3/18/14 Upper Arlington, Ohio
VETMotorsports had tremendous success in the pits and on the grid last weekend at the Daytona International Speedway. The non-profit program embedded post 9-11 wounded combat veterans into two AMA Pro Road Racing Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Teams. The riders of both teams proved to have a successful races; Paul James of James Gang / Hoban Brothers Racing placing 15th; Chilipepper Racing's Ricky Parker finishing 19th and Hayden Schultz ending up 8th at the checkered flag. Later this week Vetmotorsports will fly west to visit Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, meet with various representatives within the veteran community and then assess the need for their program by attending the American Federation of Motocyclist (AFM) event at Buttonwillow on Saturday.
Off the track VETMotorsports' mission to empower wounded veterans was highlighted all weekend. With James's crew chief stuck in Chicago due to weather, his VETMotorsports crew member stepped up to assist. This became key as James suffered a low-side crash during Thursday's qualifying session. The bike needed repaired before Friday morning, and the VETMotorsports' participant jumped in to help James and his team make the grid. In the same garage Parker was left without a crew chief at the start the of weekend. The VETMotorsports participant, a motorcycle mechanics school graduate, filled the role as crew chief. By the end of the weekend he was invited to join the Chilipepper Team as lead wrench at Road America.
“Our veterans had an amazing experience at Daytona Beach last weekend. To have one veteran step-up and to have another be asked to follow the team to the next race speaks volumes about the value of wounded veterans. James Gang / Hoban Brothers Racing and Chilipepper Racing gave us the opportunity empower and support veterans and we took full advantage of this. By the end of the weekend, you could see a change in our participants. They walked a bit taller, smiled and had become key component to their team's overall efforts,” stated VETMotorsports Executive Director and Founder Peter Cline.
"We were asked by the AFM to see if this concept has a place within their series. So we are traveling out to California to gauge veteran interest and, more importantly, see if we can make this program sustainable. Our program comes at no cost to the veteran participants. But we need on-site monitoring, logistical support and donations to make this program work. By meeting local veteran organizations, going to Camp Pendleton... we hope to find interest by local businesses and organizations to support our efforts in helping the veteran community," added Cline.
To learn about or donate to VETMotorsports please visit them on the web at www.vetmotorsports.org or follow them on Facebook at http://facebook.com/VETMotorsports, Twitter @VETMotorsports or Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/VETMotorsports/