One of the cars in this year’s Daytona 500 will bear an unmistakable message of support for American-Israeli relations, thanks to a couple of NASCAR fans in Charlotte, N.C.

The No. 49 “America Israel Racing” car will have an American flag and an Israeli flag along with an eagle on the hood when it takes to the track Feb. 26 in Florida.

Rich Shirey and Mark MacCaull want to educate the public about the relationship between the United States and the Middle Eastern nation steeped in biblical history, so they funded the car for the marquis race at a cost of around $10 million, according to WCNC-TV in Charlotte.

“NASCAR is the only sport televised where they pray before every race,” MacCaull said. “They are aligned with racing, religion and patriotism.”

Shirey admitted the sponsorship is expensive, but “being brought up Southern Baptist, I was always taught we stand behind Israel. This is a way I felt I could give back to society. It’s something I believe in.”

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