The United States Marine Corps has always supported Bobby Hodges' racing career, and Tuesday afternoon the 19-year-old Carson City racer decided to give something back.
Hodges donated $1,750, which he won in the Tri-Holiday series (Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day) at All-American Raceway in Roseville, Calif., to the USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment, which takes care of wounded soldiers and their families.
"I've always had the Marine Corps on the side of my car," said Hodges, who races in the Whelen All-American Series at various tracks in California. "I've done a whole bunch of work for them and I've worked for them periodically. It's because of them I can go out racing."
Hodges' family runs Nevada Automotive Test Center, and when Hodges was 16 he was involved in the design of a Universal Gunner Shield which is deployed on Marines and Army combat vehicles. Hodges also has done some work on the Combat Tactical Vehicle Technology Demonstrator.
"It's going to replace the humvee," Hodges said.
Lessons learned from the on-track racing environment have been applied to the military vehicle to improve safety and performance.
Hodges has one more points race left this season in Roseville, and then he goes back to being a full-time college student at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. He is in his second full-time year as an engineering student. He said he will fall back on engineering if a career in racing doesn't pan out like he hopes.