Team Summit Drivers to Visit U.S. Troops in Germany

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Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock drivers Jason Line, Warren Johnson, and Rickie Jones, along with Summit Racing/BIGFOOT Monster Truck driver Dan Runte, will visit American troops at Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany, November 20-25.

Summit Racing's Jason Line will be one of four members of Summit Racing's motorsports team to visit with American troops in Germany.

“Summit Racing Equipment has always been committed to supporting our troops, so when this opportunity came about, we couldn’t pass it up.”

Team Summit drivers Jason Line, Warren Johnson, Rickie Jones, and Dan Runte will spend Thanksgiving week giving thanks to American troops stationed at Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany. The team will travel to KMC November 20-25 for a USO-sponsored support mission that will also include a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to meet with wounded American troops.

“This trip is the least we can do to show our appreciation to the troops for everything they do for us,” Jason Line, driver of the Summit Racing Pro Stock Pontiac GXP, said. “As the saying goes, ‘freedom isn’t free’, and the young men and women in the military, as well as their families sacrifice so much to allow us to live as we do.”

The trip will be spearheaded by Major (retired) Dieter Protsch and Sfc (Retired) Wayne Reed, members of the Army Special Forces Association Chapter 64 based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The USO will provide air transportation for the team, which will depart on an eight-hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany on November 20.

The team will be based at Ramstein Air Base, and the 86th Services Squadron will host the drivers and provide transportation and logistics support during the visit. The group will spend three days visiting with military personnel assigned to units in the Kaiserlautern Military Community and visit Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and Wounded Warrior Center to meet with wounded American troops and hospital staff members. The group will distribute 1,500 souvenir gift bags, along other assorted gift items and sign autographs during the visit before heading back home on November 25.

“Having spent some time in the Air Force, I know how much they value any contact from home,” Line said. “Therefore, if our going over there helps to lift their spirits and show how much their country thinks of them, it’s a great thing, and I look forward to it.”

Ramstein AB is the largest Air Force base in Europe and is responsible for aeromedical evacuation missions that bring wounded troops to Landstuhl hospital. The group’s visit will include stops at the Contingency Aero Medical Staging Facility, Ramstein Passenger Service Terminal, Kaisterslautern Military Community Center, 435th Contingency Response Group, and the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron, which is responsible for the maintenance of Ramstein’s vehicle fleet.

“A fun aspect of our visits is that many of these young men and women are gear heads just like we are, and have an acute knowledge of what goes on in the world of drag racing,” Warren Johnson, driver of the K&N Filters Pro Stock Pontiac GXP. “Therefore, we end up doing quite a bit of bench racing while we’re over there, which is enjoyable for all of us.”

Johnson, whose 97 career wins are second on the NHRA’s All-Time Wins List, has made multiple trips to the Kaiserslautern Military Community and is always grateful for the opportunity. “This will be my fifth time going over to see the troops, which I consider an honor,” Johnson said. “My dad was in the service in the Army Air Corps in World War II, and I feel that we are able to do what we do simply because of the tremendous effort put forth by our Armed Services. They keep this country safe, so we can enjoy the benefits of freedom.”

While Warren Johnson has had a legendary career, Rickie Jones is a relative newcomer to the NHRA Pro Stock class after making his debut in 2008. However, the 23-year old echoes “The Professor’s” thoughts about the trip. “My grandfather served in World War II, and we’ve had many talks about what it was like for him to be in the Philippines and everything he had to go through,” Jones, driver of the Elite Motorsports Pontiac GXP, said. “Many of the people we’ll be seeing in Germany will be my age, and knowing the sacrifices both they and their families are making, I’m all about going over there.”     

Summit Racing/BIGFOOT Monster Truck driver Dan Runte, who also will be making his first trip overseas to visit with the troops, looks forward to the unique opportunity. “All of our troops spend so much of their time away from their family and friends supporting and protecting all of us back here, that we have always wished there was more we could do for them,” Runte said. “I was very excited when I heard that Summit was giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to representing BIGFOOT and Summit Racing and sharing whatever time I can with all of our great service people.”

For nearly 70 years, the USO has been providing morale, welfare, and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. These services include entertainment, rest and recuperation, education, and connections to home. To learn more about the USO and how to support the troops, log on to http://www.uso.org.

“Summit Racing Equipment has always been committed to supporting our troops, so when this opportunity came about, we couldn’t pass it up,” Jim Greenleaf, Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports and Events Manager, said. “I know our team is looking forward to making the trip, meeting with America’s true heroes, and hopefully providing a morale boost. We’d like to thank the USO and Army Special Forces Association Chapter 64 and Wayne and Dieter for making this trip possible.”

Established in 1968, Summit Racing Equipment is the leading high performance parts and accessories company. Summit Racing offers the largest selection, lowest prices, and best customer service in the high performance industry via catalogs, Internet, and Retail Super Stores. The company is headquartered in Tallmadge, Ohio with retail locations in Tallmadge, Ohio; Sparks, Nevada; and McDonough, Georgia.

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David Fuller
Summit Racing Equipment
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