At the NASCAR Xfinity race at the Autoclub Speedway in Fontana, California something unusual happened before the race. Instead of a military plane conducting a flyover, a very large air tanker performed the task. That in itself is not common but one of the pilots in the DC-10 Tanker 911 was the father of one of the drivers about to get in his car and compete. RK Smithley was in the aircraft cockpit and his son Garrett Smithley was in the car’s cockpit. This was the first time ever that a parent conducted the flyover with a driver in the race and it was the largest civilian aircraft to open a NASCAR event.
The flyover on March 16 was to honor the California Firefighters whose homes burned last year. Garret Smithley’s car had a huge logo promoting the CDF Benevolent Fund, an organization raising funds to help those 57 California firefighters and families who lost their homes and possessions in the wildfires last Fall. To donate, text this code: cdfracecar to 77453. This will send you to a link where you can directly donate or get the address for mailing a check. If you write a check, put cdfracecar on the memo line.
The video of the flyover below is courtesy of Jennifer Calandrillo and MBM Motorsports.