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Slain Marine veteran Thomas J. Sullivan to be honored at NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend

Charlotte Motor Speedway (Nascar1996/WikiCommons)

A Springfield Veteran’s life will be honored and remembered Memorial Day weekend during the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

On Sunday, The NASCAR pace car that helps pace the field to green will carry the name of Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan who gave his life while defending his country on Thursday, July 16, 2015, during an attack on the Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to a release from NASCAR.

Sullivan grew up in the East Forest Park neighborhood of Springfield, attended Holy Cross School, and graduated from Cathedral High School, NASCAR said.

He served in the United States Marine Corps for 18 years and was last assigned to Mike Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Corps Reserve, according to the release.

In honor of Memorial Day weekend, all NASCAR Cup Series drivers will have their names replaced on car windshields with those of fallen service members — an annual tradition known as the 600 Miles of Remembrance, NASCAR said.

The tradition of remembrance is part of the “NASCAR Salutes Together with Coca-Cola” program. This celebrates the service and sacrifice of U.S. service members and their families throughout Military Appreciation Month, NASCAR said.

The race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC will begin at 6 p.m., according to NASCAR’s website. The race will consist of 400 laps and 600 miles.

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