Every Memorial Day weekend, as the NASCAR industry embarks on a home race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Richard Childress Racing’s drivers and partners take a special moment to reflect on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line-of-duty – both home and abroad.
For Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Concord, North Carolina oval, Sheldon Creed and primary partner, Whelen Engineering, have teamed up with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) for the second consecutive season to honor fallen law enforcement officers. The No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet will feature the NLEOMF logo predominately on the hood and sides, while the decklid will carry the names of 556 officers killed in the line-of-duty, all of whom were recently added to the walls of the national law enforcement officers memorial earlier this month.
“We’re proud to support NLEOMF and help honor those who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty,” said Creed. “Carrying their names on the decklid of our Whelen Chevrolet will be a special tribute, and our team will make them proud this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.”
The 556 officers include 224 federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement officers who were killed in the line-of-duty in 2022, while an additional 332 officers died in previous years. Their sacrifice is now being recognized after the Memorial Fund’s research staff confirmed the circumstances of their death and their record of law enforcement service.
The names of the fallen officers were read aloud during the 35th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on May 13, 2023.
“Law enforcement officers are key members of our community,” Creed continued. “They put their lives on the line each time they wear the uniform, and we owe them much gratitude for our safety and order.”
At the memorial monument in Washington, D.C., there are currently 23,785 names of fallen officers engraved, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, federal law enforcement, and campus and military police agencies.
“This year, the names of 556 fallen officers will be added to the Memorial,” said Marcia Ferranto, chief executive officer of the NLEOMF. “556 lives cut short as they risked their lives, working to make things safer for the community and people that they served. It’s a solemn reminder to the nation that each day is fragile. Not a moment goes by where we forget our brave men and women in blue for the ultimate sacrifice they have given. Their memory lives on.”
The design also highlights the Move Over law, which requires motorists to slow down and change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle that is parked on a roadway to give safe clearance to law enforcement officers.
“Whelen Engineering proudly supports first responders and their causes,” said Eric Maurice, director of automotive sales for Whelen. “We share a mission with NLEOMF to make it safer for those who serve and protect, and we’re honored to help bring awareness to the organization, pay tribute to the fallen officers, and highlight the importance of the Move Over law.”
Creed will take the green flag on Saturday, May 27 at 1 p.m. ET. FS1 will carry the live television coverage, while Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 will broadcast live radio coverage.