MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas, and its gained notoriety among the NASCAR community for its association with three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing.
The successful partnership has led Code 3 Associates to deepen its NASCAR involvement by adding up-and-coming NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Cole Custer as a philanthropic ambassador alongside Stewart.
Custer drives the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado for JR Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series. He is the series’ youngest race winner and pole winner, and in just 13 career Truck Series starts, the 17-year-old from Ladera Ranch, California, has amassed two wins, two poles, three top-five and eight top-10 finishes while leading a total of 238 laps. Custer will make his 14th career Truck Series start and his fifth this season Wednesday night in the 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
“Cole Custer has demonstrated exceptional skill on the racetrack and his work off the track in regard to animal welfare has been just as impressive,” said Eric Bagdikian, president, Code 3 Associates. “As we continue to get the word out about the mission of Code 3 Associates, it’s important that we engage young people so they’re able to grow up with an appreciation for proper animal care. Cole is only 17, but he’s accomplished a lot and is poised to accomplish even more. He resonates with kids because he’s one of them, and he’s inspirational because of all that he’s capable of achieving. When he delivers a message on behalf of Code 3 Associates, it carries weight with a demographic that’s very important to us.”
Formed in 1985 in Longmont, Colorado, Code 3 Associates is a national response team that at the request of local government officials, provides animal rescue and recovery in times of disaster. The organization has evolved from one unpaid volunteer to approximately 75 professional responders and thousands of members around the country, which include animal welfare, law enforcement, fire, EMS and veterinary specialists from the United States and Canada. While its focus is animals and their owners, Code 3 Associates trains its responders to the standards of human rescue, and Code 3 Associates also provides training to conduct thorough investigations into animal welfare issues, all of which is accredited by Colorado State University and the school’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Those wanting to learn more about Code 3 Associates and what they can do to support its mission can do so by visiting www.Code3Associates.org.
- Mike Zizzo
Director of Media Relations
Texas Motor Speedway