When the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season kicks off April 14 at Thompson International Speedway, driver Rich Pallai Jr. will be sporting some special colors on his No. 39 entry.
Pallai will sport a decal on his car throughout the 2013 season memorializing the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14 in Newtown.
Pallai, a New York University student, designed the memorial decal with Tom Abele Jr. owner of Thirty Two Signs in Baltic. Abele is also a regular in the SK Modified division at the Waterford Speedbowl.
“I wanted 26 stars to recognize the 26 victims and I wanted the date,” said Pallai, of Yorktown Heights, N.Y. “[Abele] came up with the wings around the town symbol.”
Pallai hopes to use the memorial decal as a vehicle for fund raising through the 2013. Pallai will offer the decals for purchase at each Whelen Modified Tour event on the schedule. He will have them for sale during autograph sessions at the track and all proceeds raised will be donated to charity.
“It’s going to be a thing where it will be be donate at your will,” Pallai said. “If you want to give $5 for it then that’s what it is. Whatever someone wants to give. Hopefully people will take that to heart and actually help. Whatever they want to give is well needed. It’s not going to be thousands, but I’m sure any value will help. Newtown is in Connecticut and [the Whelen Modified Tour] is primarily in Connecticut.”