Michael O'Brien racing in support of the Wounded Warrior Project at Southern National Motorsports Park. (Photo Credit: Corey Latham/RACE22.com)
LUCAMA, NC - Southern National Motorsports Park is teaming up with H&H Motorsports & Construction Managers for the inaugural Wounded Warrior Night at the Races on Saturday night, August 29th.
The event will salute those who have been injured in combat defending the United States while also raising awareness for them. H&H Motorsports' Charlie Rizzo, who fields cars for Michael O'Brien and Jonathan Kornegay, worked with Southern National Motorsports Park, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Mt. Olive post, the American Legion Goldsboro post and the the Veteran's Administration to put the event together as a way of giving back.
"On the 61 car, we run the Wounded Warrior Project decal on the side as a good gesture," Rizzo said. "As a team, H&H Motorsports, we've decided we would like to do something for the wounded warriors. With the help of SNMP and Construction Managers, we're putting on a wounded warriors night at the racetrack. These fellows and their families can come out here and hopefully enjoy a night at the races. It's something we can do to give a little back to them for a lot they've given to us."
Tents will be set up trackside for wounded warriors from the Carolinas to watch the race from, Bill Ellis Barbecue from Wilson will feed the warriors and a bounce house will be erected for kids. The event promises to be fun for all but it also has a serious message to it.
"Bill Ellis BBQ is coming out to feed these fellows," Rizzo explained. "Going to set them up in a couple of tents on the front parking lot. We've hooked up with the American Legion post out of Goldsboro as well as the Veteran's Administration. They'll bring a lot of information for these fellows. There's a lot of programs out there for them and the information is not getting out. We're trying to make it an informational day as well as a fun time at the racetrack."
For many, the impact of injuries sustained in combat is very real. 819 service members from North Carolina were wounded in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011) and another 324 have been wounded in Operation Enduring Freedom, which is the name given to the ongoing war on terrorism which has gone down in history as America's longest war.
The race itself will also have a heavy military theme. The color guard from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base out of Goldsboro will serve as the color guard for the race while the invocation and national anthem will also be delivered by members of the United States military. The program will feature racing for the Charger division which O'Brien competes in, the Mid-Atlantic Street Stock Championship Series which Kornegay competes in as well, the U-CAR division which active duty Air Force service member John Ordiway competes in as well as the Late Models, Legends and Bandoleros.
For more information about Southern National Motorsports Park, check out SNMP’s website at www.snmpark.com, “like” Southern National Motorsports Park on Facebook or “follow” @SNM_Park on Twitter.