A Midwestern Airman grew up watching NASCAR on Sundays with his dad, and now he will get to cheer on a car that he helped design. Hailing from Southwestern Illinois, Tech Sgt. Andrew Brockman never got to witness a race in person. That all changes later this month at Talladega Superspeedway when Brockman will attend the April 24 race in support of a car with a paint scheme that he helped conceive.
Brockman, a 96th Maintenance Squadron senior munitions inspector, recently won the Petty Motorsports and Air Force-sponsored Paint Scheme Fan Vote Contest. Air Force recruiting services at Eglin said that all submissions for the contest came from active Airmen.
“We wanted to get Airmen across the Air Force involved in our most visible partnership. With more than half of our enlisted jobs involving maintenance, this partnership reaches mechanically inclined people we need recruited into our ranks,” Master Sgt. Shawn Emmerling said. “We wanted to showcase the talent of our Airmen outside of their normal jobs and then let the NASCAR fans decide their favorite design. This paint design doesn’t just represent Air Force Recruiting, but it reflects the entire Air Force and our heritage.”
After the Air Force narrowed down the submissions to three finalists, the military branch handed the designs to the public for a Twitter poll. Brockman’s Air Force heritage theme winning out with approximately 4,500 votes.
“The design pays tribute to those before us, who flew in the face of death knowing they may never return home,” Brockman, a nine-year veteran of the Air Force, said.
Long before becoming an Airman, Brockman collected die-casts of NASCAR stock cars as a kid
Brockman’s said his dark green paint scheme was inspired by a B-29 Superfortress with glass upfront and a riveted panel design. The idea sprang from old pictures of World War II bombers that symbolize the earliest days of the Army Air Corps. Brockman also wanted to bring attention to the Air Force’s current celebration of its 75th Anniversary.
“I wanted to somehow convey where we are and also how far we’ve come,” said Brockman. “Bombers paved the way for victory throughout the Air Force’s reign in the skies.” He said many of his relatives also served in the Air Force over the years.
Graphic design is just a hobby at the moment for the munitions inspector, but the contest helped him expand his skillset. His first assignment was building bombs for the 325th Fighter Wing’s F-22 Raptors at Tyndall AFB. Currently, Brockman is the lead inspector for all types of munition that enters or exits his base — from a seven-gram bullet to a two-ton bomb.
The Airman researched various NASCAR and AFRS social media platforms so he’d be ready to promote his design when voting began back in January. Brockman said he can’t wait to see his design become a reality in the form of a full-size stock car.
“It’s going to be a super exciting weekend and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.