When Kurt Busch announced he would attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, he turned heads and garnered a host of attention.
For Busch, though, the attention on his Memorial Day double should be placed elsewhere.
Working closely with his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, who serves as president of the Armed Forces Foundation, Busch has gone above and beyond when it comes to giving back and recognizing military members.
"I’m driving for the military, and trying to push the focus around our Memorial Day weekend to recognize our military in a fashion that hasn’t really been done and is a unique platform like this," Busch said Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with airmen from the nearby Nellis Air Force base behind him.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver said he’s even using a military boot camp style workout regiment to prepare for the physical demands of running the double.
The increased attention for the military will take place on an already patriotic day at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Each year, the speedway brings in large numbers of soldiers, and often puts on an impression display of military force.
"In Charlotte, we’re just blessed to have the opportunity to have thousands of troops come in and enjoy the racing with us every year," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We celebrate what it means to pay the respect that’s deserved for the troops – those that have gone before us, and those that serve now."
State Water Heaters, which will serve as a sponsor on Busch’s No. 41 Chevrolet later this year, will also be donating $25 for each mile completed while attempting the double.
"That could be up to $27,000 to the Armed Forces Foundation," he said. "I hope that we’re going to create a social buzz around everybody jumping and donating for every mile completed. It could be one penny, could be $100."