NASCAR driver to honor fallen soldier from Elyria at Coca-Cola 600 this weekend

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ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW) — It will be an extra special Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina as NASCAR runs its longest race of the year, the Coca-Cola 600.

“Imagine driving on an icy road when it is below freezing outside and you have very poor visibility or imagine driving through a rain storm with your wipers going as fast as they can,” said NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing.

If you’re looking for someone to root for, how about the number eight Chevrolet, driven by Tyler Reddick. He’s the two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion. He’ll have a piece of Northeast Ohio riding along with him.

“We are going to be running a desert digital camo scheme if you will, to honor the Army that he (Sgt. Norman L. Tollett) was a part of,” said Reddick.

The windshield of Reddick’s car will bear the name Sgt. Norman L. Tollett of Elyria.

“He epitomized honor, God, family, and country,” said Sgt. Tollett’s mother, Marti Miller.

Sgt. Tollett was a 1994 graduate of Elyria Catholic High School. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, out of Fort Bragg, N.C. He died April 28, 2007 in Baghdad when his unit came in contact with enemy forces.

“Just fills my soul with pride, that my son, and all the other soldiers are recognized and remembered. As long as that keeps going, then his memory lives on,” Miller said.

Miller does not usually watch NASCAR races, but she will be tuned in this weekend, rooting for her favorite driver, Tyler Reddick.

“I would tell him to drive safely, I know it’s a NASCAR race. I would like him to finish safely. I would like to tell him best wishes and I would love to see him win, that would be an extra added bonus,” she said.

“Hopefully we can bring it home for her and the rest of his family that will be watching and do everything we can to make him proud,” Reddick said.

You can see Tyler Reddick and his salute to Sgt. Tollett this Sunday at the Coca-Cola 600 on FOX 8.  The green flag drops at 6:10 p.m.

*Read more NASCAR stories, here.*

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