Michael Waltrip To Race In No. 26 Car At Daytona In Tribute To Newtown Victims
NASCAR, Swan Racing and driver/team owner Michael Waltrip on Thursday announced plans for a tribute to raise funds and awareness for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Swan's Sprint Cup Series entry driven by Waltrip during the Daytona 500 will become the Sandy Hook School Support Fund No. 26 Toyota instead of the Lean1 No. 30. The car will display a call to action to donate $10 to the fund via text message. The "text NEWTOWN to 80888" decal also will appear on all three Michael Waltrip Racing entries in the Daytona 500 (THE DAILY). ESPN.com's David Newton reported NASCAR Chair & CEO Brian France and his wife, Amy, already have "donated $50,000 to show industry support." That amount will be "matched by The NASCAR Foundation." The idea was "born from a conversation NASCAR president Mike Helton had with Daytona Beach businessman Hans Reelick, who is from the Newtown area and still owns a business there with his son." Reelick said, "I asked him if there was a chance we could get the father who lost a daughter (in the shooting) and his son maybe a half-an-hour tour and show them the (Daytona 500) facilities. Two days later, I got a call from Mike, who said, 'Hey, we're going to paint a car for this'" (ESPN.com, 2/14).