VFW Launches NASCAR Racing Season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States recently debuted its entry into NASCAR with the combat veterans organization’s “Celebration for Our Heroes” troop-support special event, held Thursday in Kernersville, N.C., the headquarters of VFW NASCAR partners Kevin Harvick, Inc. (KHI).

Special guests for the event included more than 140 soldiers from Fort Bragg, including 40 wounded soldiers, as well as approximately 60 soldiers with the 2-325 Infantry Regiment who returned home March 22 from duty in Iraq. 

During the VFW-sponsored celebration at KHI headquarters, Fort Bragg soldiers toured the racing facility and spent time with team co-owners Kevin and DeLana Harvick, as well as the VFW Racing drivers, Ron Hornaday and Cale Gale. 

According to several VFW officers who attended the daylong troop-support event, everyone enjoyed their NASCAR experience, including Harvick and Hornaday who extended their scheduled appearances to spend more time with the soldiers. 

“Kevin even led a group tour,” said VFW Junior Vice Commander Tommy Tradewell, a Vietnam War veteran from Milwaukee, adding that many of the soldiers he had talked to had little knowledge of NASCAR before the event. “Now they all are fans!”

One of the reasons VFW entered the racing scene was to honor today’s military members and to generate troop-support for America’s heroes.

“It’s a fact that NASCAR fans love America and arguably are the most patriotic citizens in our county,” said Tradewell, adding that the patriotic and colorful VFW Racing paint scheme on Ron Hornaday’s Number 33 truck and on Cale Gale’s Number 77 car should create a lot of excitement and garner support for service members and their families. “What a great way to show them that VFW, KHI and America stands behind them and will continue to stand behind them as long as they are required to serve.”

Tradewell said he believes loyal NASCAR supporters also will help VFW meet the escalating need for VFW services to the military. “They understand how important those services are at a time when the need has never been greater,” he said.

The first of eight 2008 seasonal races for the KHI and VFW Racing team will be this weekend at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. Preceding each race, VFW Racing will host special troop-support events. VFW Racing will be a partner in every NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Nationwide Series race this season, both on and off the track. 

"Everyone at KHI is excited to be working with the VFW on their first NASCAR effort," said Kevin Harvick. "VFW is an incredible organization, and we expect this program will help educate the public about the tremendous work they do to support our country's heroes."

To find out the latest in VFW Racing, click here.

To watch a Fox News segment from VFW's troop-support celebration, click here.