AUSTIN, TX (May 17, 2016) – The NASCAR Community has always carried infinite respect for the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. On Friday, Austin Wayne Self and the No.22 AM Technical Solutions Toyota team will carry on that tradition and honor fallen soldier, Army Sgt., Brett Gornewicz, with a special paint scheme during the NASCAR Truck Series, North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“It’s such a huge honor for me to pay tribute to Army Sgt. Brett Gornewicz this week at Charlotte,” said Self. “My grandfather, Norman, served 20-years in the Airforce and fought in Vietnam, so recognizing the U.S Military and all the servicemen and women who’ve served has always been important to me and my family – especially those who’ve paid the greatest sacrifice.”
Serving his country in the U.S. Army starting in 2006, Sgt. Gornewicz, paid the ultimate sacrifice to his country on November 3, 2012, when he was one of three U.S. servicemen killed by an IED while working in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan as part of Operation: Enduring Freedom.
Austin Wayne Self, a rookie driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will honor Army Specialist Gornewicz, carrying the colors of ‘The Brett Gornewicz Foundation’ on the Lower hood and bed cover of his Toyota Tundra truck.
‘The Brett Gornewicz Foundation’ was founded by four fellow servicemen, whom Gornewicz, served with during his first tour in Iraq. The foundation was founded to help raise money to support veterans in the Western New York area – Sgt. Gornewicz was a native of Buffalo, New York.
“Racing was always a part of our lives. Brett being honored by the AM Technical Solutions NASCAR team, whom a member of his high school is a part of, and it being held the weekend before Memorial Day is a great way to honor the memories of our childhood and Brett’s service to our country,” said Brett’s sister, Cassandra Cranston.
“Our father regularly brought us to local tracks in our hometown of buffalo, NY. During family functions if there was a NASCAR race on TV, it would be on in the background. We are very thankful to Matt Donovan, Austin Wayne Self and the entire team for this great tribute.”
After hearing of Brett’s tribute at Charlotte Motor Speedway, family friends and owners of TurboPro Inc., joined the cause, donating all the Good Year tires used by Austin Wayne Self during the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
About Army Sgt. Brett Gornewicz
Most people at the age of 27 are still enjoying their youth, just beginning to advance in their careers or perhaps just beginning to settle down, get married and start a new family. At the age of 27, United States Army Specialist Brett Gornewicz was serving his nation – and paid the ultimate price for that service. He was one of three U.S. servicemen killed on Nov. 3, 2012 by an improvised explosive while working in the Paktia province of Afghanistan as part of Operation: Enduring Freedom. They were assigned to the 444th Engineer Company, headquartered in Oswego.
A 2003 graduate of Alden High School, Brett pursued studies in mechanical technology and eventually enrolled in Buffalo State College to major in industrial technology. In between, though, he made the decision to give back to his nation and, in 2006, enrolled in the Army Reserves. The following year, his combat engineering unit was activated and sent to Iraq, where Gornewicz served through 2008. He completed his studies and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 2011, the same year he became an Uncle.
Later that year, he was back on duty as his unit was once again deployed, this time to Afghanistan where he was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor. He came home to visit the summer of 2012 and enjoyed time with friends and family. The memories formed during that visit will forever be special as a few short months later, on November 3, 2012 during a routine mission his truck was hit by an IED.
Follow Austin Wayne Self on Social Media: Be sure to follow Austin on all social media platforms. You can find him on facebook at facebook.com/AustinWSelf, on twitter at @AustinWSelf and Instagram @AustinWayneSelf. You can also visit AWSracing.com.
This Week’s NCWTS Schedule: NCWTS action from Charlotte Motor Speedway will begin with three practice sessions on Thursday, May 19. First Practice session starts at 12:30, Second Practice Session starts at 2:30 and the final Practice Session starts at 4:30. Follow NASCAR.com for results. Keystone Light Pole Qualifying will take place Friday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. Follow Live on FS1. The North Carolina Lottery 200 (134 laps, 201 miles) begins at 8:30 p.m. Friday night. Note: All Times Eastern Standard Time.
NCWTS NC Education Lottery Television Broadcast Schedule for Friday, May 20 Catch all the action from Charlotte on FOX SPORTS 1! 5:30 PM EST – NCWST Keystone Light Pole Qualifying (FS1) 8:30 PM EST – Start of the NC Education Lottery 200 (FS1) Note: All Times Eastern Standard Time.