Daytona II: Nemechek honors fallen SC firefighters

Nemechek's Car to Honor Charleston, S.C. Fallen Firefighters DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) -- The paint scheme on Joe Nemechek's No. 13 Ginn Racing Chevrolet for this weekend's Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup race at Daytona International Speedway...

Nemechek's Car to Honor Charleston, S.C. Fallen Firefighters

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2007) -- The paint scheme on Joe Nemechek's No. 13 Ginn Racing Chevrolet for this weekend's Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup race at Daytona International Speedway will honor the nine Charleston, S.C. firefighters who perished in a warehouse blaze on June 18.

The names and ages of the nine fallen firefighters are listed on the decklid of Nemechek's Chevrolet while the logo of the Charleston S.C. Fire Department is showcased on each side of the car.

The deaths were the single greatest loss of American firefighters in the line of duty since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to statistics compiled by firehouse.com.

"Being a South Carolina native I wanted to let the families of the fallen victims and the Charleston community know that our race team shares in the mourning of these great American heroes," said team owner Bobby Ginn."The tragedy personally moved me."

Ginn is a former resident of Charleston and the Ginn Company has several communities in development in the area along with sponsoring an LPGA tournament.

"What an honor to have these nine heroic men riding along with me at Daytona," said Nemechek. "I am deeply touched to have our car honor the tragic loss of these nine firefighters and the Charleston, South Carolina Fire Department."

The names and ages of the nine fallen firefighters are as follows:
.Capt. William "Billy" Hutchinson, 48
.Capt. Mike Benke, 48
.Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34
.Engineer Mark Kelsey, 40
.Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, 37
.Assistant engineer Michael French, 27
.Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton, 56
.Firefighter Brandon Thompson, 27
.Firefighter Melvin Champaign, 46

Race fans wishing to make a donation to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation can go the organization's website -- www.firehero.org.

-credit: ginn racing

More on the fund can be found here: www.iaff.org/07News/062907Charleston.htm#fund

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek , Brandon Thompson