COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 19, 2016 – Two combat-wounded United States veterans have been embedded with Plm Krze Racing since February 6 as the team prepares a former NASCAR racing truck to make an attempt at a land speed record at the East Coast Timing Association’s quarterly meet at The Ohio Mile in Wilmington, Ohio, April 29 – May 1.
The veterans, Petty Officer First Class Roger H. of Salisbury, N.C. and Sergeant First Class Doug S. of Claremont, N.C., are taking part in the build through VETMotorsports, an award-winning, non-clinical outreach program that honors and empowers injured warfighters through active participation in motorsports.
The subject of the build is a 1999 Hutcherson Pagan chassis formerly driven in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The frame-up construction will include installation of the engine, brake system, windshield, engine, shocks, transmission, ignition system and a parachute. The project will be based at The Garage Shop in Catawba, N.C., and is expected to take three months.
VETMotorsports was created to provide inspiration and motivation to combat-wounded, post-9/11 warfighters by making them part of a new team and giving them a new mission. The program recruits participants, embeds them with partnering race teams and covers all expenses for them and a caregiver to take part in the experience.
“Fellow disabled veterans, at times, need an avenue forward, a project, and some normality in order to make each day bearable,” said team owner Paul O’Donnell. “This is that kind of project.”
In addition to VETMotorsports donors which pay for their injured warfighters expeneses, the project is receiving generous support from team owners Paul and Debbie O’Donnell of Lewisville, N.C., Werner’s Smokehouse of Jeffersonville, Ohio; The Garage Shop of Catawba, N.C. and Don Volk of Grosse Ile, Mich.
“Like our participating veterans, we’re very excited about this build,” said VETMotorsports Founder and Executive Director Peter Cline. “It’s an amazing opportunity for our warfighters to be part of a team again, to share a common goal and use their abilities for something fun and meaningful. It’s what VETMotorsports is all about.”
Founded in 2012, Veteran Empowerment Through Motorsports (VETMotorsports) is an award-winning, non-profit, non-clinical outreach program that embeds qualifying warfighters with existing race teams to provide them with unique motorsports experiences. By placing veterans in hands-on, high-stress, team environments that mimic active duty, the organization gives them direction, empowerment and challenges that help them focus on ability and moving forward rather than disability and the past. To date VETMotorsports has helped more than 124 injured warfighters participate in 49 motorcycle and auto racing events across the United States. To learn more about VETMotorsports, participate in the program, or make a donation, visit www.VETMotorsports.org.