Feb 10 2012
America Israel Racing was formed to raise awareness of the importance of America supporting Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East, as it stands against its enemies.
The North Carolina-based race team, founded in 2011, is in the process of fundraising to field a car in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting with the Daytona 500. Through strategic partnerships and joint ventures with other organizations, America Israel Racing hopes to spread the message throughout the world that the United States supports Israel.
America Israel Racing is proud to be part of a top notch team which includes Robinson-Blakeney Racing, Driver J.J. Yeley, and Crew Chief Tony Furr.
“We wanted to ensure our car design was not only eye-catching, but properly conveyed the mission and values of America Israel Racing,” said AIR co-founder Rich Shirey. “The eagle in particular contains a great deal of symbolism – it has a determined look on its face, because we are determined to voice the importance of America’s support of Israel.
Scene Daily Rich Shirey and Mark MacCaull aren’t political activists. But they have a belief in a cause, and they’re willing to put some of their money behind it in one of the more unique places – the hood of a Sprint Cup car.
Shirey and MacCaull started American Israel Racing to generate support for Israel. It will advertise its website on the hood of the Robinson-Blakeney Racing car of driver JJ Yeley for the first three Cup races this year with hopes of continuing it throughout the season through people donating to the cause.
“I’m just a regular guy, a country guy and NASCAR has a lot of average people just like me,” Shirey said. “We need to show the world, show Israel, that regardless of the way it might look at times, the people in this country have the belief of appreciating them being an ally and a democracy similar to ours.
“I’m not a movie star. I’m not a country music singer. I didn’t have the avenue. I went to Mark and said NASCAR would be a fantastic to try to build this [cause].”
MacCaull was an engineer at Haas CNC Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing.
“Rich and I were good friends and Rich had the idea of how America needs to support Israel,” MacCaull said. “We were just talking about it one day and decided the Daytona 500 would be a great place to promote this and my background was in NASCAR racing.
“We started from there and put it together and realized it was a good stage and the more we talked, the more we realized we should do the entire season.”
Both MacCaull and Shirey live in the Charlotte area and share a common belief. MacCaull had known the team’s crew chief, Tony Furr, and they were able to arrange the sponsorship with the team owned by Jay Robinson.
“Being raised Southern Baptist and the belief that we should back Israel if we believe what the Bible says and the other side of it – it’s not a political thing that motivates me – we have a country that is our closest ally in a part of the world that is not very friendly, especially to the west,” Shirey said.