Hamilton Alum, SSG Alex Conrad, to be Honored in Coke 600

(Photo by Chase Henry)

In a salute to our service men and women, every Memorial Day Weekend, NASCAR remembers those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. On Sunday, the name of a local hero will sit atop the windshield of a NASCAR stock car in the sport’s longest race of the year.

Staff Sargent Alex Conrad, an Alumnus of Hamilton High School in Chandler, will have his name displayed on the front windshield of the GoFas Racing No. 32 Ford Mustang, piloted by Corey LaJoie in this Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Conrad completed two tours in Afghanistan and one tour in Niger and Somalia. In his time in the Army, Conrad received the Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Star and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Conrad was an eight-year veteran of the United States Army. He lost his life at age 26 on June 8, 2018, in Somalia, a country in the horn of Africa, east of Ethiopia and Kenya. His permanent duty station was Fort Bragg, NC.

“It really is humbling to carry Staff Sgt. Conrad’s name on our car along with the other 39 guys that are riding along with us and the millions [of] others that have laid down their life to protect our freedoms and allow us to ride around in circles and get paid for it to put on a good show,” said LaJoie on The Inside Lane. “It is humbling to be able to take Stg Conrad’s family out to the track and show those guys a good time.” 

Conrad’s name popped up when GoFas Racing’s Team Manager, Mason St. Hilaire, reached out to a friend who was involved with intelligence collection in regions of Africa. He inquired to see if she knew anyone closely who had given their life in service to our country.

“Alexander Conrad was one of her main sources on the ground and she immediately brought up Staff Sgt. Conrad. Through permission of his father, Roy, we have the honor of representing Sgt. Conrad.”

According to MaxPreps, Conrad was a member of the Hamilton Football 2008 State Championship team as a kicker and graduated in 2010, joining the Army soon after.

Conrad’s family will be in attendance for the race in Charlotte.

Every year, NASCAR Salutes puts together the 600 Miles of Remembrance for the Coke 600. All 40 participating teams display the names of service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their county, to honor their service to our country.

This year, at the halfway point in the race, NASCAR will also bring all cars to pit road for a 30-second moment of remembrance to honor our fallen troops.

27-year-old, LaJoie is currently 28th in the NASCAR Cup Series points standings with an average finish of 26th. The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the season in NASCAR with the green flag flying on FOX at 3:00 pm Arizona Time on Sunday.

Arizona native, Devon Henry, joined the Sports360AZ crew in 2018 after graduating from Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Devon has avidly partaken in coverage of the Arizona high school sports scene since 2013 and has covered NASCAR and INDYCAR at Phoenix Raceway since 2017. Devon is also a play-by-play announcer, calling over a dozen different sports and hundreds of events.