The convergence of the Coca-Cola® 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Memorial Day weekend creates a truly special and significant occasion. It intertwines the thrill of racing with the solemnity of honoring our fallen heroes. This unique alignment reminds JTG Daugherty Racing and our partners of the valor and sacrifices made by brave men and women in service to our country.
“In the quiet of every Memorial Day, we remember the brave souls who answered the call of duty with immeasurable selflessness and the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” said Ricky Stenhouse Jr. “NASCAR Salutes honors our fallen soldiers this Memorial Day weekend, and we humbly unite to remember them with reverence.”
During the 600-mile event, we will honor and remember the brave soul, Sgt. Alessandro L. Plutino, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. On August 8, 2011, in the rugged landscape of Afghanistan, Sgt. Plutino laid down his life in service to his country, leaving behind a legacy of unwavering courage and selflessness.
“We will be carrying the name of Sgt. Alessandro L. Plutino (aka Sandrino) on our No. 47 Kroger® / Coca-Cola® Camaro windshield,” said Stenhouse Jr. “Our team thanks his mother Dianne, father Sandro, sister Brennarae, his fiancée Natalie and entire family for allowing us to honor him.”
Fueled by the memory of Sgt. Plutino‘s sacrifice, the 2023 DAYTONA 500 CHAMPION and team‘s quest is to win a second crown jewel event to add to their win column. Not only would it be a personal triumph for Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 47 Kroger / Coca-Cola Camaro team, it‘s a powerful tribute.
“I ran my first ever Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and it‘s a track I‘ve always ran well at,” said Stenhouse Jr. “Last year, we had a competitive race car. We would love to have a shot at winning this crown jewel of the sport. We have a good shot based on how we ran at Dover (Motor Speedway) and Darlington (Raceway). We feel like that will translate to Charlotte.”
Live coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway begins at 6 PM ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90).
More about Sgt. Alessandro L. Plutino:
Sgt. Alessandro L. Plutino (aka Sandrino) was an Alpha Team leader in Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. His awards included the Ranger Tab, Expert Infantryman Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, 3 Army Commendation Medals, 3 Army Good Conduct Medals, 3 Army Achievement Medals, Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/2 stars, Iraq Campaign Medals w/2 stars, GWOT Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, 2 Bronze Star Medals — 1 with V device, Meritorious Service Medal w/V device and a Purple Heart.
He wrestled and played football in Pitman High School, Pitman, New Jersey, Western New England College in Springfield, Ma. and Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. where he graduated with a degree in Criminology in 2005 and immediately proceeded to enlist. He enjoyed snowboarding, fishing, riding his motorcycle and spending time with his family and friends, especially his fiancée Natalie, the love of his life. He wondered why people would often “thank him” for just doing his job, one that he chose to do while “fully knowing the hazards of his chosen profession”. Sgt. Plutino is missed every day by his mother Dianne, father Sandro, sister Brennarae and his fiancée Natalie.
— JTG Daugherty Racing —