The term “firesuit” took a whole new meaning Wednesday in Concord, N.H. for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver was in Concord Wednesday as part of the NASCAR “Victory Tour” in promotion of the Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 on July 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.
Kahne took part in training exercises Wednesday with local firemen at the New Hampshire Fire Academy.
Kahne got prepared in full firefighter gear, including his own custom fireman’s helmet and went through a variety of training routines, including a canine demonstration, a jaws of life demonstration, a water hose competition, and a smoke-filled maze using a self-contained breathing apparatus.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Kahne said in a release from New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “To put on that suit and walk in their shoes a little bit; I have a ton of respect for what they do on a regular basis.”
As they did last year, New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials are reaching out to corporate sponsors to purchase race tickets to allow first responders and their families to attend events at the track.
“We are using the platform of the largest sporting event in New England to increase the awareness of the survivors and of those who protect and serve all of our communities,” New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager Jerry Gappens said. “It is our honor to be a part of this.”
In 2013, more than $10,000 in tickets for the first responder program were donated by corporate sponsors.
Kahne, who won the July 2012 Sprint Cup Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, closed out his visit to the Granite State with a question and answer session and autograph session with fans at Concord (N.H.) Municipal Airport.
“I’m looking forward to running the race at New Hampshire in July,” said Kahne. “It’s been a good race track for us, a place we’ve won before. It would mean a lot to us to that again.”