NASCAR Driver Reed Sorenson Takes Off Flying RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Capt. Dustin Ripley, an F-15 pilot with the 95th Fighter Squadron, gave NASCAR driver Reed Sorenson the ride of his life on January 21 at Tyndall Air Force Base in ...
NASCAR Driver Reed Sorenson Takes Off Flying
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Capt. Dustin Ripley, an F-15 pilot with the 95th Fighter Squadron, gave NASCAR driver Reed Sorenson the ride of his life on January 21 at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida.
"Taking a ride in an Air Force jet is unlike any training I've done for NASCAR," said Reed Sorenson. "I have great respect for the Air Force and I'm honored to represent them in the No. 43 car."
The incentive flight at Tyndall AFB was part of an effort by Air Force Recruiting Service to prepare Mr. Sorenson for the 2009 NASCAR season, and educate him what it really means to be an Airman.
"We wanted Reed to learn about the Air Force first hand and there is no better way to do that than flying with an Air Force unit," explained Col. Tim Hanson, chief of strategic communications for the Air Force Recruiting Service. "Reed and his crew chief, Mike Shiplett, met dozens of Airmen and talked about the similarities of launching a fighter mission or preparing a winning race car. Both take dedicated professionals and lots of teamwork. We are confident the experience helped give Reed and Mike a better understanding and appreciation for the Airmen they will represent on the track."
The incentive flight will be followed this week by a two-day visit to San Antonio, Texas where Reed will meet with Air Force trainees going through Basic Military Training.
While at Tyndall AFB, Mr. Sorenson and his crew chief, Mike Shiplett, were filmed for a series of webisodes in which the NASCAR men compare notes with Air Force pilots. The series, "Switching Seats," is set to debut on airforce.com in March 2009. This campaign in addition to sponsorship agreements and all U.S. Air Force advertising is handled by Austin-based GSD&M Idea City.
In November 2008, the Air Force announced both a primary and associate sponsor with Richard Petty Motorsports, formerly known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports, for the No. 43 car driven by Reed Sorenson. As a primary sponsor, the car will feature the Air Force paint scheme in four of 38 NASCAR races this season.