portsmouth-dailytimes.com

Wreaths Across America NASCAR has local ties

February 12, 2013

Frank Lewis


PDT Staff Writer


Stock car driver Brian Keselowski, will pilot the No. 52 Wreaths Across America stock car sponsored by TruckerFan.com in this year’s 55th annual Daytona 500.


Brian Keselowski, team owner of Brian Keselowski/HMR Motorsports, and brother to Brad Keselowski, NASCAR’s 2012 Sprint Cup champion, will carry a fully sponsored All-American red, white and blue, stars and stripe paint scheme highlighting the Wreaths Across America logo.


Dave Pack is a Scioto County resident and vice president of marketing and personal relations with various teams in three series - Sprint Cup, The Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series where they sponsor Jennifer Jo Cobb. He is also VP of marketing and personal relations for Fans 4 Truckers, LLC and hatched the idea to have trucker fans get behind an effort to have their No. 1 charity sponsor the No. 52 car. That effort came to fruition last week when Keselowski came to Wheelersburg to sign the contract.


“I called Brian Kesolowski, I know him, and asked him if he was going to Daytona, and he said, ‘well, I’d like to. We’re working on the car right now, and I’ve got a little sponsor money together, but I’m not about to go just yet.’ And I said, ‘here’s what I’ve got,’ and he said, ‘for that we’ll do the whole car in Wreaths Across America.’”


Wreaths Across America, whose mission is to remember, honor and teach, celebrated their 21st anniversary in 2012 by placing over 400,000 wreaths on fallen American soldier’ graves across the country including 110,000 at Arlington National Cemetery on Dec. 15.


“I’m truly honored to be a part of this,” Keselowski said. “I wanted to go to Daytona this year but didn’t think we’d have enough funding, and then I received a phone call from a group of investors who are also veterans. The group, TruckerFan.com, wanted to pay for the sponsorship for Wreaths Across America at Daytona and asked me if I’d represent them.”


Pack got the ball rolling.


“I partnered with a friend of mine, Jeff Brown, up in Wheelersburg,” Pack said. “We used his location, as our central office for now, and we got another partner involved. And the three of us put our game plan, our business plan, together, offering Trucker Fan apparel and merchandise, which is race related apparel and merchandise for the trucker and the trucking industry. Truckers love racing. It’s their sport of choice. We created a trademark, and now we sell those items online.”


Congress had recently passed a Wreaths Across America Day celebrated each December on the same day where more than 250,000 volunteers at 815 locations in all 50 states including Arlington, Virginia and foreign soil place a remembrance wreath with a red bow on fallen soldiers’ grave sites. More than 80 volunteer trucking companies and drivers deliver the wreaths to their destinations.


“I’ve been a race fan for 50 years,” Wreaths Across America founder Morrill Worcester said. “This is truly exciting and I love the look of the car. We want to reach and inspire an entire country and NASCAR is a great way to do that. The people who stepped up to do this have been working really hard to put this together out of their own pockets. I think it’s a testimony to the American spirit.”


Pack said wreaths are $10 each, and people can donate $10 to Wreaths Across America by texting the word “Honor” to 20222.


Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com.