THE GREAT AMERICAN SPEEDWAY SALUTES THE GREAT AMERICAN HERO Texas Motor Speedway to honor 500 returning soldiers during special pre- race ceremony for Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race FORT WORTH-DALLAS (April 14, 2005) ...
THE GREAT AMERICAN SPEEDWAY SALUTES THE GREAT AMERICAN HERO
Texas Motor Speedway to honor 500 returning soldiers during special pre- race ceremony for Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race
FORT WORTH-DALLAS (April 14, 2005) - One of the nation's largest sports crowds gathered for Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway will honor 500 returning soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom as part of the "The Great American Speedway Salutes the Great American Hero" celebration.
After the troops are assembled on the frontstretch of the speedway, Lt. General Thomas Metz, the commander of the U.S. Army's III Corps in Iraq, will formally welcome the soldiers back to the United States after their service in Iraq. Texas Governor Rick Perry also will address the soldiers.
The emotional ceremony will begin at 10:50 a.m. CT and be among the highlights of the pre-race activities.
"It is the highest honor that the fans at Texas Motor Speedway get to participate in this ceremony," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "This will be a special moment for our crowd to join Lt. General Metz and Governor Perry welcoming these great Americans back to the United States and show their thanks for their courage."
Texas Motor Speedway will host the soldiers for one of the most prestigious races in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The speedway has constructed a special grandstand in Turn 3 exclusively for the soldiers, who will also be provided food and beverages during their day.
Soldiers from six Fort Hood, Texas units will participate. The units include the 1st Calvary Division, 13th Corp Support Command, 3rd Signal Brigade, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, 89th Military Police Brigade and HHC, III Corps. Soldiers from the Army Reserve and the Texas Army National Guard, both based in Fort Worth, Texas, also will participate.
Following the ceremony, 100 soldiers will remain on the frontstretch to assist in the presentation of the United States and Texas flags.
The 4th Infantry Division Band will perform in a concert prior to the ceremony and will play during the exit of the troops to their grandstand seats. A flyover by AH-64 Apache helicopters will close the ceremony.