TALLADEGA COUNTY — Empire Racing and American Heroes Racing paid tribute to Talladega native Stephen J. White during Friday’s ARCA Race at the Talladega Superspeedway. White gave his life for his country in Iraq.
“(Sergeant First Class) White, 39, father of seven children, was killed in the Iraq war on Jan. 5, 2006, while on his fifth tour of duty after 20 years of military service. White was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery, and 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas,” according to a press release. “To honor SFC White, we will be running a ‘hero shot’ photograph of SFC White on the hood of the Ford Fusion Empire Racing LLC #82 ARCA entry that is driven by Sean Corr. ‘This is another way of giving back to the local communities where we race each year,’ Corr said. ‘It will be a pleasure to meet SFC White’s family, friends and military brothers and sisters.’”
Grant Lynch and Patrick Barfield of the Talladega Superspeedway are honoring White’s family “this weekend by hosting White’s family members for the entire race weekend. The Talladega community has also shown support for this event, along with Councilman for Ward 2, Jarvis Elston.”
Elston was “instrumental in the process,” according to the release.
The family were also “honorary pit crew members for the ARCA 250. Upon the conclusion of the race, SFC White’s family was presented with a hood replica of the #82 Ford Fusion. The hood was signed by drivers, crew members, military members, and other dignitaries that were present at the ARCA 250.”
Sam White, Stephen’s brother, said they all felt honored by the tribute. “It means a lot to all of us. He served his country for 20 years, and we need to remember him. I just wish his wife and his other kids could be here, but they’re in Texas and couldn’t get the kids out of school. But I’m proud of him, I miss him and I’m glad they are honoring my brother.”
Contact Chris Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org