Stewart races for the troops

by Dave Yaeck
April 30, 2004

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Stewart's ESGR car

NASCAR Nextel Cup series regular Tony Stewart will pilot the #29 Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in the Busch Series Stater Bros. 300 on Saturday. Stewart, a 17-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series, has yet to see Busch Series action at the two mile Fontana track with this event marking his first Busch Series start of 2004.

“It is an honor to drive the ESGR car for Richard Childress Racing in the Busch Race at California Speedway,” Stewart said.

“It’s fun for me cause it’s not a lot of pressure but it’s nice to support the ESGR and knowing how hard the troops are working for us right now it’s nice to run a special paint scheme on their behalf and show our support for them now.”

Car owner Richard Childress stressed how important it is to run this program to support our troops in Iraq. “The Guard and Reserve is 49 percent of our whole military, without them we would be in trouble,” Childress said.


Stewart's ESGR uniform

“We want to make sure we have some fun with it but we also want to make sure we get everybody the awareness out there for the ESGR. The biggest thing (with this program) is that it gives the ESGR a marketing tool to where they can go to many other places with it besides the race track.”

This is part of a five-race deal that began with Bobby Labonte driving at Texas Motor Speedway on April 3rd, Stewart this weekend, Ricky Craven at Chicagoland Speedway on July 10th, Kerry Earnhardt at Dover International Speedway on September 25th and Kevin Harvick at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20th.

This weekend will also be the first race that Gary Cogswell will take over as the crew chief of this program. Most recently, Cogswell served as crew chief for the #12 Supercuts Chevrolet with Busch series driver Tim Fedewa.

“It’s an honor for me to be able to join RCR,” said Cogswell, a 13 year NASCAR veteran. “This organization has been here so long and is so solidly planted into this sport that I feel like I’ll never have to look for another job.”

ESGR operates through a network of more than 2,000 volunteers throughout 55 committees located in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Europe and RCR has been involved with ESGR since signing a letter of support for the group at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October 2002 and carried the ESGR logo at one time or another last season including all five competing in the 2003 Daytona 500 weekend.

For more information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and ESGR volunteer opportunities, please visit www.esgr.com.

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