As international support for Ukraine continues with the country now seventy-seven days into its defence from Russian invasion, Spire Motorsports has joined the increasing pool of aid. On Tuesday, the NASCAR Cup Series team announced a partnership with the Ukranian American Coordinating Council (UACC), which will paint the #77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in blue and orange for Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway. Josh Bilicki will drive the car.
The livery’s base resembles the Ukrainian flag with blue atop a yellow band, but also features the pattern—albeit rotated—running from the nose to rear. Besides the colours, the #77 features the phrase “Slava Ukraini” (“Glory to Ukraine”) along the quarter panels. Underneath the slogan are the cities Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kherson, and Mykolaiv, all of which are locations of major battles in the conflict.
The UACC is a nonprofit founded in 1965 by Ukrainian World War II veterans who immigrated to the United States with the goal of supporting Ukrainian Americans. Following Russia’s invasion, the UACC shifted towards helping Ukrainian civil defence by providing helmets and body armour. Receiving the blessing of the U.S. State Department, the UACC acquired such equipment through direct purchases and donations from parties like police and state defence forces.
“In 1991 when Ukraine became independent, many believed that their dreams had finally come to fruition, showing those in Ukraine the path to true democracy,” said UACC Vice President Oksana Tscherepenko. “Now, as we watch the occupiers threaten Ukraine’s right to freedom and democracy, it becomes obvious that this dream is not fully realized and our men, women, children and elderly are being killed just for protecting their fundamental rights to democracy. Many civilians are defending themselves and Ukraine with little training and without proper gear or protection.
“After receiving a license from the U.S. State Department, the UACC purchased gear and received incredibly generous donations from individuals, law enforcement agencies, and state national guards, allowing us to ship an abundance of ballistic gear including helmets, vests and plates. One hundred percent of that gear is delivered to civilians in Ukraine who need it the most.”