(Bethel, CT June 14, 2016) For the second season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers didn’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 on Memorial Day Weekend, the cars had the names of fallen soldiers. The Casey Mears’ No. 13 Military Chevrolet SS sponsored by GEICO that incorporated a special Duracell military logo included the name of Spc. Christopher Wright. This U.S. Army Ranger fell in service to our nation on assignment in Afghanistan.
“Running the GEICO and Duracell 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.
GEICO and Duracell hosted Spc. Wright’s family and friends, who served alongside him during his last deployment, 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 given the assignment as a rifleman. Attending the race in Wright’s honor were Grant were Army Rangers McGarry, Chris’s team leader; Wilson (Will) Peavley, squad leader from same platoon; Daniel (Dan) McAuley, same platoon; and Jonathon (JD) Barnette, same platoon.
At age 23, Wright was on his third deployment when 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.
Spc. Wright’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.
The No. 13 GEICO Military Chevy with the Duracell logo for the 600 is the second of four weekends that Germain Racing’s No. 13 is scheduled to display the GEICO and Duracell Military paint scheme. Upcoming races include: AAA Texas 500 – Texas Motor Speedway – Nov 6th and CAN-AM 500 – Phoenix International Raceway – Nov 13th.