Over 85 NASCAR drivers, race fans, motorsports journalists and service-disabled veterans competed in the First Annual Racing4Vets Veteran Kart Challenge on May 19, 2014 at GoPro Motorplex in Mooreseville, NC. The event was a huge success, attracting national support to our Racing4Vets service-disabled motorsports program.
Race to Support Service-Disabled Veterans
Held at the world-class GoPro Motorplex in “Race City USA” Mooresville, NC, the Veteran Kart Challenge pitted 21 kart teams against each other in a 2 hour endurance racing format. 16 teams with a professional NASCAR driver and race fans competed against 3 journalist teams from MRN, Popular Speed and Speed51, and 2 kart teams of Racing4Vets service-disabled veterans.
Second Place was taken by the kart team led by INEX Legends racer and U.S. Military Veteran Martin Snyder along with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Gray Gaulding from NTS Motorsports and two race fans.
The last 5 laps of the race were a battle of heroic proportions. 7 NASCAR karts and both Racing4Vets karts raced nose-to-tail down the straights and 2- and 3-wide through the corners. Aggressive NASCAR bumping, curb hopping and slide check techniques were all used in an effort to win the 1st Place trophy. Tyler Young of Young’s Motorsports narrowly took the checkered flag at the line.
The Racing4Vets “Foot Control” veteran team placed 4th after starting 16th. The Racing4Vets “Hand Control” veteran team placed 6th after starting 18th. Both Racing4Vets teams beat numerous NASCAR teams.
Racing4Vets was proud to introduce the newest addition of our Pit Crew and youngest team member, Willie the Service Dog. Willie supported our service-disabled race teams in the pits and ensured high team morale. A job well done on this rookie’s first track outing.
National Motorsports Media Coverage
In addition to the support of NASCAR’s “Young Guns”, the Racing4Vets Veteran Kart Challenge was nationally publicized throughout the racing world by Popular Speed, 140Buzz, Speed51, the Motor Racing Network and Race Talk Radio. The race was announced by Tony Stevens from Charlotte Motor Speedway, Zach Wyatt from Bowman Gray Stadium and nationally on Race Talk Radio by Dennis Michelson.
NASCAR Drivers and Journalists
A big field of NASCAR drivers and motorsports journalists raced to support the Racing4Vets motorsports program: Matt Crafton, Alex Bowman, Ryan Truex, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr., Jeffrey Earnhardt, Ryan Preece, Robbie Allison, Mackena Bell, Daniel Suarez, Joey “Mooch” Mucciacciaro, Corey LaJoie, Kyle Rickey, Alex Hayden, Kenzie Ruston, Brandon McReynolds, Brad Means, Tyler Young, Martin Snyder, Daniel Hemric, Matt Kentfield, Matthew Dilner, Joey Coulter, Kelly Crandall, Chris Owens, Brennan Newberry and Gray Gaulding. To learn more about these great drivers and motorsports journalists visit VeteranKartChallenge.com/drivers
Joining NASCAR’s “Young Guns” in support of service-disabled veterans were Bobby and Judy Allison, who graciously autographed and took photos with race fans throughout the event.
Event Sponsors and Supporters
- GoPro Motorplex who provided their world-class track and facilities and supported the entire racing event
- SunDrop who supplied their famous Southern soft drinks and brought the SunDrop Monster Truck
- Welcome Home Veterans “The Most Patriotic Coffee Shop in America” who sponsored and supported the event
- Lancaster’s BBQ and Wings who supplied Racing4Vets service-disabled veterans and pro drivers with the favorite BBQ of NASCAR drivers
- Maxspeed Group who donated a 125cc Rotax Max Senior Kart Engine Package
- Pure Speed Drag Racing Experience who donated their Eliminator Driving Package and held a separate raffle for a ride along package
- ThorSport Racing who donated a hood from Matt Crafton’s NASCAR Camping World Truck, autographed Matt Crafton, Jeb Burton and Johnny Sauter race memorabilia, and 4 autographed “Support Our Troops” CWTS Goodyear race tires.
- NTS Motorsports who donated sheet metal autographed by Brennan Newberry and Gray Gaulding
- Kyle Busch Motorsports who donated a Monster Energy prize pack and signed Coors Light Pole flag and hat from Kyle Busch
- Sam Bass NASCAR’s 1st Officially Licensed Artist who donated two prints autographed by Sam Bass and Bobby Allison showcasing Bobby Allison’s NASCAR Daytona Sweep of 1988
- Rick Ellison Racing who donated an official 82nd Airborne Division honor package
- Rev Racing team who donated swag bags and showed up en mass to autograph hero cards for the fans
- NASCAR Technical Institute, Wells Fargo Team Member Giving, Winston-Salem State University and Friends of Racing4Vets whose volunteers helped to support the event
- Ribtect who donated 2 gift certificates for kart racing chest protectors
- Popular Speed who donated a gift basket from The Beef Jerky Outlet Carolina.
- 140Buzz.com PR team who promoted and supported the event
- Motor Racing Network who donated prize packs with MRN T-shirts, Hats, Koozies and Hero Cards
- Speed51 who donated a FREE Hero Card or Promo Postcard design package
- All the NASCAR drivers who participated in the event who signed an official Goodyear “Support Our Troops” NASCAR tire donated by Thorsport for auction
- Ray and Marcie Bellamy of Crown Trophy in Cornelius, NC who designed the incredible award trophies
- Unser Karting in Denver, CO who provided the racing hand controls for our Walter Reed veterans on the Racing4Vets team to compete
- Young’s Motorsports who donated a signed Tyler Young NASCAR Camping World Truck hood
- Bruce Baciu who designed the Veteran Kart Challenge event logo
- Stich98 who made the beautiful Racing4Vets “Support Our Injured U.S. Military Veterans” GoPro Motorplex t-shirts
- Wounded Warrior Project Fayetteville, NC chapter, who made a donation to support the event and brought multiple veterans to race
- Sea Scout Troop #91, who supported the SunDrop booth and recited the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the race
- Charlotte Motor Speedway who donated 8 tickets to the NASCAR All-Star Race to Racing4Vets’ service-disabled veterans and 2 tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 for the raffle
- Good Will Publishers who donated 22 One Who Served Journals and four Blue Star Mothers golf shirts
- Stonehaven Massage and Spa who gave all the fan and pro drivers a certificate for a free massage or facial, and 4 one year memberships for the winning team
- Travis Phillips of Kathy’s Kitchen Catering for donating their entire day and evening to provide spectators with some down home smoke BBQ beef and chicken platters
- …and many more!
Racing4Vets would like to thank all of our supporters who helped make this event happen. We plan to leverage the event to grow our injured veteran motorsports and career programs, add new chapters around the U.S. and serve a growing number of service-disabled veterans.