CONCORD, N.C. (May 22, 2012) - Fox Sports motorsports analyst Jeff Hammond has jumped with the U.S. Army's Golden Knights and flown with the Air Force Thunderbirds.
An hour before the start of the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the popular NASCAR expert will get to check off another item on his must-do list.
Hammond is the last component added to what certainly will be another of the track's renowned pre-race salutes to the U.S. Armed Forces before the Memorial Day Weekend race.
Hammond will be the meat in a smoky sandwich between slices of 8,000 horsepower that will be unleashed on each side of him from nitromethane-fueled engines producing enough power to rattle pit road.
The five-time Cup series champion as crew chief or crew member will be the official starter for the double, Top Fuel Dragster burnout on pit road featuring Don Schumacher Racing's U.S. Army team with seven-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher and teammate Antron Brown with his Matco Tools/Aaron's Dream Machine team.
"This definitely is something I can cross off my bucket list," said Hammond, who will take a brief break from his Fox Sports duties late in the afternoon on that Sunday to be smack dab in the middle of 16,000 horsepower and go where few men have been before.
"I've always wanted to have the opportunity to get close. I've been to a drag race before but never really gotten close. It will be right up there with skydiving with the Golden Knights and flying with the Thunderbirds.
"A gearhead like me could never turn down a chance to stand between 16,000 horsepower and feel that vibration and hear that sound and experience that smell ... that will put me in a pretty unique category."
The power display on pit road is scheduled for 5 p.m., about 90 minutes before the green flag drops to start the Coca-Cola 600 that will be broadcast on Fox.
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