Military heroes and racing buddies — Justin Jacobi, Jason Zittel and Ian Seymour — recently started a GoFundMe to help cover their off-road racing registration costs. Every dollar raised beyond the registration cost will be donated to a non-profit organization to help propel injured and struggling veterans into the sport.
The three-man crew is working hard and grinding every single day to make sure they are prepared to come out and fight for a win on and off the track. Their overall goal is using the challenges and sheer fun of off-road racing to help veterans get past the struggles and move toward resuming their lives.
The team currently has two sponsors, including Race 2 Erase 22 and Warfighter Made. We recently sat down for an interview with Justin Jacobi to learn more about their team and the mission they hope to accomplish with every dollar raised.
How did you get started in ATV racing?
We all got into ATV racing for various reasons, whether it was a GNCC race we saw when we were younger, a dad putting you in to a race after saying that you’re just going to watch, or an itch since childhood that we were finally able to scratch. What we all have in common is that it was as easy as just registering for a race and showing up. The people that surround the sport are supportive, inviting and willing to throw their time, effort and parts at you just to keep you going. It’s a fantastic sport to get in to.
What spurred your desire to get involved with this event?
We all grew up watching legends run the Vegas 2 Reno race and idolizing the fastest guys on the course. It’s a bucket list type of race that plays out on one of the largest stages in the U.S. next to NASCAR and Motocross. The idea was hatched at the WORCS Racing round in Taft, CA. After some team member changes and invites we all pitched in and got this thing rolling. It really started gaining traction when we landed two of our first sponsors.
Who is on your team and how were team members selected?
Our team is made up of Justin Jacobi, Jason Zittel and Ian Seymour. All three of us are either prior service or current active-duty military. We all race the WORCS series and are friends off the track. All three of us have the same drive to do this and trust each other to get this done. Between all the sponsors and contacts we have, it made this much easier to achieve and gather the resources needed to build the quad and raise the race fees. What could be better than racing with buddies?!
Why did you choose the BITD Vegas to Reno race to compete in?
Beyond it being a “bucket list” item, it is close to us and with the resources we have as well as the schedules we run, this was one of those “stars have aligned’ moments and we seized it as soon as we could. We can’t think of a more iconic race on such a big stage to bring attention to our cause. This is a huge opportunity to raise money and get people involved to support wounded and struggling veterans. We feel that if we can do it, why not them as well? We want to share off-road racing with these guys and get them involved.
How do you think off-road racing helps with mental health and stability?
Off-road racing requires so much focus and team work to get to the finish line. We want others to share this experience and feel like they’re part of a team again. Working towards a common goal to get their minds refocused and back on track. We want them to feel included and know that they have a purpose. One of the biggest problems is that once a service member separates from service, they feel like they no longer serve an important cause. Like they are just getting through the rest of their life, with no more purpose, or support. Well, it’s here. We want to share this experience because we figure that if we can do this, why not them? Where there is a will there is a way.
If you could choose one quote that resembles your team, what would it be?
All three of us can come up with different, great quotes that that strike at the core of what we’re about, but if I could make one up that sums up how we all feel it would be: “When you completely immerse yourself in what you are doing, full of tenacity and determination, you will realize, that you have moved mountains”
Can you tell us more about your story that you think we should include?
Only thing that comes to mind is that this is just the beginning. All three of us come from different backgrounds and struggles, but we are here now and just getting started. We want to continue to grow this in whatever way we can and build upon the successes we have. When we succeed, we lift others up. From our step we want to put a handout and lift others up. Through that kind of teamwork, we can climb the steps together.
You can follow us through IG and YouTube via @matchbooknomad, @square1_speed and the Square1 Speed Channel. To donate, check out the GoFundMe, here.