USAF Thunderbirds to do rare flyover for UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400

Race fans attending the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will get a rare treat when the United States Air Force Thunderbirds do a Delta Formation flyover prior to the March 7 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series event.

"The Thunderbirds make up the most exclusive flying squadron in the world," said LVMS general manager Chris Powell. "The excitement of seeing those six planes trailing white smoke and flying over a packed speedway should give everyone a chill. The Thunderbirds are very selective in performing at sports events, and we are deeply appreciative that they chose to play such a visible role in Nevada¿s largest sports weekend."

According to Thunderbirds public affairs, this will mark only the fifth sports flyover performed by the Thunderbirds since 2000. The other events were the 2000 Rose Bowl, the 2001 Super Bowl in Tampa, the 2002 World Series in San Francisco and a NASCAR race at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway in Charlotte last year.

"It is an absolute honor for the Air Force Thunderbirds to be part of the NASCAR Nextel Cup race in our hometown," said Lt. Col. Mike Chandler, Commander/Leader of the USAF Thunderbirds. "As the Thunderbirds soar over the track during the opening ceremony, we hope NASCAR fans across this great nation feel the power of the world's most respected Air Force and their hearts pump with pride for the men and women of their armed services.  The Air Force shares a special relationship with NASCAR, and I'd like to thank our patriotic neighbors at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for their incredible support of the mission at Nellis Air Force Base."

The Thunderbirds will fly over the speedway in their Delta Formation, which means all six planes will be flying together. The Thunderbirds traditionally fly in a four-plane diamond shape with two solo planes until the closing ceremonies of their shows. The Delta Formation is reserved for the close of their shows and special occasions.

In addition, race fans attending Pole Day on Friday, March 5 will get a sneak preview of the Thunderbirds air show. From 11 a.m. to noon on March 5, the Thunderbirds will do a practice over the air field. The speedway¿s grandstands are a perfect vantage point to watch the practice.