Michael Waltrip To Race Sandy Hook Memorial Car In Daytona 500

Swan Racing announced Thursday that two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip will race a Sandy Hook Memorial car in the Feb. 24 Daytona 500.

The Swan Racing Sandy Hook Memorial car Michael Waltrip will race in the upcoming Daytona 500 (Courtesy: Swan Racing)

The race kicks off the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season.

The car will be run to raise awareness and contributions for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund and honor the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in December in Newtown.

The car will feature a call to action decal encouraging those seeing it to make a $10 donation by texting NEWTOWN to 80888.

According to a release from Swan Racing, “The Sandy Hook School Support Fund, established jointly by United Way of Western Connecticut and Newtown Savings Bank, supports the healing process for the broader Newtown community including children, teachers, first responders, families, residents, mental health professionals, counselors and others, following the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. One hundred percent of the funds raised for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund go to meet the needs of the Newtown community.”

Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis said in a release from the team: “Americans everywhere are heartbroken about the tragedy in Newtown and Swan Racing is proud to join NASCAR and the United Way of Western Connecticut to help the community move forward.”

Waltrip also announced that all three Michael Waltrip Racing Sprint Cup Series entries in will run text donation decal.

“Driving the No. 26 Sandy Hook School Support Fund Toyota is like nothing I have ever been part of in my NASCAR career,” Waltrip said in a release from Swan Racing: “It will be an emotional week knowing that we have the potential to do so much good for the Newtown community. I’m racing for a reason.”

NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France announced Thursday that he and his wife Amy would personally make a $50,000 donation to the fund, and that donation will be matched by the The NASCAR Foundation.

France was part of a group from NASCAR and Swan Racing that met with victims, first responders, town officials and community leaders in Newtown last week.

“Being in Newtown last week and delivering a moment of happiness to that community was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” France said. “Looking out at a room of smiling faces amidst the aftermath of a horrible tragedy was very powerful. It hit me that the NASCAR industry and our passionate fan base have an unbelievable opportunity to rally around this cause and make a huge difference for a community in need. I am excited to witness firsthand the NASCAR community’s embrace and support of the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.”

Donations can also be made online for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund or by mail to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main Street, Newtown, CT, 06470

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