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Racecar Drivers Visit Naval Special Warfare

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Shane Huffman, Mark McFarland, JR Motorsports

Racecar Drivers Visit Naval Special Warfare

Christopher Menzie, Naval Special Warfare Public Affairs
U.S. Navy
April 23, 2006
U.S. Navy Story NNS060423-07

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Three drivers from Jr Motorsports and their support staff visited the men and women of Naval Special Warfare (NSW) April 19 to learn more about Navy SEALs (Sea, Air, Land) and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC).

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Shane Huffman, and Mark McFarland toured the San Diego area to promote the Navy’s recruiting efforts and show their support of the Navy’s elite warriors. Earnhardt owns the racecars that McFarland and Huffman drive. McFarland drives the “Navy Accelerate your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo” and Huffman drives the "Champion/Navy Chevrolet Monte Carlo."

The visit gave them insight into the training, weapons, and vehicles used by the NSW community, and also the opportunity to express their appreciation for the Sailors’ efforts.

"I hope it makes a difference,” Earnhardt said. “It's really hard for me to come out here and try to boost morale when I'm in awe of what I see.”

The drivers learned about weapons used by the SEALs, such as the MP-5 submachine gun, close quarters battle receiver, and M-79 grenade launcher, and they saw how candidates develop into SEALs during the arduous Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) program.

“The real heroes are those guys out there that are on the beach that make it through BUD/S and go on to be SEALs,” Earnhardt said, “and everybody in the armed forces, for that matter.”

Following the BUD/S tour, they visited Special Boat Team 12, where they toured a Mk V combat boat and rode in a rigid-hull inflatable boat. The ride combined high speed with maneuverability, demonstrating the capabilities of the SWCC arsenal and crew as they careened through San Diego Bay at about 40 knots.

The racers finished their NSW tour with an autograph and photo session, posing for photos with Sailors and their families before departing.

For more information on Naval Special Warfare, visit http://www.seal.navy.mil/.

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