This is a strong achievement for the second-year team of Veterans, led by John Vann, Regional Director of the Tampa Chapter. Their 2015 attempt ended early in the race with an engine failure, but 2016 was a story of success after 6 months of hard work.
The all-Veteran team came in with renewed vigor, improved their race machinery, teamwork, logistics and commitment to finishing. Prior to the event, they rebuilt their Dodge Neon ACR motor, wrapped the car with an all-new livery, designed and fielded new uniforms, and secured major sponsorships, shop equipment, a hauler van and brand-new trailer for the event.
14 hours of racing at Daytona is an immensely challenging task. A large percentage of the 133 entrants didn’t make the distance. The high speed banking and straights stress small-bore 4 cylinder motors to the maximum. The rigors of racing day and night put a strain on equipment, driveline, teamwork and the drivers themselves.
Using their Veteran determination and training was crucial in surmounting these challenges, proving that service-related disabilities and the preparation and rigors of endurance racing are no match for determination.
The race was not without its mishaps. The team’s Neon race car lost an alternator mid-way through the race, necessitating a long pitstop back in the garage to diagnose and replace it. Pit stops for refueling and driver changes were challenging, particularly as several Veterans were doing it for the first time.
Once on track, however, the drivers took their race car the distance and finished in the top 50% of the most competitive class.
Racing4Vets would like to thank Superior Bearing & Supply, Kegenix, Clenzoil, Dana Heating & Air, Pasco Sheriff Department, Stepps Towing Services, Chilly Performance and all the donors and supporters who made this event possible.