Las Vegas is known for their Air Force military presence – but this time there will be a new “wave” coming in town. U.S. Naval Academy graduate and U.S. Navy officer LT Jesse Iwuji will be making his first ever Las Vegas Motor Speedway start in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series Race.
Iwuji will be the only current military member racing in NASCAR this weekend and will doing so with Reaume Bros Racing.
In all things Iwuji does, there are two constant elements: his love of country and his fighting spirit. He went from a D1A college football player to a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and is now claimed to be the only current driver in national level NASCAR who has ever been in the military.
Back in 2014, still at sea, but thinking about his life after active duty, Iwuji considered his wildest dreams. “I was in my room one night, and I had a whiteboard on the wall,” Iwuji tells Radio.com. “I stood up and I went to my whiteboard and wrote ‘become a race car driver.’ That was when it started. That was January of 2014.”
Four years later, Iwuji competes in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and ARCA series, recently finishing 15th in the General Tires 200 at Talladega.
He’s earned some solid sponsorship deals, most recently FUELTRAX. “This one’s special to me. FUELTRAX is a U.S. company that has pioneered and led the industry in marine fuel management systems which speaks my mariner language. And to top it off, over 50 percent of their operations based out of my native country, Nigeria.” said Iwuji.
Anthony George, CEO of FUELTRAX said “It’s always been a passion for both me and my wife Michelle to give back to young men and women and help them reach their dreams. LT Iwuji is a big dreamer and a hard worker, and we are honored to help him continue on his journey to success in NASCAR.”
Bene Okorie, West Africa Operations Manager of FUELTRAX, said: “We are so grateful for our Nigerian-based marine operators and proud to support Lt. Iwuji both as one of our very own from our community, and as a first-generation American pursuing his dreams. Nigerians everywhere should be proud of Jesse’s success.”
Matt Casto, LT Iwuji’s agent says “FUELTRAX is such an authentic fit. High performance and advance technology go hand and hand with NASCAR. And since LT Iwuji’s family is from Nigeria, he has a strong connection with the same community FUELTRAX serves. To make things even better, LT has a deep understanding of vessels as a current Surface Warfare Officer. Let me also just continue to mention how exciting it is to have a current driver racing at the national levels that has served our country! We’ve been getting great support from the most patriotic fanbase in all sports leagues.”