NASCAR team, sponsor going above and beyond to support veterans

Joe Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Joe Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR team and Interstate Batteries are teaming up with Semper Fi and America’s Fund to support service members in need of adaptive services.

As of August 2022, nearly five million veterans — close to three out of every 10 veterans — had some sort of a service-connected disability, bringing about the need for adaptive services that are not cheap.

To help fill the gaps in veteran support, Semper Fi and America’s Fund ( are working one-on-one with America’s wounded and critically ill heroes from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Their aim is to provide ongoing support for as long as needed. For example, in 2022, Semper Fi and America’s Fund fulfilled $4 million in adaptive vehicle grants for service members and veterans.

This year, in observance of Military Appreciation Month, Interstate Batteries is partnering with The Fund to provide these vital resources and assist with maintenance and repairs.

The founding partner of the Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR team is making a monetary donation to The Fund and also placing the charity logo on the hood of Christopher Bell’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry for Sunday evening’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

We had the chance to speak with team owner Joe Gibbs as well as Army Sergeant Jason Smith about this partnership and what it means for veterans in need.

“Our founding sponsor, Interstate Batteries, we’ve been together for 32 years, and they will be on the race car this weekend in the Coke 600,” Gibbs told Beyond the Flag. “Christopher Bell will be driving that car, and on that car also will be The Fund.

“So we’re so excited about it. Everybody celebrates this weekend, particularly at our 600 in our fanbase. [We celebrate] everybody who served over a period of time, which helps us to live the life that we live.”

Smith served in the Army from 2009 to 2014 as an infantryman. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, and in Afghanistan, he stepped on an IED, which resulted in the loss of both of his legs. He did his rehab in San Antonio for about a year and a half and then retired in 2014.

Smith spoke about what it means to work with a NASCAR team like Joe Gibbs Racing and a company like Interstate Batteries that are willing to go above and beyond for America’s veterans.

“Without the community, none of this would be possible,” he said. “There are so many like-minded individuals who really care, genuinely care, about the veteran community, and this opportunity gives a lot of people a chance to see it on the car and bring it to light to a lot of people who have never heard of it. And I can’t thank the sponsors enough for that. It’s something that we need.”

Gibbs is also grateful to have a dedicated partner like Interstate Batteries that is willing to go the extra mile.

“Well, I think one of the things for us, our sport is different than football, basketball, and baseball,” he explained. “You have to have sponsors, and they’re really partners, the way we look at it, because you can’t race these cars, it’s too expensive, and so our sport is different that way. They’re more of a partner and a partnership.

“Interstate, for us, has been there from the very beginning. We celebrate so much with them, the victories, and certainly they want to be involved this weekend in a special way, reaching out to thank all of the veterans. So it’s a big deal, it’s a partnership, it’s a friendship, and it’s something that we’ve celebrated for over 32 years with Interstate.”

Smith spoke in detail about some of the unseen challenges that veterans face, which is where The Fund comes into play.

“One of the unseen challenges that faces veterans post-career is that isolation factor,” he discussed. “You go from working as a unit, you’re one of many, to being one of one, and that can be a little scary. That can get dark.

“The Fund is an organization that really kind of acts as that light tower in the storm. You’re that ship stuck in the storm and it kind of brings you towards the light. I’ve had a great experience with them for many years now.”

He touched on his personal experience with The Fund.

“I look at my life as different phases or chapters,” he said. “So my retirement phase is a chapter, and throughout this chapter, no matter where it has taken me, The Fund has been there to help me. They have helped me financially, they have helped me spiritually, and they have helped me heal holistically.

“I was dealing with anxiety and PTSD, and I remember my caretaker sent in like a therapeutic breathing treatment, and it helped me really cope with stress and stuff. It’s something I fight with every day. But learning those steps from them helped me, so I owe a lot to The Fund.”

He closed by discussing how those who feel called to get involved can do so.

“You get involved with Semper Fi and America’s Fund by going to the link (,” he reiterated. “Also, there’s a lot of stuff you can do within your community, and they have regional reps who you can reach out to. They can help and set things up for you.

“It’s just an amazing thing to have so many people in your corner when you’re going through stuff like this, every step of way. And we can’t thank you all enough.”

Gibbs shared the same sentiment.

“We would love to have everybody get involved and go to and help, help those like Jason, and many more who have sacrificed so we can live the life we live.”

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Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 is set to be broadcast live on Fox from Charlotte Motor Speedway starting at 6:00 p.m. ET. Start a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss it!