News & Media

Drivers commemorate 9/11 with paint schemes

September 11, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service,

RICHMOND, Va. -- With the wholehearted endorsements of sponsors that have given up positions on the hoods of race cars, NASCAR drivers are commemorating the heroes of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that became the major catalyst in the war on terror.

In Friday night's Nationwide Series race, Danica Patrick's regular DayGlo green colors were replaced with a paint scheme that bore a star for each one of the 2,976 victims killed on Sept. 11. For Saturday night's Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup race, Ryan Newman's No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet bore the names of all 75 victims who lost their lives in the attack on the Pentagon.

Kyle Busch's sponsor, M&M's, ceded its space for a flag paint scheme on the No. 18 Toyota, reminiscent of the fall Dover race in 2001, when M&M's removed all sponsor logos in favor of a flag replica paint scheme on Ken Schrader's car.

"Certainly, it means a lot to all of us and the team and everybody to honor our lost and fallen that were on hand that day -- and, of course, to the many men and women that are still honoring our country," Busch said.

During the Cup race, NASCAR and Richmond International Raceway held a moment of silence from Lap 9 through Lap 11. For those three laps, the track P.A. and radio and television broadcasters remained silent.