Brabham enlists service veterans for Indy pit crew

The first CK Crew Member, David Rutherford is joined by Matt Brabham and Taya Kyle in St Petersburg

The first CK Crew Member, David Rutherford is joined by Matt Brabham and Taya Kyle in St Petersburg

Matthew Brabham’s crew for the Indianapolis 500’s pitstop challenge will feature a number of military service veterans as part of a collaboration between Pirtek Team Murray and the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.

The program has been announced at this weekend’s St Petersburg IndyCar season opener by Taya Kyle, the widow of former Navy SEAL Chris, whose life was recently made into a feature film titled American Sniper.

Pirtek Team Murray’s pit crew concept will see six military service veterans and first responders complete a 10-day training course in Indianapolis before the TAG Heuer Pit Crew Challenge on Coors Lite Carb Day, Friday May 27.

All six crew members and their supporters will then be involved in the event as guests of the team, which will utilise a professional KV Racing pit crew for the race itself.

Dubbed ‘CK Crew’, the program has been backed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, which will use the IndyCar team to promote the Blu-Ray release of the American Sniper movie.

 Matt Brabham, Taya Kyle, Brett Murray,  David Rutherford and Jim Leo

Matt Brabham, Taya Kyle, Brett Murray, David Rutherford and Pitfit’s Jim Leo

Brett Murray, owner of both Pirtek Team Murray and, says that funds raised through commercial support of the CK Crew will be used to benefit veterans across North America.

“When we established the relationship with Taya and the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, we already had this program in the pipeline and we are delighted that with the initial help of Warner Bros. Entertainment and some partners we have made it a reality,” said Murray.

“The opportunity we have created for six companies to become involved in this specific program and be part of our team and support the CK Crew is something truly exciting.

“It gives those who invest in the program the chance to donate to one of the most high profile military, veteran and first responder-supporting Foundations in the United States.”

Taya Kyle stressed her late husband’s appreciation for the skill and work ethic displayed by motorsport pit crews.

“Chris was so impressed with the dedication and talent of the pit crew during an up close experience at a NASCAR race,” she said.

“He could relate to the pit crew where each member of the team had their specialty and relied on the others to do their work, injured or not, with no excuses, no mistakes and intense speed in order to ensure success of the mission.

“I am sure the six members of the CK Crew and their partners will have an experience they will never forget, but also the hundreds of other worthy recipients we intend to involve around the country.

“It is a great chance for supporters of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, our military and first responders to get involved as a donor to the CK Crew.”

The first CK Crew member has been announced as former Navy SEAL David Rutherford, who now works as a motivational speaker after leaving the Naval Special Warfare Community in 2003.

Five more members have already been selected by Taya Kyle but are yet to be publicly named.

VIDEO: ‘CK’ announcement

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