Michael Waltrip will drive a No. 26 car adorned with a Sandy Hook School Support Fund paint scheme for the Feb. 24 Daytona 500, as part of an effort to raise awareness and contributions for the tragedy.
The No. 26 car, supplied by Swan Racing, is meaningful because it represents the 20 children and six adults who were killed by gunman Adam Lanza at an elementary school Dec. 14 in Newtown, Ct.
NASCAR chairman Brian France and his wife Amy have already donated $50,000, and the NASCAR Foundation will match the amount.
The color scheme was unveiled publicly on Thursday during a media session. It was introduced to the children and families of Sandy Hook in Newtown privately last week.
"[The Newtown event], to me personally, was one of the hardest things and best things I've ever done," France said. "Being in Newtown last week and delivering a moment of happiness to that community was unlike anything I've ever experienced. Looking out at a room of smiling faces amidst the aftermath of a horrible tragedy was very powerful.
"It hit me that the NASCAR industry and our passionate fan base have an unbelievable opportunity to rally around this cause and make a huge difference for a community in need. I am excited to witness firsthand the NASCAR community's embrace and support of the Sandy Hook School Support Fund."
Waltrip said all three of his cars also will feature a call-to-action decal asking fans to donate $10 by texting "Newtown" to 80888. Funds raised will go to help the healing process for the community. Donations can also be made online at newtown.uwwesternct.org.