DAYTONA BEACH Fla.- Michael Waltrip will be racing for a cause this year in the Daytona 500. He has partnered with Swan Racing to pay tribute to the community of Newtown, Connecticut. They will be honoring the victims who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting last year.
They met last week with Newtown town officials, community leaders, first responders and victim’s families about the plans. The car Waltrip will drive in their name was unveiled Thursday at NASCAR’s Daytona 500 Media Day. The Toyota has the number 26 Sandy Hook School Support Fund on it. It also has a decal encouraging people to donate ten dollars to the cause by texting Newtown to 80888.
“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,” said Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis.
In addition all three Michael Waltrip racing entries will also run the same decal for the Daytona 500.
“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. “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.”
Not to mention, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France’s wife Amy will kick off the NASCAR industry’s support. She will personally donate $50,000 to the fund, and that money will be matched by The NASCAR Foundation.
“Being in Newtown last week and delivering a moment of happiness to that community was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” said Brian France. “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.”
Twenty children and six teachers were killed when a gunman opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary school last December. The shooter, Adam Lanza, took his life after incident.