Mike Wallace/U.S. Army Racing notes HAPPY BIRTHDAY U.S. ARMY The U.S. Army turns 228-years-old Saturday, June 14. There will be birthday celebrations across the country this weekend, including the pre-race festivities for Sunday's Sirius 400...
Mike Wallace/U.S. Army Racing notes
HAPPY BIRTHDAY U.S. ARMY
The U.S. Army turns 228-years-old Saturday, June 14. There will be birthday celebrations across the country this weekend, including the pre-race festivities for Sunday's Sirius 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Michigan International Speedway (MIS).
The pre-race show will begin with the 82nd Airborne Chorus - a 25-member a cappella group -- performing a mixture of military and patriotic songs, including Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA," as the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Ky. presents the colors.
The pre-race show continues with The Flag Story, a fast-paced travel through the growth of the nation and the history and role of the United States Army. The Flag Story will feature more than 100 soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) from Fort Meyer, Va., dressed in period uniforms -- Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm and ongoing missions.
After the driver introductions the Golden Knights - the U.S. Army Parachute Team out of Fort Bragg, N.C. -- will entertain the crowd as the 15-member team will jump from 12,500 feet and fall to earth at a speed of 120 miles per hour before deploying the parachute and landing on the U.S. Army logo on the speedway's tri-oval grass.
WALLACE TO JUMP WITH GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Mike Wallace, subbing for the injured Jerry Nadeau in the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac, will take to the sky Thursday afternoon (June 12) when he will perform a tandem parachute jump with a Golden Knight at Tecumseh airport, approximately 18 miles southeast of Michigan International Speedway. Wallace will wear a harness that will connect to the harness of the Golden Knight U.S. Army Parachute Team instructor.
"I've never done this before and I am really looking forward to my first jump," said Wallace. "I do have a little uneasiness, but I will be jumping with the best parachutists in the world and that is a very comforting feeling, especially when you're dropping at a rate of 120 miles per hour. I really don't know what to expect, but it even sounds more thrilling than driving a racecar 190 miles per hour around Michigan International Speedway."
ANOTHER DOUBLE DUTY WEEKEND FOR WALLACE
For the second week in a row, Wallace will be shuttling back and forth from his U.S Army Winston Cup ride to his Busch Grand National ride. Last week it was from Pocono (Winston Cup) to Nashville (Busch). This weekend's shuttle will be between Michigan International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway, site of Saturday night's Busch race. Wallace will practice and qualify the U.S. Army car Friday at MIS and then fly to Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. to qualify and practice his No. 4 Biagi Brothers Busch car. He will return to Michigan for Saturday's two Winston Cup practices before heading back to Kentucky for the Busch race. He will return to Michigan late Saturday night. Wallace's shuttle partner will again be Todd Bodine, who also races in both of the NASCAR series. "I feel like one of those diplomats who shuttles from country to country," explained Wallace. "From here on in the weekends are going to be more normal. The Busch Series will return to running with the Winston Cup Series."
THE TEXAS CAR FOR MICHIGAN
The No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac for this weekend's event at MIS will be the first in-house built chassis by MB2 Motorsports. The car, with Nadeau driving, finished fourth in Texas and 14th in California. Wallace drove the car to a 19th-place finish two weeks ago in Dover, despite having a stop and go penalty for allegedly jumping a restart. "This is a great car and I really feel it will work well in Michigan," said Wallace. "I like the Michigan track - it's fast and it's wide enough for passing. That's what I like and it should be fun."