The events of this week's attack on the Boston Marathon hit especially close to Michael Waltrip Racing founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip. As the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver or car owner to have run the Boston Marathon, Waltrip will honor the victims of the marathon tragedy by running special door numbers on his three NASCAR Sprint Cup entries this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
The door numbers on the No. 15, 55 and 56 MWR Toyota Camrys will replicate the 2013 Boston Marathon runner "bib" numbers, which are pinned on each of the nearly 30,000 runners. Waltrip posted a time of 4 hours, 33 minutes in the 2000 event.
"The news coming out of Boston this week was very personal to me," said Waltrip. "When I ran the Boston Marathon in 2000, I remember thinking about what a privilege it was to be able to participate and all the hard work it took to be there. When you can see those international flags flying in Copley Square, you know you are about to complete your journey. I know the joy those runners were feeling at that moment when their worlds changed."
Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) will show its support for the city of Boston with a "B-Strong" tribute. All three Roush Fenway Ford Fusions will carry "B-Strong" decals during this weekend's NASCAR event and RFR team owner Jack Roush has pledged to donate $100 for every lap the team leads during Sunday's Sprint Cup race.
"When events occur such as what happened earlier this week in Boston, it is our nature to be overwhelmed with a variety of emotions," said Roush. "To have to withstand an act of such senselessness and cowardice against innocent people is disheartening to us all. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, as well as the entire city of Boston.
"As Americans we can all be proud of the way the city of Boston -- and the entire nation -- has banded together in the wake of this tragedy. We are proud of our Boston connections and feel privileged to be able to play a very small part in supporting the 'B-Strong' effort."
Roush Fenway is half owned by Boston's Fenway Sports Group; the same company that owns and operates the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park as well as a majority stake in the region's premier sports network, NESN. In support of its sister team, RFR will carry the "B-Strong" decal that the Red Sox organization has used as a rallying point for Bostonians since the events that tragically took the lives of three people, while wounding well over 100 others.
"It was a great moment of pride when they pinned the Boston Marathon bib on me, so I thought it would be great to pin bib numbers on our race cars this week in Kansas," said Waltrip. "I want to thank our sponsors, NAPA Auto Parts, 5-Hour Energy and Aaron's, as well as NASCAR, for giving us permission to show our support. We just want the victims of the attack, the brave men and women who helped after the explosions and the city of Boston to know that we are thinking of them and we will support them anyway we can."
In addition, Roush Fenway will distribute "B-Strong" decals at the race track this weekend that pays tribute to the '617' Boston area code, the "B-Strong" program and provides information on how to support the "The One Fund Boston", an initiative formed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to help the people most affected by the tragic events.
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