NASCAR Pays Emotional Tribute to Fallen US Marine

Published 05/31/2021, 3:02 PM EDT
May 30, 2021; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) during practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports


Without a doubt, the United States has a lot of respect for the armed forces. In light of this, ahead of the Coca-Cola 500 in Charlotte, the NASCAR paddock paid tribute to a U.S. Marine who lost his life in Iraq.

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This tribute comes on Memorial Day weekend, which is regarded as one of NASCAR’s signature events. The late Marine Corps 1st Lt. Frederick Pokorney graduated from Oregon State University before he served in Iraq.

Tragically, he lost his life and left behind his loved ones, including a then 2-year-old daughter, Taylor. Ahead of the race, she thanked the NASCAR community for the touching tribute.

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“I was shocked,” she said. “People haven’t really reached out in a long time and talked to me about my dad. I was really excited to have him honored again. His death kind of had an impact on me and inspired me to do the things that I do today”.

How are the NASCAR drivers honoring the Marine?

Defending champion Chase Elliott is leading the tributes, as Pokorney’s name will be emblazoned on his windshield. Without a doubt, this is a tradition for NASCAR and their way of respecting the armed forces. The Memorial Day weekend is just one of many special celebrations that the stock car series celebrates.

May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) races during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Others include Mother’s Day, Labor Day, and the Fourth of July celebrations. Over here, the drivers generally roll out special liveries to commemorate these weekends.

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Suffice to say, it makes the cars look colorful and resplendent. At the same time, it also satisfies the sponsors who get plenty of exposure during the race weekends.

Taylor Pokorney will be glad to know that Elliott managed to finish 2nd at the Coca-Cola 600. Meanwhile, teammate Kyle Larson won the race, as Kyle Busch finished third.

In the process, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver managed to prevent a Hendrick Motorsports top 4 lockout. This is because, Busch split the four Hendrick cars, with William Byron ahead of Alex Bowman.

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Dhruv George

11656 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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