The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series will head to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday for the Coca-Cola 600. This race will take place one day prior to Memorial Day, and the drivers will temporarily incorporate a pause in the action. The drivers will head to pit road midway through the race for a "Moment of Remembrance."
The Charlotte Motor Speedway made the announcement on Tuesday and confirmed the Moment of Remembrance. NASCAR will instruct the drivers to head down pit row in order to honor members of the United States Armed Force that have sacrificed their lives. Last year's Coca-Cola 600 also featured a similar moment, but the tradition began in 2009. Charlotte Motor Speedway moved the race to Memorial Day due to rain the previous day, and the drivers and pit crew members took part in The National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. ET.
"While the pandemic has forced us to change a lot about what makes Memorial Day Weekend so special, one thing it cannot change is our resolve to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms as well as those who continue the fight today," Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, said in a statement. "This year, our celebration here at America's Home for Racing will be both virtual and at-track, and all shared with race fans through the Fox broadcast and on social media." Walter also detailed other ways that the race will honor the troops.
Prior to the Coca-Cola 600, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will virtually share the 2020 "State of Freedom" address during FOX's pre-race show. Edward Schrank, a five-time cancer survivor from chemical exposure, will perform the national anthem virtually to set the stage for the race. Schrank served in the United States Marine Corps. for 15 years. Additionally, the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg will perform a virtual 21-gun salute.
While many NASCAR races have featured flyovers prior to the green flag waving, Sunday's race will have a historic twist. The Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation will do the flyover with two vintage P-51 Mustang warbirds. These aircraft will fly alongside modern USAF F-16 and F-22 fighter attack jets.
Drivers in the Coca-Cola 600 will travel 600 miles during the race on Sunday, and they will do so while remembering those that sacrificed their lives. Each driver will have the name of a fallen military member across the windshield of their car. For example, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be honoring PFC Barrett L. Austin during the 600 Miles of Remembrance.
The Coca-Cola 600 will take place on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET and will air on FOX. Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon will once again call the action.