NASCAR brings a piece of the Air Force to Daytona

Team Penske
Photo credit Team Penske

88th Medical Group, meet Team Penske.

You might see a familiar logo on July 5 if you watch the 400-mile NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway.

As part of the NASCAR Salutes Program, Team Penske’s No. 22 NXS Ford Mustang, driven by Austin Cindric, will carry the logo of the 88th Medical Group of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio on its windshield header.

88th logo

“It’s just trying to be respectful to the people who let this happen,” said Cindric.

“For NASCAR as an industry, it’s a privilege to honor the military men and women who protect our country’s freedom,” added Jill Gregory, NASCAR executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

The windshield header has special meaning for team mechanic Jared Callihan, whose brother serves as a group practice manager for the medical group. Calihan asked his brother if the unit would like its logo to be displayed and got an unequivocal yes.

“It’s just an honor to be representing them,” he said.

The 88th is the second largest Medical Treatment Facility in the Air Force, providing primary and specialty care to over 58,000 eligible beneficiaries. Its 380 doctors and nurses work across 70 specialty clinics and are trained and ready to treat patients in a combat environment at all times.

Team Penske

While all NASCAR races are important, crew chief Brian Wilson said saluting the military adds an indefinable something extra to the race.

“This is special,” he said. “They (service members) are the true heroes.”

Win or lose, Callihan plans on making sure the car’s windshield makes its way to the 88th following the race.

“They’re going to get the windshield, no matter how we finish,” he pledged.

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