Dressed as a Goodyear Blimp pilot, Dale Earnhardt Jr. surprised a U.S. military veteran – Paul Siverson – with a blimp ride.
“We’re honored to celebrate the return of Dale Jr. to NASCAR and recognize an American hero like Paul,” said Seth Klugherz, Goodyear’s director of North America marketing. “Connecting American icons NASCAR and the Goodyear Blimp to provide an experience for a military veteran is a natural way to extend Goodyear’s unwavering support to the U.S. Armed Forces.”
Siverson is a Vietnam and Gulf War veteran with more than 30 years of service. His dedication to NCServes – a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive services to veterans, service members and their families – was what made Siverson the perfect candidate for the surprise ride with NASCAR’s most popular driver, Goodyear said.
In honor of soldiers like Siverson, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. donated $10,000 to NCServes with Earnhardt Jr. on hand for the check presentation.
The blimp took a “lap” in honor of Earnhardt’s return to racing, Goodyear said. Last year he missed 18 races while recovering from a concussion.
“This was such a cool day – being able to co-pilot the Goodyear Blimp and connect with a fan who has so honorably served our country,” said Earnhardt Jr. “I’m proud to be involved with Goodyear. Ever since we started working together, I’ve wanted to ride in the blimp, so this was a great experience that I will never forget.”