Retired Maj. Gen. Named Honorary Starter

Decorated commander to wave green flag for Nationwide Series field

Able Body Labor 200
Sunday, November 8, 2009

Retired Maj. Gen. Gary L. Harrell will be the honorary starter for the Able Body Labor 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, November 14.

Maj. Gen. Harrell retired as the Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Special Operations Command in July 2009. In 1973, he was originally commissioned a 2nd Lt. upon graduation from East Tennessee State University. His initial assignment was to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, where he served as a Rifle Platoon Leader.

"I am excited to be a part of the Able Body Labor 200 pre-race festivities," said Harrell. "It is a great honor and as a fan, I am looking forward to a great day of racing!"

To purchase tickets for the Able Body Labor 200, please click here.

Harrell assumed command of Special Operations Command Central in 2002. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Harrell commanded 20,000 personnel, the largest special operations forces assembled since World War II. In 2005, he was made Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations/Commander, deployable Joint Task Force, NATO Response Force in the Netherlands.

Harrell's awards and decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal (with V-device and two Oak Leaf Clusters), Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Achievement Medal, as well as numerous service medals. He has also earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Master Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, SCUBA Diver Badge, Special Forces Tab and Ranger Tab.

"We are honored to have someone of Maj. Gen. Harrell's stature be a part of the Able Body Labor 200's pre-race ceremonies for both his accomplishments and to recognize the thousands of men and women of our Armed Forces who serve our country proudly," said John Ellis, Able Body Labor's Vice President of Western Operations. "NASCAR is a truly American sport and on behalf of all the Able Body family, we are excited to host Maj. Gen. Harrell and to celebrate the patriotism that he and all of our troops represent."

Tickets to witness the championship atmosphere of the Able Body Labor 200 and the November NASCAR event weekend at Phoenix International Raceway - with prices as low as $25 for the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 - can be purchased online at the newly-designed or by calling 1-866-408-RACE (7223). The PIR Ticket Office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 125 S. Avondale Blvd., just south of I-10 at Exit 131 in Avondale.

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