Precious cargo

Infineon Raceway received a special delivery on Tuesday, thanks to the United States Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, “Guardians of the Golden Gate.”

The Coast Guard arranged for safe delivery of the winner’s trophy for this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. A Coast Guard MH65C Dolphin helicopter, departing from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, landed on the road course on Turn 11 with the trophy safely stored.

From there, two raceway handlers, dressed in black suits and wearing white gloves, secured the trophy and stored it in a safe place until Sunday’s race.

The crewmen who hand-carried the trophy from the MH65C Dolphin were Chief Petty Officer Trevin Dabney and Second Class Petty Officer John Fisher. The pilots of the aircraft were Lieutenant Christian Polyak and Lieutenant Ryan Hawn.

“We often fly rescue missions to inland locations and need to practice landings at unusual places, so learning the approaches and landing here is just another layer of training and good experience for the crew,” said LT Hawn. “Showing the public how we operate also supports our recruiting efforts, so we appreciate the opportunity to fly in and safely deliver the trophy to the fans, race crews, and drivers.”

The Coast Guard will return on Sunday as part of the ceremonial fly-by moments before the green flag is dropped on the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

WHAT: Big O Tires Racing Season Presents: Toyota/Save Mart 350
WHEN: June 24-26
2010 POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (No. 4 Red Bull Toyota)
2010 WINNER: Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
NOTABLE: The weekend will also feature the Thunder Valley Casino Resort 200 NASCAR Pro Series West race on Saturday. Race fans will be treated to a 25-minute air show by Discovery Bay’s Patriots Jet Demonstration Team during pre-event ceremonies on Sunday. Actor John “Cliff Clavin” Ratzenberger is the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Grand Marshal.
TICKETS: $25-$130 single day/$99-$180 weekend; parking is FREE. Discounts for military.
INFORMATION: 800-870-RACE (7223), infineonraceway.com/nascar or ticketmaster.com

PHOTO BY MIKE FINNEGAN


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