by J.D. CHARLES, Staff Writer, and MICHAEL BROWNING, Managing Editor of the Logan Banner

Every time there is a mine disaster there is a lot of finger pointing. Much of this finger pointing has more to do with politics than it does concerns about the safety of coal miners.

One great example is the furor over strip mining. When people ask me about “surface mining” or “mountaintop removal” I tell them, I am pro-strip mining because it is SAFER for the coal miners than deep mining.

Statistics back me up on that.

TRG Motorsports today announced a partnership with The Upper Big Branch Family Fund to pay tribute to the 29 West Virginia miners who lost their lives in a mining incident on April 5th. This partnership will launch during this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team will help raise awareness through the website,, to be featured as a part of the paint scheme of the TRG Motorsports #71 Chevrolet driven by NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte. The Upper Big Branch Family Fund was formed to give support, assistance and scholarships to the families of the fallen miners. The fund will help the miners' family members pay for college or take care of other expenses to keep the family stable, a fitting tribute to the men who died. The Fund was created by West Virginia University Head Basketball Coach Bob Huggins and Big Coal River native Jason Parsons.

See images of the car on on the #71 Team Schemes page.