Two Mainers who were killed in the line of military duty are among the men and women who will be honored by NASCAR over Memorial Day weekend.
The names of Gary Ivan Gordon of Lincoln, who died in 1993 in Somalia, and Kyle Milliken of Falmouth, who was killed in 2017 in Somalia, will appear on the windshield of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars during Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The race will be televised at 6 p.m. on FOX-TV.
Clint Bowyer’s No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will carry Gordon’s atop the windshield and the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Daniel Hemric will display the name of Milliken.
Gordon was killed while trying to rescue team members from two crashed helicopters. The battle led to the making of the movie “Black Hawk Down.”
Milliken was a 15-year veteran who was killed in action in Somalia. He was a member of the famed Seal Team Six that killed Osama Bin Laden and had earned four Bronze Stars.
Milliken’s death was the first of a U.S. service member in Somalia since the 1993 incident involving Gordon.
Their names will be on the windshield for the entire race weekend (practice, qualifying and race).
The “NASCAR Salutes Refreshed by Coca-Cola” initiative is racing’s expression of respect, appreciation and reverence for those who have served the nation, both past and present. The program kicks off with the return of 600 Miles of Remembrance during Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.
All Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race cars will bear the name of a fallen service member on the windshield during the race in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It is the fifth year NASCAR has done the tribute.
“NASCAR has always taken immense pride in honoring the military men and women who’ve bravely served our nation,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said in a release. “Each year, (the) NASCAR Salutes (initiative) unites our industry to celebrate these heroes and their families and recognize them for the sacrifices made to preserve our freedoms.”
Family members of many fallen service members will attend the Coca-Cola 600.