Lincoln Military Housing and Barona Race Track teamed up recently for the second annual Salute the Military—Barona Race Day to offer service men and women and their families a day of fun, food and racing—all for free.
Military families were treated to an experience that you can not find anywhere else in San Diego, said Ramona resident Mitch Hillerman, who helped coordinate the day.
“The smell of burning rubber, the roar of engines and the excitement of watching the most amazing cars rev their engines and race” is how Hillerman, a racer, described activities at Barona Race Track’s 1/8-mile dragstrip on Armed Forces Day.
Over 150 racers participated and visited with families in the pit area.
“We are grateful for their hospitality and taking photos with all the kids,” said Hillerman, who heads the maintenance crew for Lincoln Military Housing.
The military housing complex on 11th Street in Ramona is among the 9,200 military homes the firm manages in the San Diego area. Lincoln Military also manages approximately 31,000 military homes countrywide.
The Salute the Military event at Barona was free for more than 1,500 military families this year. The families were treated to lunch, there were activities for the kids, including having Navy SEALs paint their faces. Attendees received T-shirts, family photos and much more, reported Hillerman.The Barona Cultural Center & Museum displayed traditional artifacts at their educational booth.
Opening Ceremonies included a salute to the military and their family members for their support and sacrifice. Colors were posted by the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, HM1 Klint Kehley played the bagpipes, and Danielle Tucker sang the national anthem. After the final race, the evening closed with live music from Help.
The Naval Special Warfare were special guests with Humvees, a SWCC boat and a display that captivated the attendees. About 10 Warriors were available to answer questions.
“Proceeds from this event will benefit the Naval Special Warfare Foundation, and we are proud to announce we will be donating over $5,000,” said Hillerman.
Race winners include:
•Quick 8, Win John Bilumibauga; R/U Rick Reynolds,
•Group 1, Win Brian Mendenhall; R/U Eldon Dunn,
•Group 2, Win Joe Bernier; R/U Mark Whynaught,
•Group 3, Win Clay Durham; R/U Todd Ferguson,
•Group 4, Win Mitch Hillerman; R/U Jeanette Dwyer,
• Juniors, Win Ashley Jeter; R/U Sarah Moldenhauer, and
•Quick ET, Keith Wilson 4.37 mph 148.24.
Several attempts were made by racers to break the track record of 4.31, but no one was successful and the record stands.
Lincoln Military Housing’s Community Services Department plans approximately 400 free events and programs exclusively for military families each year. For more information, visit www.lincolnmilitary.com.