other opportunities that we have to celebrate, obviously, wrapping ourselves in the flag or honoring our servicemen tomorrow is particularly special, just given that it’s Memorial Day or the day before Memorial Day.”
Scott asked Phelps about organization holding races during the coronavirus pandemic after it restarted the season last week with no fans. Phelps said that despite the empty grandstands and the safety measures, there is normalcy in having races resume.
“[In] between the green and the checkered, it feels very normal. So that part’s fantastic. The protocols and procedures that we have in place for our competitors to keep them safe, we [developed] a fantastic plan, [worked] with local, state and federal health officials to make sure it was rock solid,” Phelps said. “And it worked very well in Darlington. We expect the same thing in Charlotte tomorrow night.”
Fox News’ Paulian Dedaj contributed to this report.