Veterans Empowered Through Motorsports (VETM) disabled combat veteran crews had mixed results this past weekend at Road America. Combat veterans were placed in two AMA Pro Road Racing teams this past weekend; the #70 Harley-Davidson of James Gang / Hoban Brothers entry in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series and the #48 Yamaha YZF-R6 supported by Next Moto Champion / Dr. David Benkle.
Paul James rode the #70 Harley-Davidson to a top-10 finish on Sunday at his home track. Working within the James Gang / Hoban Brothers team was a combat veteran of Afghanistan and his caregiver.
"It was a great honor to work with our combat veteran crew at Road America. I was proud to achieve an 8th place finish after a hard fought battle. Our crew kept making improvements to the bike all weekend and the hard work paid off," said James.
“I think the experience (with James Gang / Hoban Brothers) was absolutely amazing,” states Michelle Wagner, a caregiver within the James Gang / Hoban Brothers team. “To see my veteran engage, be a part of a team, leave the trappings of his service behind and be able to be treated as an equal can never be replaced. This opportunity gave my veteran a resurgence of a passion they have for racing. Paul (James) and VETM were respectful of his limitations, and didn’t blink an eye about his disability. This type of treatment like an equal is so rare and touched me deeply… especially to see given so freely by everyone… truly amazing.”
Peter Cline, Founder VETM, added, “This was the first time the combat veteran outreach program worked in the AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com SuperSport class. Next Moto Champion / Dr. David Benkle team owner Rob Linders and racer Tyler (Linders) were very hands on and assisted our combat vet when needed. But the reality was that all our vets have a wealth of mechanical background. Their personal experiences and training allows them to adapt to any situation.”
Cline continued “Unfortunately Tyler has some mechanical issues on Saturday and was involved in Sunday’s re-start accident in Race 2. VETM and our vets are very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the AMA paddock. We wish Tyler, and all the riders in the SuperSport class, quick and complete recovery so we can see them back on the grid.”
Veterans Empowered Through Motorsports (VETM): VETM is a recognized 501c3 tax-exempt outreach program. VETM places combat veterans into motorsports events that are team-oriented, purposeful and goal driven with actual hands-on time. Motorsports by nature is a high energy and adrenaline-filled sport, and by engaging combat veterans we work with established skills and tools they acquired while deployed. VETM ensures our combat veterans are empowered and engaged; making them central components to our team operations and including as many care givers, peers and family members as possible.
VETM supporters are: Oxford Consulting Group, Drippin’Wet, Ellanet, Midwest Motorcyclist, Motion Pro, Optimum Print Solutions, Portfolio Creative, XR1200 Owners Group.
To learn more about VETM please visit them on the web at www.tor-vetm.org or follow them on Facebook at http://facebook.com/TeamOhioRacing, Twitter @TeamOhioRacing or Pinterest at pinterest.com/teamohioracing/
Tax-deductible contributions can be made here http://www.crowdrise.com/vetm