Governor Asa Hutchinson represented Arkansas as the honorary starter for NASCAR’s “600 Miles of Remembrance” during Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race, one of the country’s largest Memorial Day weekend celebrations, honored United States Armed Forces heroes and their families, while paying tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. 

“As Arkansans, we will never forget the brave men and women who laid down their lives defending our country and the very freedoms we enjoy today,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Sunday’s race is one of the largest Memorial Day celebrations throughout the country, and I am honored to represent Arkansas in this tribute to our fallen heroes and their families.”

While there are plenty of NASCAR fans in the Natural State, Arkansas also has a special connection with this sport through Batesville, Arkansas, native and NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin. Martin won the Coca-Cola 600 in 2002 and was the last Ford driver to win this marquee event. 

As part of Sunday’s tribute, according to, “40 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ cars had the name of a fallen service member on their car windshields during the race.