Veteran and cancer survivor to cook for “King” Petty

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Army Staff Sgt. Fabian Hall has fought to defend our freedom and has also turned back cancer. This weekend, he’ll add another accomplishment: Cooking for NASCAR legend Richard Petty.

Through military charity Operation Homefront and Eckrich Foods (which sponsors the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford driven by Aric Almirola in Sprint Cup), Hall will get to help man the grill for the No. 43 team during this weekend’s NASCAR activities at Texas Motor Speedway. On Saturday, he’ll prepare a special meal for seven-time Cup champion Petty and enjoy VIP treatment afterwards for that night’s NRA 500.

“I thought the race weekend was starting a little bit early when I saw the No. 43 come racing around the parking lot,” said Hall, who was surprised with the honor on Thursday night outside a Kroger grocery store in Fort Worth, Texas.

“I really didn’t know what was happening, but then Aric came out of the car and said I could come cook for the race team this weekend. I just can’t believe it. I’m still a bit shocked about everything that is happening, but it’s really cool. I can’t wait to cook for the race team this weekend.”

Hall, an avid cook that has made two tours of duty in Iraq, saw his service cut short upon his cancer diagnosis. After he returned to the States, Operation Homefront provided him and his two sons with a place to live at its “village” in San Antonio.

We’re happy to report that Hall’s cancer is now in remission, and that he now plans to become a culinary arts student.

“All of our military veterans are heroes, but when you hear a story like Fabian’s, who is a single father and who has survived cancer, it makes it even better to give back,” said Almirola. “We’re going to make sure he has a good time with the crew this weekend.”

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.