Daytona 500: Newman hosts war hero

Florida War Hero to be Guest of Newman, No. 39 Army Team at Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2009) -- Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Potter, a decorated war hero, will be a guest of Ryan Newman and the No. 39 U.S. Army/Stewart-Haas Racing team...

Florida War Hero to be Guest of Newman, No. 39 Army Team at Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2009) -- Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Potter, a decorated war hero, will be a guest of Ryan Newman and the No. 39 U.S. Army/Stewart-Haas Racing team for Sunday's running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Potter,a native of Tallahassee, who now resides in Daytona and works as an Army recruiter in Orlando, was awarded the Purple Heart when his truck came into contact with an improvised explosive device in Iraq on Aug. 7, 2004. He suffered shrapnel injuries to his neck, face and upper arm in the explosion.

Additionally, Potter was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service by playing an instrumental role in establishing guidelines to increase security for his company's convoys in Iraq, as he proposed new rules for gun crews and convoy commanders.

His changes in weapon systems and tactics became standard training for crews to provide maximum protection for convoy personnel.

During his tour in Iraq, Potter was responsible for more than 50 missions as a convoy commander and 80 missions as a lead gunner, logging more than 20,000 miles in the face of explosives and small arms fire on a daily basis.

Along with being in the pits watching the 500 on Sunday, Potter will join Newman and other guest speakers at the Army Educational Program,Friday morning (10:15 - 11 a.m.) at the Speedway.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ryan Newman
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing