Sears Point: Roush Racing No. 16 pre-race trip

National Guard Team To Arrive In Style At Infineon No. 16 National Guard Team To Arrive In CH 47 Chinook Helicopter Sunday Morning At Infineon Sonoma, Calif. (June 22, 2005) - Earlier this week the call came in to the Roush Racing shop in ...

National Guard Team To Arrive In Style At Infineon

No. 16 National Guard Team To Arrive In CH 47 Chinook Helicopter Sunday Morning At Infineon

Sonoma, Calif. (June 22, 2005) - Earlier this week the call came in to the Roush Racing shop in Concord, N.C. that the National Guard had finalized special travel arrangements for the No. 16 team. After several weeks of planning, it was confirmed that the team would arrive and depart from Infineon Raceway on Sunday in a CH 47 Chinook Helicopter.

"We were able to do this last year and wanted to be able to do something for the guys again this year," said SFC John Metzler of the National Guard. "They work week in and week out to give the men and women of the Army National Guard great a car to root for on the track. The morale boost they've given to Guard soldiers everywhere this year with such an incredible season is immeasurable and we just wanted to be able to do something for them."

The CH 47 Chinook is a tandem-rotor transport helicopter. It is 51 feet in length, weighs approximately 33,000 pounds, has a maximum payload of more than seven tons and travels at up to 150 mph. It requires three crew members and can carry 33 troops. The first Chinooks were built in 1961 and were first used in combat during Vietnam War. By 1968, the Chinook had put in 161,000 hours of flying time, carrying 22.4 million passengers and 1.3 million tons of cargo.

Chinook helicopters were also used to transport U.S. and allied troops in the Persian Gulf War. During 2002, the Chinook's high speed and large payload gave it the lowest cost-per-ton-mile of any transport helicopter available. 300 Chinooks are currently undergoing another modernization process to make them fully compatible with 21st century operational and war-fighting requirements as well as improve the aircraft's efficiency and effectiveness.

The CH 47 used to transport the National Guard crew this weekend will be operated by three members of the National Guard. The Chinook will be brought in to Oakland, Calif. on Saturday for the early morning flight to Infineon Raceway. The team will meet the helicopter at 5:30 am for the 20-minute flight to the track as the garage is schedule to open at 6:00 am. Following the 110-lap event, the CH 47 will be brought back to the Infineon Raceway helipad where it will pick up the National Guard team to take them to Roush Air in Oakland.

"This is an amazing thing that the National Guard is doing for us," said crew chief, Doug Richert. "It means a lot to the team. Aside from avoiding the raceday traffic, the experience alone will be something these guys won't forget. The National Guard has been supportive all season and this is just another example of how they are behind this team 110%."

LTC Michael Jones of the National Guard confirmed that there is a feeling of mutual support between the National Guard and the race team.

"We support our team as they support our soldiers that are deployed and at home," said Jones.

The National Guard is the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and one of the nation's longest enduring institutions. The National Guard operates in all 50 states, three territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands) and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit the National Guard website at www.1-800-GO-GUARD.com.

Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Industries that operates nine motorsports teams; five in NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Greg Biffle, two in the Busch Series with Martin, Burton, Kenseth and Biffle, and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with drivers Jon Wood and Carl Edwards.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jon Wood , Carl Edwards , Doug Richert , Mike Jones