News & Media

Drivers team with Lionel to honor 9/11 victims, heroes

May 26, 2011, Team Release,

CONCORD, N.C. -- Lionel NASCAR Collectables, in partnership with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, on Thursday unveiled a multi-car, on-track program that pays tribute to the 10th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and helps raise funds to build homes for the only three surviving quadruple amputees of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- United States Army Spc. Brendan Marrocco, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Todd Nicely and U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. John Peck.

As part of the "Honoring Our Heroes" program, Greg Biffle, David Gilliland, Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart will drive special patriotic paint schemes that feature the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation logo during the September race weekend at Richmond.


"I think it's important for NASCAR to do something as a sport to honor all those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and to remember American heroes like Stephen Siller," said Howard Hitchcock, vice president of LNC.

"Partnering with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to help make a real difference in the lives of three military heroes who have sacrificed almost everything for their country was something we, as a company, felt compelled to do."

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is a charitable organization founded in 2001 by the family of Stephen Siller, an FDNY firefighter. Siller was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got the call about the attack on the World Trade Center. When he couldn't drive his truck through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Siller donned 75 pounds of firefighting gear and ran through the tunnel to the towers to help rescue his fellow Americans. Siller lost his life as a result of his heroic actions.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each "Honoring Our Heroes" die-cast and associated merchandise will be donated to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which has earmarked these funds for the construction of customized "smart" homes for wounded United States servicemen Marrocco, Nicely and Peck.

"We are honored that these NASCAR teams, drivers and sponsors and the folks at Lionel NASCAR Collectables have embraced our foundation and its cause in such a big way," said George Siller, vice chairman of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and brother of Stephen Siller.

"It means so much to us that my brother's name will be remembered by the sport and that, in turn, his heroism will be used to better the lives of heroes like Brendan, Todd and John."

To bring even more attention to the foundation's charitable efforts, David Gilliland will run the No. 34 Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports on Sept. 10. Front Row Motorsports has donated Gilliland's entire paint scheme to honor the legacy of Stephen Siller and to help increase awareness of the foundation's efforts to help the heroes of the U.S. military.

"I feel humbled to have Stephen Siller's name on my car on such an important and emotional anniversary for our country," Gilliland said. "And I hope that seeing the No. 34 Ford on track on Sept. 10 will bring a smile to those three soldiers' faces and let them know that their country cares about them and is thankful for their heroic service."

Danica Patrick will drive a special version of the No. 7 GoDaddy Get Your.Net Chevrolet for JR Motorsports during the Sept. 9 Nationwide Series race at Richmond. Patrick's car will feature a star-covered design and a black paint scheme.

"Each star on the GoDaddy No. 7 Chevrolet represents a soul lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack," said GoDaddy CEO and founder Bob Parsons. "We will always remember 9/11. I'm glad to see NASCAR supporting this extraordinary tribute!"

The No. 7 "We Salute You" JRM Chevrolet driven by Josh Wise at Dover on May 14 also will be included in the "Honoring Our Heroes" program.

Following the events at Richmond, Lionel NASCAR Collectables will take part in the 2011 Tunnel to Towers Run on Sept. 25. Tunnel to Towers is an annual run in Manhattan hosted by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation in which thousands of runners and walkers retrace the steps of Siller, honor his legacy and remember the fallen of Sept. 11. This year for the first time, Tunnel to Towers Runs will be held in cities nationwide on 9/11 as a way to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.

For more information about the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, please visit