Story by Racing4Vets U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jonathon S.
Saturday May 4 was a great day for team Racing4vets at the G&J Kartway. But it didn’t start out that way.
During practice, Racing4Vets kart #3 blew an engine that Marine and National Guard veteran Alex was testing at the time. It was a significant setback for the team, but fortunately sponsor APPCO Racing stepped up and loaned the team their #11 kart. “It really saved the day for me because we only had two karts for the evening’s races,” according to Army vet and Racing4Vets Co-founder John V, “It ran like a champ and I’m grateful they were generous enough to allow me to use it”.
The night really belonged to U.S. Army veteran Randy, who drove Racing4Vets’ kart #4 to wins in two out of three races. With both victories, Randy finished the night in first place in the OVKA points total. “I waited until both drivers made a mistake and then was able to overtake both of them. I credit the hard work of our entire R4V team as well as Full Throttle Racing and APPCO Racing for their help and support of our first and third place finishes,” Randy said. With his dual victory, Randy has cooly earned the “Team Hotshoe” award and looks to be the man to beat.
U.S. Army veteran John V took third place in the overall points on the night in APPCO Racing’s replacement kart #11, an impressive feat for a driver in a new kart and little time to prepare for the Saturday Night races. Watch John’s charge through the field to P3 on our videos page.
Also in attendance was President and Co-Founder Lawrence Klamecki who traveled from New York to Cincinnati for the weekend to help inspire team R4V onto victory. After the race, Lawrence shared his thoughts. “I am extremely proud of what our guys have accomplished in a short time. They have formed a team of injured vets, built their own karts, and secured sponsorship from great veterans supporters like OVKA, Full Throttle, PFM, SignTech, Finish Line Racing Gear and APPCO Racing. These are huge challenges for experienced kart teams — on top of that our guys are dealing with with PTSD, physical injuries and transitioning from military to civilian life. To accomplish all of these things, and come out and take first and third in class is just amazing. I am so proud, and I know these vets are creating a model for other injured veteran racers to follow.”
All in all, it was a banner night for Team Racing4Vets, with even greater things ahead. Two of R4V’s drivers have yet to race: Alex (Crew Chief) and Jonathon S (PR/Marketing) will enter OVKA competition in upcoming races. There is much optimism to go forward among the Racing4Vets team and bright days ahead as our kart racing veterans gain experience on and off the track.
United we stand.