Following in the boot steps of Frontline2Finishline (A Military Off Road Racing Non-Profit) the Warrior Strong Race Team has been created to continue the Mission of utilizing Off Road Racing as a Rehabilitative Means of helping veterans who are struggling with any measure of stress, injury or challenge related to deployments and combat.
The team will be fielding a race UTV participating in the 2014 WORCS Sportsman Class. Partnering with local Veterans & Military Medical Rehabilitation Groups, (Balboa Naval Medical Center C5 Rehabilitation Unit and the VA La Jolla Polytrauma Dept.) a dedicated team of civilian and veteran off roaders will support, maintain, transport and race-service the UTV expected to be manned by Veteran Rehabilitation Candidates in need.
What are we looking to accomplish: The team will also be racing to raise awareness of key foundations (The Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation & Frontline2Finishline Non-Profit) whose primary goal is to promote and support the advancement and use of recreational-therapy as an important and critical tool in our efforts to help veterans overcome stress and injury as they begin their transition back to their families, homes and communities.
What is the motivation behind this effort: Two words…….Glen Doherty. For key members of the Warrior Strong Race Team Glen was family, friend and co-driver. Recreation and the service to others, was core to his DNA. His legendary recreational exploits were only matched by his care and concern for the human condition and welfare of his fellow brothers & sisters in arms.
Funding: While limited, funding for the first year of racing (including the purchase of the UTV) is being provided through a private donation from a local San Diego family.
Support Team: Race Edge, a local El Cajon, CA Off Road shop has been chosen to support the UTV and the team. First Turn Performance out of Ramona, CA will be providing much needed engine management support.
Generous sponsorship from DWT, Fox Shocks and Fox Defense, Leatt, Southern Motorcycle Supply as well as Rocky Mountain MC/ATV has helped get the car into working/racing order for the series.
Additional support from ECC, Axiom Electric, PRP, DJ Safety, ECP, Cognito, Long Travel Industries, Major Impact Photography & Marketing Worx has been of tremendous help.
Cody Elliott- 23 (USMC) Having served multiple combat deployments Cody sustained his injuries while on patrol in AFG. Cody’s injuries (including the loss of a leg) have not slowed him. He is an avid outdoorsman as well as off roader.
Chris Andrieu- 28 (USN) While deployed to AFG Chris serving as an EOD Tech. Chris suffered injuries while disarming IED clusters in support of a Special Operations Platoon. Chris’s injuries (including the loss of both legs) have not slowed him. Off road racing will be a new endeavor for Chris.
Calvin Smith-32 (USMC) While on his second combat deployment to IRQ Calvin sustained his injuries when his Humvee came under attack. Calvin’s injuries (significant trauma-physical and TBI) have not slowed him. He is a sport bike rider and is a spokesman for Canine Companions for Independence.
Casey Braden-30 (USN) Casey has served multiple combat tours as a Navy EOD Tech. His longtime friendship with shipmate and fellow EOD Tech, Chris Andrieu is one key reason for his participation on the team. Casey has been by Chris’s side since Chris sustained his injury and has provided much needed guidance and support.
Mike Shatynski (Team Sponsor and Mentor)- 56 (USN RADM Retired) Grew up in Southern California watching the legendary exploits of early Baja off-road racers. Inspired by these pioneers, he raced in his first Baja 500 off-road race in 1985 while serving on active duty in the Navy. After going to work for the LA County Sanitation Districts and transitioning to the reserves, he continued pursuing his passion. He competed in 16 more Baja races and supported many more until interrupted by a mobilization for war after 9-11. Since returning to offroad racing in 2010, he added to his resume with 3 first place finishes in the Mexican and Baja 1000s in 2010, 2011 & 2012 as well as a 2nd place finish in the 2011 Baja 500, and 3rd overall in the 2013 Mexican 1000.