CORNELIUS, N.C.  —  No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver David Ragan will carry a very special name on his windshield this Memorial Day weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

 

Race fans and television viewers will see the name of Sgt. Bryan Brewster at the top of the No. 55 Toyota’s windshield as part of Michael Waltrip Racing and NASCAR’s 600 Miles of Remembrance honoring fallen service members.

 

The 24-year-old Brewster along with nine other soldiers died on May 5, 2006 in a crash of a CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter along the Pakistan border —five children lost their fathers that day.

 

Brewster graduated from Fontana (Calif.) High School and enlisted in the Army when he was 18, ascending to the rank of sergeant in only three years. Thirty of his helicopter mechanics volunteered to transfer with Brewster when he moved from the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Ky., to Fort Drum, N.Y. Brewster celebrated his 21st birthday in Iraq and 22nd Afghanistan.

 

Bryan’s father Louis Brewster is a familiar face in the NASCAR garage. The elder Brewster is the longtime motorsports reporter and sports columnist for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group. Louis and wife Linda created the Bryan Brewster Foundation with the motto “Excellence through Leadership.”’ The foundation delivered 3,000 books to families of military personnel so that soldiers can read to their children, even while deployed. Since the military drawdown from Afghanistan, the foundation has also offered financial assistance for veterans at Chaffey College (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) through a scholarship fund.

 

“There’s nothing in the world that makes me more proud than to do something for the men and women of our military, especially those who have given their lives,” said driver David Ragan.

 

“This weekend is the greatest weekend of the year for racing but I hope by putting Bryan’s name on our car everyone will remember that a lot of people sacrificed their lives for our freedom. On behalf of myself, MWR, Aaron’s, Toyota, NASCAR and all Americans I want to thank Bryan Brewster and his family along with all the other soldiers and their families.”

 

DAVID RAGAN ON THE COCA-COLA 6OO: “It’s the longest race of the year, but I don’t do anything special ahead of time for it. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good workout regimen throughout the season. I feel like I am in good shape. It is important to mentally set yourself up to be as strong and competitive for the final third of the race. Even with the car, I want it handling the best at the end.”

 

RAGAN ON CREW CHIEF BILLY SCOTT AND THE NO. 55 TEAM: I didn't know Billy at all two weeks ago and I’ve gotten to know all the guys on the 55 a little since then. We’ve gone to dinner and even played basketball. In this world that we live in- one that is so engineer driven- Billy is the perfect crew chief with his background. He’s a very good leader and seems to have everyone’s confidence. Our goals are pretty simple. The way the system works now if you win a race you are in the Chase. That’s our goal. We feel very confident we can do that. We know we can get in on points but winning a race is the priority.”

 

NOTES:

 

  • CHASSIS: Primary: 794 - has not raced in 2015. Jeff Burton finished 20th at NHMS in July 2014. Backup: 814 - finished eighth at Atlanta with Moffitt. In 2014 it finished 16th at Indianapolis with Clint Bowyer. Vickers finished 13th at Richmond in September & 37th at Charlotte in October.

 

  • MWR FAN FEST ON WEDNESDAY: Michael Waltrip Racing will hold its annual Fan Fest at its Cornelius, N.C. race shop 11 a.m. – 3 p.m Wednesday. Fans may tour the shop, get autographs from MWR drivers, shop in the team store, watch live pit practice, enjoy sponsor displays and check out muscle cars provided by RK Motors. MWR will provide food and music for all the race fans. Admission is free and kids are welcome. “We have had Fan Fest every year since this shop opened and the race fans love it,” said Waltrip. “I enjoy meeting all of our race fans and talking racing. We’ll give you access to a NASCAR Sprint Cup race shop that few folks ever get to enjoy.” Fans will be allowed access to the shop floor Wednesday for an up-close view of the team’s Toyotas as it prepares for the racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Legendary gas man Danny “Chocolate” Myers and veteran broadcaster Jim Noble will bring their Sirius-XM Radio show “Tradin Paint” to the open house broadcasting from MWR. MWR is at 20310 Chartwell Center Drive off exit 28 on I-77 in Cornelius, N.C. about 15 miles north of Charlotte, N.C. The race shop is open to the public throughout the year. Driver Autograph Times: Michael Waltrip – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. David Ragan – 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Clint Bowyer – 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

 

·      AARON’S: The Atlanta-based company, with more than 2,100 stores across the country, helps customers own the life they want. Aaron's carries only the best brand names in furniture, electronics, and appliances with a variety of flexible payment options. It's really easy to “Own It” at Aaron’s with customers who are now pre-approved for up to $2,500 in merchandise - no credit needed. From May 1-16, is a great time to become part of Aaron’s friends and family…$25 gets you started leasing anything in the store. Choose from the top brands in furniture, electronics and appliances and we’ll help you own it – no credit needed.

 

  • CREW CHIEF BILLY SCOTT: Scott began racing motorcycles as a 5-year-old and stock cars when he turned 15. He worked in the truck series as a mechanic before he returned to college to obtain an engineering degree. After graduating in 2005 Scott worked at Robert Yates Racing and began as an engineer at MWR in 2008. The 36-year-old served exclusively as the No. 55 team’s lead engineer before taking over crew chief duties in 2014.

 

  • 55 CREW:

Billy Scott

Crew Chief

Ryan Langley

Front Tire Changer

Chris Hall

Front Tire Carrier

Shannon Myers

Rear Tire Changer

Blake Haugland

Rear Tire Carrier

Wes Evans

Jack Man

Jeff Kerr

Gas Man

Steve Channing

Car Chief

David Cropps

Interior Mechanic

Roman Pemberton

Spotter

Brandon Pope

Race Engineer

Joe Bisson

2nd Engineer

Jeremy Sharpley

Shock Specialist

Kevin White

Front Mechanic

Joe Zanolini

Rear Mechanic

Scott Swift

Tire Specialist

Kirk Butterfield

TRD

Tim Bruce

TRD

Stump Lewis

Truck Driver

Al Nelson

2nd Truck Driver

 

  • TELEVISION:

Thursday, May 21
2:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1
4 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FOX Sports 1
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FOX Sports 1
7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1

Friday, May 22
3:30 p.m., NASCAR America Motorsports Special, NBC Sports Network
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

Saturday, May 23
10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1
11 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
12:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FOX Sports 1
1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 1
2 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: XFINITY, FOX
2:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300, FOX

Sunday, May 24
4 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: Charlotte, FOX Sports 1
5:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: Charlotte, FOX
6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600, FOX
Midnight, NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1


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