Guardsmen enjoy thrill ride at Speedway

Sept. 3, 2010 | By kentuckyguard
SRR    By Spc. Scott Raper, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
   [caption id="attachment_2748" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Sgt. Leonard Coleman poses in front the National Guard Indy Car following his ride along at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Sept. 2. Panther Racing sponsored the event to treat a group of Soldiers and Airmen to a ride of a lifetime."]   SPARTA,Ky., (September 3, 2010)—  A group of Kentucky National Guardsmen were given an experience they won’t soon forget with a garage tour and Indy Car ride-along at Kentucky Speedway, Sept. 2. Panther Racing and the track teamed up to provide the opportunity to a select few during the Indy Racing League Race weekend. “It is the ride of a lifetime, what a blast,” said Sgt. Leonard Coleman of Danville, Ky.  Coleman and his fellow Guardsmen were introduced to members of Panther Racing, official team of the National Guard Indy Racing League, before they were escorted to Pit Road for a ride-along in a two-seater Indy Car. Dressed in National Guard race suits, the Soldiers and Airmen experienced the thrill of IRL at speeds in excess of 170mph.   [caption id="attachment_2760" align="alignright" width="232" caption="Dan Wheldon, driver of the No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda signs an autgraph for a Kentucky Soldier at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Sept. 2. Panther Racing sponsored an event to treat a group of Guardsmen to a tour of the track and Indy Car ride along."]  “Dan Wheldon, driver of the No. 4 National Guard Dallara Honda, spoke to the Guardsmen and shared his pride of racing the car on the track.  I want to let you know how great it is to drive the National Guard car,” he told the Kentucky Guardsmen. “The opportunity to represent such a group of people is an honor and privilege, to represent you guys makes me a better person,” Wheldon said. “There’s added pressure driving for such a sponsor as the National Guard. Representing the National Guard is truly real,” he said. “Knowing that when I climb into that car I am not only representing troops that are U.S. based, but those overseas as well, it is always very touching.” For more photos, check out the Kentucky National Guard flickr site. 

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