Brad Keselowski takes heart in honoring fallen soldiers

NASCAR Cup Series driver spends time with family of fallen soldier Clark Schwedler prior to Coca-Cola 600.

Brad Keselowski takes heart in honoring fallen soldiers
 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Miller Lite
 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Miller Lite
 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Miller Lite
 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Miller Lite
 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Miller Lite
 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Miller Lite

One of the annual traditions during the Memorial Day race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is each NASCAR Cup Series driver displaying the name of a fallen soldier and hosting their families at the track.

Brad Keselowski has long been known as one of the most patriotic drivers who constantly works on and off the track to honor members of the military and their families. It’s a passion of his and this weekend he’ll honor a fellow Michigan native - Clark Schwedler.

“It’s a privilege to be a small part of this event to honor our fallen soldiers,”said Keselowski. “I enjoyed meeting some of Clark’s family and we are proud to have his name on our car for the Coca-Cola 600.”

Schwedler as from Crystal Falls, Michigan, a small town of around 1,600 people located in the northern peninsula of the state.

Clark’s brother Tom and his sister Kate Kokotovich visited Keselowski at the Team Penske shop earlier this week.

“It was incredibly important when they asked us to join and use Clark’s name,” said Tom Schwedler. “Looking at Brad and his patriotism it just felt right to put his name with a genuine patriot. I was incredibly honored that he wanted to pay tribute to my brother.”

Neither sibling was a big race fan, but after being asked to be a part of this program and meeting Keselowski they’re enjoying it and ready for the race becuase they felt Tom would have loved this event.

“We are (race fans) now,” said Kokotovich. “And it was so cool when I found out about Brad it just felt right to be a part of this special event. My brother loved to compete and he would love the team aspect of NASCAR.

“Coming from Michigan we’re from a small town in the upper peninsula. It’s great that Clark will be a big part of this event coming from a small time. Having Clark attached to this event means a lot to us.”

Clark Schwedler was killed in April 2007 in Iraq.

Complete list of soldiers to be remembered:

Car: 00

Driver: Landon Cassill - StarComm Racing

Solder: Kyle Richard Schneider

Car: 1

Driver: Kurt Busch - Chip Ganassi Racing

Soldier: Timothy J. Maude

Car: 2

Driver: Brad Keselowski - Team Penske

Soldier: Joseph Clark Schwedler

Car: 3

Driver: Austin Dillon - Richard Childress Racing

Soldier: Chad Wilkinson

Car: 4

Driver: Kevin Harvick - Stewart-Haas Racing

Soldier: Bryan Allen Hoover

Car: 6

Driver: Ryan Newman - Roush Fenway Racing

Soldier: James Michael Nolen

Car: 8

Driver: Daniel Hamric - Richard Childress Racing

Soldier: Kyle J. Milliken

Car: 9

Driver: Chase Elliott - Hendrick Motorsports

Soldier: Bradley W. Marshall

Car: 10

Driver: Aric Almirola - Stewart-Haas Racing

Soldier: John Patrick Bartone

Car: 11

Driver: Denny Hamlin - Joe Gibbs Racing

Soldier: Sarah Mitchell

Car: 12

Driver: Ryan Blaney - Team Penske

Soldier: Alexander Rosa Jr.

Car: 13

Driver: Ty Dillon - Germain Racing

Soldier: Robert Hugh Steele

Car: 14

Driver: Clint Bowyer - Stewart-Haas Racing

Soldier: Gary Ivan Gordon

Car: 15

Driver: Ross Chastain - Premium Motorsports

Soldier: Keith “Matt” Maupin

Car: 17

Driver: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - Roush Fenway Racing

Soldier: John Graziano

Car: 18

Driver: Kyle Busch - Joe Gibbs Racing

Soldier: Dale Russel Griffin

Car: 19

Driver: Martin Truex Jr. - Joe Gibbs Racing

Soldier: Nicholas H. Null

Car: 20

Driver: Erik Jones - Joe Gibbs Racing

Soldier: Richard Ellis Eckert

Car: 21

Driver: Paul Menard - Wood Brothers

Soldier: David E. Hickman

Car: 22

Driver: Joey Logano - Team Penske

Soldier: James Wallace Tisinger

Car: 24

Driver: William Byron - Hendrick Motorsports

Soldier: Mark Weber

Car: 27

Driver: Reed Sorenson - Premium Motorsports

Soldier: Jerome C. Bell Jr.

Car: 32

Driver: Corey Lajoie - GoFas Racing

Soldier: Alex Conrad

Car: 34

Driver: Michael McDowell - Front Row Motorsports

Soldier: Jonathan Farmer

Car: 36

Driver: Matt Tifft - Front Row Motorsports

Soldier: Joshua ‘Zach’ Beale

Car: 37

Driver: Chris Buescher - JTG Daugherty Racing

Soldier: David Moore

Car: 38

Driver: David Ragan - Front Row Motorsports

Soldier: William G. Taylor

Car: 41

Driver: Daniel Suarez - Stewart-Haas Racing

Soldier: Randy David Shughart

Car: 42

Driver: Kyle Larson - Chip Ganassi Racing

Soldier: Jeannette Lee Winters

Car: 43

Driver: Bubba Wallace Jr. - Richard Petty Motorsports

Soldier: Dylan J. Elchin

Car: 47

Driver: Ryan Preece - JTG Daugherty Racing

Soldier: William Jeffries

Car: 48

Driver: Jimmie Johnson - Hendrick Motorsports

Soldier: Richard Michael Donlan

Car: 51

Driver: Cody Ware - Rick Ware Racing

Soldier: Lee C. Wilson

Car: 52

Driver: Bayley Currey - Rick Ware Racing

Soldier: James Allen Slape

Car: 53

Driver: BJ McLeod - Rick Ware Racing

Soldier: William O’Brien

Car: 66

Driver: Joey Gase - MBM Motorsports

Soldier: Timothy D. Howerton

Car: 77

Driver: Quinn Houff - Spire Motorsports

Soldier: Bantee L. Hall

Car: 88

Driver: Alex Bowman - Hendrick Motorsports

Soldier: John Tumilson

Car: 95

Driver: Matt DiBenedetto - Leavine Family Racing

Soldier: Danny A. Dessens Jr.

Car: 96

Driver: Parker Klingerman - Gaunt Brothers Racing

Soldier: Andrew F. Whitacre

Grand Marshall Car #1

Soldier: Jason Hicks

Grand Marshall Car #2

Soldier: James M. Brophy

Grand Marshall Car #3

Soldier: William Carter Ross

Grand Marshall Car #4

Soldier: David M. Sonka

Lead Pace Car

Soldier: Jason C. Denfrund

Splitter Pace Car

Soldier: Kevin R. Herrmann

Air Force Tundra

Soldier: Zachary S. Barton

Marine Tundra

Soldier: Daniel Baker

Navy Tundra

Soldier: Dakota Kyle Rigsby

Coast Guard Tundra

Soldier: Adam Bryant

Army Tundra

Soldier: Kenneth ‘Kenny’ McAninch

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