DOVER, Del. (Aug. 29, 2016) –“Citizen Soldier,” a feature film using real footage that follows an Oklahoma National Guard unit during its deployment to Afghanistan will be the entitlement sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 2, track officials announced today.
The “Citizen Soldier 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (NBCSN, 2 p.m.) is the first elimination race in the 16-driver 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship playoffs. Four drivers will see their championship dreams dashed after 400 grueling laps around the Monster Mile.
The “Citizen Soldier 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is the centerpiece of the Sept. 30-Oct. 2 NASCAR tripleheader weekend, which also includes free concerts, activities and experiences within our FanZone and Monster Mile Youth Nation areas, an interactive USO Military Village display, military flyovers, autograph sessions, fireworks and more.
Produced by Strong Eagle Media and distributed by Gravitas Ventures and Broad Green Pictures, “Citizen Soldier” is a modern day “Band of Brothers” and documents the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (nicknamed the “Thunderbirds”) 2011 deployment. Set in one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan at the height of the surge, it is a heart-pounding, heartfelt grunt’s-eye view of the war. The film tells the true story of an exceptional group of young soldiers and their life-changing tour of duty in Afghanistan, offering an excruciatingly personal look into modern warfare, brotherhood and patriotism.
“Citizen Soldier” will be available nationwide on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as all major cable/satellite On Demand and internet VOD providers, on Aug. 30.
The largest mobilization for an Oklahoma unit since the Korean War, the 45th routinely fought enemy insurgents in close combat situations and lost 14 soldiers during its 96-day deployment.
“The Monster Mile has deep connections to the men and women who selflessly serve in our military and who provide the freedom we all enjoy, particularly with our close proximity to Dover Air Force Base and the Delaware National Guard,” said Mike Tatoian, Dover International Speedway’s president and CEO. “Our partnership with Strong Eagle Media and its film ‘Citizen Soldier’ further strengthens that connection, and serves as another way for the remarkable stories and sacrifices of all of our National Guard and military members to be told.”
One of the unit’s members, Sgt. Eran Harrill, is the film’s creator and one of its producers. The film, which was theatrically released Aug. 5, was directed by David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud.
“Our goal as the directors of the film is to have the audience see, hear, and feel exactly what these members of the National Guard are going through on the front lines during some of the most brutal fighting of the war,” Salzberg and Tureaud said. “These missions take you to places most Americans have never gone before.”
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Oklahoma National Guard has deployed more soldiers, per capita, in support of the War on Terror, than any other state in the country.
“Strong Eagle Media is delighted to be partnering with Dover International Speedway as the entitlement sponsor of this very important event,” Strong Eagle Media partner Bert Bedrosian said. “As Americans, filmmakers and patriots, we couldn’t be more proud of this event that helps pay much deserved homage and respect to our brave men and women in uniform and their incredible families who selflessly sacrifice everything for our country every day and every night.”
The Sept. 30-Oct. 2 NASCAR weekend also includes the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Friday, Sept. 30, and the “Drive Sober 200” presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Oct. 1.