JEFFERSON PARISH, La. (WGNO) – An organization dedicated to helping veterans is fulfilling their need for speed.
The noise of revving engines filled NOLA Motorsports Park Sunday as members of Battle Scarred Motorsports competed in a three-day racing event.
Founder and CEO Brian Czech, a retired marine, along with some marine buddies, started the organization four years ago.
“We needed something fun to do, and over time, that’s turned into an endurance racing event with friends to a family that we now grow each and every time we hit the track with veterans and first responders and active-duty folks,” Czech explained.
Saturday and Sunday consisted of a nearly eight-hour endurance race, so each driver on a team will be behind the wheel for up to two hours at a time, which can be taxing at 120 miles per hour.
“Well, we started yesterday in the rain, so that was pretty daunting to jump into,” Air Force retiree and driver Brandon Wood said. “It was exciting, it was interesting, and today’s even better as it’s going a little bit faster and a little bit more comfortable. It’s a great experience.”
To win the race, drivers must work as a team.
“The magic’s not so much behind the wheel as it is with the people that we’re working with to accomplish the mission of getting the car prepared, repaired and back on the track,” Navy veteran and driver Charlie Adams said.
Battle Scarred Motorsports is different from other organizations in that it is providing veterans with an experience.
“I think giving a veteran the opportunity to come out and be a part of a team, they call it adrenaline therapy, and I think that is the best thing you can do for somebody who may be struggling,” Air Force veteran and driver C.W. Lemoine said.
Czech knows firsthand this experience is serving as a lifeline for some as he recalled a conversation he had with one of the drivers.
“We got him in the car, and he told me about a year later that we saved his life, so that means a lot,” Czech said. “To get them here and to get them to kind of forget about that and grow a new family, that’s what’s important.”