NASCAR driver Kyle Larson paid a visit recently to Marine Corps Recruit Depot – Parris Island, South Carolina, where he received a little genuine treatment as a temporary Marine recruit prior to his May 26 race at the Coca-Cola 600.
Larson was tasked with rappelling down a 47-foot wall, conquering the obstacle course, plenty of low crawling, and shooting practice.
After getting smoked by Marine drill instructors, Larson drove his number 42 Chevrolet honoring the Marine Corps at the 600-mile Charlotte, North Carolina, track.
“I can’t say thanks enough for what they do for us as Americans," Larson told the Department of Defense, adding that his respect for the Marine Corps grew significantly after spending just a few hours at Parris Island.
Larson raced in honor of Marine Sgt. Jeannette Winters, the first service woman to die in support of combat operations in Afghanistan. Her name was featured on the windshield of his car during the race.
“Getting to see what she’d gone through to be a Marine, and then getting to honor her with her name on our car will be very special,” Larson told DoD.
Unfortunately, Larson failed to finish the race due to a multi-car wreck that knocked his car out with 84 laps remaining.
“I put myself in a bad spot and got sideways,” he said. “That was all on me.”
The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller served as the grand marshal for the May 26 race.
Each of the 40 drivers in the Coca-Cola 600 displayed names of fallen service members on windshields.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.