NASCAR salutes Fallen OSI agent during 600-mile race

  • Published
  • By Thomas Brading
  • OSI Public Affairs

On Memorial Day, one of NASCAR’s largest racing events honored fallen heroes, including an Office of Special Investigations Special Agent.

The 2022 Coca Cola 600, also referred to as “600 Miles of Remembrance,” honored fallen troops by featuring their names on windshield headers.

One of the honorees was Tech. Sgt. Ryan Balmer, an OSI Special Agent killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq in 2007. He was commemorated on the No. 31 Chevrolet driven by Justin Haley, a 23-year-old Indiana native.

The race led into the 15th anniversary of Balmer’s death, who was killed along with fellow OSI Special Agent Matthew Kuglics, roughly 2 miles south of Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq, shortly before their convoy returned to their base.

Besides name displays, the three-day event included a joint color guard and personalized introductions of race drivers by service members.

Among the events, visitors interacted with military equipment, a C-17 flew over the Charlotte Motor Speedway and new recruits in the delayed entry program were sworn into the Air Force.

Prior to the race, drivers visited service members at places around the East Coast, including Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and Fort Bragg, both in North Carolina; Parris Island Marine Corps Base in South Carolina; and Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia.

According to, Greg Walter, the executive vice president and general manager of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, said the U.S. military’s participation in the Memorial Day Coca-Cola 600 is something he’s proud to be a part of.

“What we want to do through the weekend is provide a platform for people to engage, to hear the stories,” Walter said.

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