BUSCH: St. Louis: Honorary crew chief for No. 30

Law Enforcement 'Hero' To Be Honorary Crew Chief At Gateway NASCAR Weekend for Smith & Wesson SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (July 26, 2006) -- Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary, 154-year-old global provider of products and services for safety, security,...

Law Enforcement 'Hero' To Be Honorary Crew Chief At Gateway NASCAR Weekend for Smith & Wesson

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (July 26, 2006) -- Smith & Wesson Corp., the legendary, 154-year-old global provider of products and services for safety, security, protection and sport, continues its 2006 NASCAR Busch Series campaign with driver Mike Bliss at Gateway Raceway near St. Louis this weekend and honors its latest law enforcement hero in partnership with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Grand Lodge national headquarters.

Serving as honorary crew chief for the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet team of SKI Motorsports at this weekend's Gateway 200 is Officer Al O'Connor of the Chicago Police Department, who was recognized by the FOP for his bravery and courage exhibited during a March 2005 incident during which he helped save the life of another officer by shooting and killing a gunman who had already executed a civilian hostage.

O'Connor, a four-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, received a Cook County Medal of Valor from the Illinois Police Association, a Lifesaving Award from the Chicago City Council, the Michael P. Gordon Foundation True Blue Award, and the Illinois Chiefs of Police Medal of Valor for his role in the incident. He helped save the life of Officer Hugh McCormack of the Norfolk Southern Railroad police, who had been shot multiple times by the gunman during a standoff on a Chicago street. The gunman had already shot and killed a hostage and was firing shots at McCormack, then O'Connor. After calling for medical assistance for the wounded Officer McCormack, O'Connor then successfully ended the standoff by taking out the gunman.

"We salute Officer O'Connor for his incredible bravery and courage in disregarding his own safety in his efforts to save another officer's life," said Patrick Yoes, FOP National Secretary of the FOP Grand Lodge. "True acts of bravery, such as this one, occur every day all across America, and we are proud to partner with Smith & Wesson in honoring our American heroes."

"Officer O'Connor saved the life of a wounded officer and ended the siege of a criminal who had just committed an execution, and for that, he is certainly a hero in every respect," said Tom Taylor, Smith & Wesson Vice President of Marketing. "We are proud to have Officer O'Connor as our honorary crew chief representing the 324,000 FOP members nationwide."

Joining O'Connor on the Smith & Wesson Racing team this weekend is Officer McCormack, who will be a special guest of the team.

The #30 Smith & Wesson Racing Chevrolet of SKI Motorsports features a unique "black-and-white" law enforcement paint scheme with FOP logo displayed on the deck lid. The tribute, which debuted last fall at Texas, is scheduled to continue at Busch series races later this season at California Speedway, and Kansas Speedway.

-ski

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Mike Bliss