Tommy Baldwin, Jr. Honors Family Friend and Comrades on Sunday

Tommy Baldwin, Jr. Honors Family Friend and Comrades on Sunday

Mooresville, NC (May 27, 2016): The NASCAR Modified roots run deep for Tommy Baldwin.

Growing up on Long Island and working on his dad, Tom’s car he forged many close relationships over the course of that era.

Twelve years ago, Baldwin rekindled a friendship that dated back to his youth with a friend of his dad’s. Several years later “Butch” Stevenin, an avid Modified fan, introduced his son Derek to Tommy. The youngerStevenin is a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps – serving five deployments in the three different Battalions over the past eight years.

It was then when Baldwin dug deeper into the work of our military.

“It’s very eye-opening when you hear stories directly from those who serve our country,” said Baldwin. “I’ve always had an appreciate of what our service men and women do, but Derek has brought me into the trenches with him. We really don’t know how much our military sacrifices and what they endure to protect us. It’s all very humbling.”

This Sunday, Stevenin will join the team for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But he makes clear that it isn’t about him.

“I’m so grateful that Tommy has chosen to honor 17 of my ‘brothers’ who lost their lives serving our country, said Stevenin. “These men were all-in. They gave their lives to protect our freedom. And while I’m grateful to be (at Charlotte Motor Speedway) and be with the team, I’m proud to have the opportunity to share the memories of my comrades. I can’t thank Tommy and his entire team for what they’re doing on behalf of our real heroes.”

The No. 7 Nikko RC/Toy State Chevrolet will carry the names of the fallen soldiers. Derek’s name will appear above the passenger door.

“I’d have to say that in all the years I’ve been working in NASCAR, this Coca-Cola 600 is going to be the most special. I’m proud to know Derek and to have the opportunity to honor those who give selflessly to ensure our freedom. We should all take a little time to recognize that.”