U.S. Army Ranger Spc. Christopher Wright Will Be Remembered by Germain Racing in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR: An American Salute™
(Mooresville, N.C. – May 24, 2016) For the second season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers won’t have their names on the windshields of their racecars in the longest race on the schedule. Instead, for 600 miles of racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Casey Mears’ No. 13 GEICO Military Chevrolet SS will bear the name of Spc. Christopher Wright. This U.S. Army Ranger fell in service to our nation on assignment in Afghanistan.
“Running the GEICO Military paint scheme on our No. 13 Chevrolet SS makes racing at home in Charlotte more special. Anytime we get a chance to represent the men and women who fight for and have sacrificed for our freedom, it makes the race have more meaning for the whole team,” said Mears, a Coca-Cola 600 winner.
The team looks forward to hosting family and friends of Spc. Wright at the race track for 400 laps of Charlotte action on Sunday, May 29th. Wright, of Tollesboro, Ky., chose to enlist in the Army in June, 2005, after speaking with each of the service branches. He completed training in Fort Benning, Ga., and, after graduating from the Basic Airborne Course, was assigned as a rifleman with Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, of Fort Lewis, Wash.
Wright served in Vilseck, Germany, before being assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program at Fort Benning. After graduating, Wright was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield in June, 2009, where he served as a rifleman and a squad automatic weapons gunner.
At age 23, Wright was on his third deployment in support of the War on Terror. He had previously deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. He was seriously wounded in a fire fight with the enemy during a combat operation in Konar Province, Afghanistan. Wright was evacuated to the nearest treatment facility where he died of his wounds on August 19, 2010.
He is survived by his father and stepmother, Jim and Michele Cochran, of Tollesboro, Ky., and his mother, Linda Dennis, of Jeffersonville, Ind.
Wright’s dad said his son was very interested in joining the Army and even asked his father to sign the papers allowing him to enlist before he turned 18. Cochran refused, but supported his son’s determination to serve our nation.
“The very day he turned 18, he got up early to go sign up. Once he had made up his mind...there was no changing it,” said Cochran of his son’s decision to join the U.S. Army.
Wright’s mother is thankful Chris’ memory is being honored.
"I would like to thank…Casey Mears, Germain Racing, and the NASCAR community for honoring our Fallen Heroes. I must say by choosing to honor Chris, Mr. Mears will have my personal ‘Airborne Ranger in the Sky’ riding beside him. And that can only lead to success!” said Dennis, whose son’s awards and decorations, include Army Commendation Medal with "Valor" device, Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge and the Purple Heart along with many more. The complete list can be found on www.ranger.org/page-581071/407280.
Wright’s team leader, former Army Ranger Grant McGarry, said the outgoing specialist earned a nickname of “mouth of the South” while serving on his team. One of the things he talked about was life after the service.
“As his team leader, I not only trained him to become better at his job but took the time to get to know what his dreams and aspirations were. A few days before August 18th, we went to a coffee shop and he talked to me about how he planned to go to the University of Kentucky and get a business degree when he got out of the Army and looked forward to taking his siblings snowboarding when we got back from the deployment we were on,” said McGarry who fought alongside Wright in Operation Enduring Freedom.
The No. 13 GEICO Military Chevy for the 600 is chassis 545 – the third new chassis this season and the second of four weekends that Germain Racing’s No. 13 is scheduled to display the GEICO Military paint scheme.
Germain Racing is proud to honor Spc. Wright as part of #NASCARSalutes at Charlotte Motor Speedway (@CLTMotorSpdwy) as part of Memorial Day weekend. Keep the conversation going with us @GermainRacing or on Facebook.com/GermainRacing.
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