Sunday to feature Gen. David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force &
Maj. Gen Jeannie M. Leavitt, Commander, Air Force Recruiting Service
PHOENIX – ISM Raceway is proud to celebrate Veterans Day Weekend during the Bluegreen Vacations 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semi-Final Weekend, November 8-10. Throughout the weekend, veterans and active duty personnel will perform the national anthem, invocation and serve as honorary pace car drivers and race officials as everyone in attendance honors the service and sacrifice from the amazing men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
On Friday evening, ahead of the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Semi-Final, SrA Stephanie Salgado and SrA Mich Caraway from Arizona Air National Guard will perform the national anthem. Additionally,Brigadier General Andrew J. MacDonald, the 162d Commander, 162d Wing, Arizona Air National Guard, will be the Honorary Pace Truck Driver as he leads drivers to the green flag and CH (MAJ) Danny Hughes, 198th Regional Support Group of the Arizona Army National Guard, will offer the invocation.
Ahead of the Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series Semi-Final on Saturday, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Edward Schrank will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.” A five-time head and neck cancer survivor from chemical exposure while serving 15 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Schrank has overcome overwhelming odds and unbelievable adversity to sing the national anthem.
While still on active duty, Schrank’s left eye and parts of his skull were removed and it wasn’t until he began having seizures that he retired from active duty. Cancer continued to return and on the fifth occurrence, doctors told Schrank they were going to remove his jaw and he was never going to speak or eat again. Miraculously, doctors were able to save his jaw and preserve his spirit, and it was at that point that Schrank decided to pursue a goal of singing the national anthem in front of tens of thousands of people. Under the tutelage of world-renowned singer Jim Cornelison, Schrank has performed the national anthem numerous times, including at the Ryder Cup, Soldier Field and many other iconic venues. A video highlighting Schrank’s incredible journey is available for download here.
Some of the United States Air Force top officials will be a part of Sunday’s event as well. Gen. David L. Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, will lead the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to the green flag as the Honorary Pace Car Driver. As Chief, General Goldfein serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 685,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas Additionally, Maj. Gen Jeannie M. Leavitt, Commander, Air Force Recruiting Service,will be an Honorary Race Official for Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacation 500. General Leavitt is responsible for all enlisted accessions and a variety of officer accession programs.
Sunday’s pre-race festivities ahead of the Bluegreen Vacations 500 will feature Luke Air Force Base’s SSgt Brittany Timpson performing the national anthem. SSgt Timpson, 26, has served in the Air Force for eight years as a civil engineer, including three tours in Southwest Asia and she is currently in the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron at Luke Air Force Base. Edward Schrank returns on Sunday to perform “God Bless America” while Captain Adam Roe, Chaplain, Luke Air Force Base, offers Sunday’s invocation ahead of the Bluegreen Vacations 500.
A fan favorite, ISM Raceway is honored to showcase Luke Air Force Base’s 308th Fighter Squadron and four F-35 combat jets as Sunday’s flyover at the conclusion of SSgt Timpson’s performance. Reactivated in November 2018, the 308th Fighter Squadron is the fourth F-35 squadron at Luke Air Force Base, helping Luke’s mission of training the world’s greatest fighter pilots.
The Arizona Military Vehicles Collectors Club will also feature a number of their vehicles in Thursday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hauler Parade, which will be on display throughout the midway and the INfield through the weekend. Featured vehicles include a World War II Willys Jeep, a M925 5-Ton 6×6 Troop Carrier Transport Truck, M936 5-Ton Wrecker, 3/4-Ton Command Vehicle (CUCV) and a USMC Willys CJV35/U Jeep.
Continuing its commitment to veterans and active duty military, ISM Raceway offers a 20% off military discount for all grandstand seats and INfield access for the Bluegreen Vacations 500, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Semi-Final Weekend, November 8-10. Military discount tickets are available by phone at 866-408-RACE (7223), or in person at the ISM Raceway ticket office during regular business hours.