Racing 4 Vets is gearing up for a 14-hour endurance race April 2 in Daytona.
“These veterans have been building this car for four months now. Super excited about this event,” co-founder John Vann said.
But preparing their Porsche for the track just got a lot more difficult.
Ten days ago, thieves broke into their New Port Richey garage. They stole racing tires, tools and equipment worth about $5,000.
“When you are taking a veteran’s tools, those tools are there to basically save their life,” Vann said.
“These are guys that laid their life on the line overseas for us. And they come back here and the people they are protecting are stealing from them,” said Nick Esposito, CEO of Dana Heating & Air, a sponsor of the group.
Racing 4 Vets’ mission is to help military veterans get involved in motorsports careers.
“Some veterans just learn to weld. Some veterans learn to fabricate. Some veterans learn to race,” Vann said.
For former Army mechanic Jason Houston, it’s been ideal.
“It gives me a place to come when I need to relieve stress, which is quite a bit,” Houston said.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating the theft and while there are no arrests yet. They have strong leads.
Racing 4 Vets was able to recover two of the tires so far. And they plan to continue working to get their ride ready to race.