The NASCAR Nation is mourning the loss of MIT Patrol Officer Sean Collier, shot and killed after confronting the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects on-campus Thursday night. Collier’s brother Andrew is an engine shop machinist with Hendrick Motorsports.

“It is a very sad time,” Hendrick driver Jimmie Johnson said Friday at Kansas Speedway, where the Cup teams are scheduled to race on Sunday. “My thoughts and prayers are with the Collier family. … We’re one big family. It’s sad and unfortunate to see a fellow teammate and his family going through such a tough time.”

Andrew Collie has worked at Hendrick since 2008.

"It’s someone that related to our team and that we know how that is going to affect this team and their family,” Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon said. “Definitely, our thoughts and prayers are with them and that whole situation is just so tragic.  I think not just our country the whole world was watching in kind of shock and disbelief of what has happened there.  Somebody has been affected by it and has lost their life that is associated with our organization. We take that to heart.” “

In another somber connection, the Boston Marathon bombing victims will be honored by drivers for Michael Waltrip Racing, who will replace the number on the side of their car with Boston Marathon bibs.

The drivers unveiled the new number schemes before practice for the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway.

 George Diaz can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @georgediaz