NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy-sponsored NASCAR racing team visited USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Sept. 16 to greet fans aboard and to tour the ship.
Driver Casey Atwood, team owner Armando Fitz, and the 15-man pit crew toured the ship and signed autographs, while media from the Speed Channel followed along for coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series 24/7-television show.
Following the tour, Truman Sailors lined up to talk with the team, and some brought a replica of the No. 14 Navy "Accelerate Your Life" Chevrolet Monte Carlo for team signatures.
"I've been a NASCAR fan for 10 years," said Personnelman 2nd Class (SW) Melissa Drake of Traverse City, Mich. "I think it's pretty cool to get to meet the Navy racing team. I'm a big NASCAR fan, and I went to my first race last summer. I'm curious about how he (Atwood) feels about being backed by the Navy."
"[Being part of the Navy Racing Team] is just such an honor," said Atwood. "I didn't realize how many more eyes I would have on me, and how many more fans we were going to have because I drive a Navy car."
During the three days the team visited Norfolk-based ships, Sailors surprised Atwood with their support. "There's a lot more NASCAR fans in the Navy than I thought," said Atwood.
"I was leading one of the tour groups, so I got to talk to them during the tour," said Senior Chief Religious Program Specialist (SW/AW/FMF) Tom McComas of Morris, Ill. "I asked what happened last week during the race. They got bumped, knocked out and got second place, but it's all good. It's as they say, 'rubbing is racing.'"
"We came in close," said Atwood. "We came in second last week, so we are going to try to get a win. I am so proud to have Navy on my car, and I want to win for all the men and women in the Navy," said Atwood.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75.