COLUMBUS, Ohio, September 27, 2017 – Through VETMotorsports, an award-winning, non-clinical outreach program that honors and empowers veterans with service-related injuries through active participation in motorsports, a United States Army veteran will serve as a pit crew member during the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The VETMotorsports program was created to provide inspiration and motivation to post-9/11 veterans with service-related injuries by making them part of a new team and giving them a new mission. VETMotorsports recruits participants, embeds them with professional racing teams or puts them behind the wheel, and covers all expenses for them a caregiver to take part in the experience.
Working with the McGovern Team at the Runoffs will be Army Sgt. BobbyJo Westmark from Indianapolis, Indiana. Westmark, who was injured serving in Iraq, will be doing light mechanical work on the #8 Spec Miata entry piloted by Patrick McGovern on Thursday, September 28 and Friday, September 29.
“We’re big fans of what VETMotorsports is doing,” said McGovern. “As a veteran myself, I know what a difference being part of team can make to vets who miss that connection when their service ends. We’re excited to have BobbyJo with us this weekend and look forward to making it a great experience.”
“Losing 22 veterans a day to suicide is something we just can’t abide,” said VETMotorsports Founder and Executive Director Peter Cline. “That’s why we’re excited to be working with McGovern to honor and empower brave service members like BobbyJo and looking forward to this weekend’s Runoffs.”
VETMotorsports’ 2017 programming is being made possible in part through a grant from the SCCA Foundation. In addition to placing injured veterans inside the ropes and behind the wheel at select SCCA events, the program is creating mentorship opportunities for them with SCCA members and staff.
The program kicked off in March in San Diego and has placed veterans behind the wheel at events throughout the season.
“We are very grateful to the men and women who have served our country in defense of our freedom,” said Howard Duncan, SCCA Senior Director of Rally/Solo. “Military service builds skills in leadership, teamwork, and dedication to task, all of which are applicable to motorsports. The SCCA Foundation is pleased to give back to our veterans through this program and welcome them to be part of the SCCA family in every community across the country.”
VETMotorsports is an award-winning, non-profit, non-clinical outreach program that honors and empowers injured post-9/11 service members by embedding them with professional racing teams and putting them behind the wheel to race in amateur events. 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. Since its founding in 2012, VETMotorsports has helped more than 160 injured veterans participate in 60 motorcycle and auto racing events across the United States. More information about the organization is available at www.VETMotorsports.org.
Founded in 1944, the Sports Car Club of America®, Inc. is a 67,500-member motorsports organization that incorporates all facets of autocross, rally and road racing at both club and professional levels. With headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, the SCCA annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 116 Regions and subsidiary divisions. Much of the SCCA’s activities are made possible with support from the following Official Partners: Chevrolet, the Official Truck of the SCCA; Hawk Performance, the Official Brake Products of SCCA; Mobil 1, the Official Oil of SCCA; Sunoco, the Official Fuel of SCCA; and Tire Rack, the Official Tire Retailer of SCCA. To learn more, please visit www.scca.com.