Racer Michael Waltrip will use his car to raise visibility for Newtown fundraising at the NASCAR Daytona 500, according to a release from Michael Waltrip Racing on Dave Burnham Autosport.
Waltrip's car, the #30 Lean1 Toyota, will become #26 during the race to honor the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the release said. Additionally, the car will feature a decal encouraging NASCAR fans to make $10 donations to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund by texting "NEWTOWN" to 80888.
In the release, Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, said he met privately with Newtown officials and families before making the announcement.
"One thing I can tell you for sure, is that there will be a whole lot of people in Sandy Hook and Newtown rooting for Michael and the #26 car," said Sandy Hook Fire Chief Bill Halstead, according to the release. "It will be something positive to rally around, and there will be smiles on faces that haven't smiled in quite a while."
The race is Sunday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m.