DOVER, DEL. (September 21, 2010) – Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and Team DuPont will take to the track at this weekend’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway with more than one mission.
While the focus is on maintaining a strong start toward a fifth championship and a win in the second of 10 ‘Chase’ races, Gordon will do so in a specially painted No. 24 DuPont/www.PoliceMuseum.org Chevrolet bringing awareness to the importance of law enforcement safety — one of the goals behind the partnership between Gordon, DuPont and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
On October 14, 2010, the groundbreaking for the National Law Enforcement Museum will take place in Washington, D.C., and money raised through commemorative T-shirt and die-cast car sales of the silver and black, police cruiser-like paint scheme will help fund the building of the Museum to memorialize and showcase the efforts and sacrifices that officers make every day to keep Americans safe.
“I can’t think of a better way to make race fans aware of the building of this museum which will salute the bravery of law enforcement officers from all over the country,” said Gordon, who has four wins, four poles, 14 top-fives and 21 top-10’s in 35 starts at Dover and is fifth in points entering Sunday’s race. “It’s a great way to educate the public on how important it is to keep our police officers safe in such a dangerous line of duty.
“I hope race fans get excited about this paint scheme and the meaning behind it and go to the www.PoliceMusuem.org web site to see how they can get involved.” DuPont, the manufacturer of Kevlar® brand fiber, the material used to make body armor worn by law enforcement officers, will host two “survivors” at this weekend’s race to help educate race fans about the importance of law enforcement safety.
Detective David Spicer and Investigator Kyle Russel, who were both shot in the line of duty but had their lives saved because of the bullet-resistant vests they were wearing, will be at the Dover race this weekend.
“We all need to work on changing how we and others think about body armor,” said Investigator Russel who was shot in the upper center torso during a traffic stop in Alexandria, Va., in 2008. “Body armor is an essential part of an officer’s weapon system. Defensive, yes, but still the one piece of equipment that may, and frequently does, enable a police officer to survive and stay in the fight. Detective Spicer and I are both living examples.
“To have Jeff Gordon and DuPont come out and support the National Law Enforcement Museum and people like me in such a big way, is really overwhelming.”
The Museum, with a scheduled opening date set for 2013, will expose visitors to the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers and reveal the necessity of their safety through exhibits, collections, research and education. Investigator Russel and Detective Spicer are proof of the benefits of taking safety precautions through the life- saving ability of body armor, many of which are made of DuPont™ Kevlar®.
“Mandatory vest wear policies can be found in less than half of the 18,000 U.S. police agencies,” said Detective Spicer who serves on the Dover, Del. Police Department and was shot twice in the arm and once in the chest while attempting to arrest a previously convicted felon in 2001. “This equates to many police officers being on the street daily lacking the basic equipment required to survive.
“I hope that by sharing our survival stories, Investigator Russel and I can help educate thousands of race fans about the value of body armor in keeping police officers alive, and the value of police inspiring them to donate to the Memorial Fund.”
And if Gordon and Team DuPont helps to save one more life through their efforts this weekend, victory will be had at Dover.