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NEWS | May 18, 2021

NASCAR team makes pit stop at JBLE

By Staff Sgt. Joshua Magbanua 633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Members of the Rick Ware Racing team visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, May 12-13, as part of a wider appreciation tour of military installations around the country.

The team, which competes in the NASCAR Cup Series, often makes pit stops to military bases on the way to their races.

“We had a blast,” said Garrett Smithley, one of the team’s NASCAR Cup Series drivers. “I love coming to these military base visits. My grandfather was in the Army, and my other grandfather was in the Marine Corps. It’s always good to get a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on in our military.”

Smithley and his group toured both Langley and Eustis, stopping at Felker Army Airfield, Third Port, the 1st Operations Group and 1st Maintenance Squadron.

Kate Lummus, RWR vice president of marketing, said her team wanted to show appreciation to military members—whether they are NASCAR fans or not. During this year’s Memorial Day commemorations, the team will have the names of approximately 2,000 fallen service members printed on the hood of their race cars as they race in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I think everybody in the racing world is beyond thankful for our men and women in uniform,” Lummus said. “This is the fun part of our job; it is what drives us as a team.”

Smithley remarked at how amazed he and his team were to visit Langley and Eustis, saying he now has an even greater appreciation for what the military does after touring both installations.

“It’s a way for us to give back to the military,” Smithley said. “What you guys do every day keeps us safe and allows us to continue what we love on a daily basis. We’re always passionate about the military, and it’s always a pleasure to come out and do this.”