LONG POND, Pa. — All of NASCAR’s top-tier organizations have one goal in mind when they go to the track each weekend; win. But for the low-budget and undermanned teams, simply being part of a race can mean a whole lot more.
That’s the case for Jim Rosenblum’s FDNY Racing, which runs in the Camping World Truck Series. The No. 28 Chevrolet 26-year-old Ryan Ellis will pilot in the Pocono Mountains 150 has a crew entirely made of firefighters and police officers from New York’s FDNY and NYPD.
The race team’s mission isn’t to win the race or win a championship because it doesn’t have the adequate resources to do that. Instead, its purpose is to honor the personnel of both departments that died in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, as well as those who still serve or are retired.
“We’re Jim Rosenblum Racing, but we go under FDNY Racing,” Rosenblum told POPULAR SPEED. “We put NYPD and FDNY [on the truck] because we give money to the Widows’ and Children’s Fund, and we want to honor the memory of the first responders that lost their life on 9/11 and since then.”
The team has virtually no funding. The hood of Ellis’ truck says ‘Blue Lives Matter,’ and each side panel has an FDNY and NYPD logo. The crew members are all volunteers, and they don’t make money during the weekend. All the team’s earnings are donated to help the families that are part of the Fund.
Rosenblum’s machine has raced with FDNY logos on a part-time basis since 2002 and estimates that the team has raised $1 million since then. Although the truck doesn’t have the speed to contend with series powerhouses such as ThorSport Racing or Kyle Busch Motorsports, they will run the whole race; Rosenblum said the team wouldn’t start-and-park.
“We honor the police officers who protect us every day and to remember the tragedy of all the officers who are getting slain,” Rosenblum said. “It’s for all the first responders who are currently on the job or who have lost their lives helping protect us.”
Before the race, Rosenblum tells his driver the same as what he would tell all Americans:
“Go out, be safe, and enjoy yourself.”
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