COMP ROOKIE RACING FOR A CAUSE
Comp Eliminator rookie Charles Myers is set to introduce rock band Godsmack’s charity, The Scars Foundation, to NHRA drag racing at the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. The foundation aims to raise awareness about mental health issues in motorsports.
“It’s super important to me that we were able to partner with somebody like The Scars Foundation because, at the end of the day, racers, crew members, fans all have that same experience,” Myers said. “We go through extreme highs and extreme lows in drag racing. Things happen in a matter of seconds, and it’s important that we have those tools to learn how to cope with these things and to make us all better. Drag racing is both physical and mental, and sometimes I think the mental game is a bigger part of it than most realize. This is important to me because I’ve taken a big step back from racing to take care of my mental health, and I think mental health in racing is something that really needs to be addressed.”
The Scars Foundation, founded by lead singer Sully Erna and members of Godsmack, addresses mental health concerns resulting from various challenges, such as bullying, abuse, addiction, and mental illness. Erna highlighted the importance of embracing one’s scars as part of their unique story and encouraged individuals to be a voice for others.
Naomi Fabricant, executive director of The Scars Foundation, expressed excitement at the opportunity to work with drivers in the racing community. She emphasized the need for mental health support tailored to the specific circumstances of individual groups.
“Scars come in all forms,” said Erna, the lead singer of Godsmack. “They are both physical and emotional. They’re traumatizing and make us fear what people may think of us. We are all imperfect in some way; that’s what makes us perfect and unique! Everyone has something that makes them insecure or embarrassed. Instead of hiding or internalizing them, own them and show them off to the world! Let them empower you so you can be a voice for everyone who can’t be. If we all wear our scars loudly and proudly, others will follow.
“No matter what your scars are – abuse, mental illness, disabilities, bullying, addiction – none of them are defects but a part of your unique story,” Erna added.
Myers, a three-time NHRA class winner, will make his Comp Eliminator debut driving an F/Dragster powered by a 177-cubic-inch 4-cylinder Chevrolet engine.
“Sully and I are huge race fans, so the opportunity to work with the drivers is something that is truly an honor for us,” said Naomi Fabricant, executive director, The Scars Foundation. “We both love cars and racing. I’m not sure that there was ever really much attention paid to the drivers, in particular with their mental health. It’s something that goes along with our mission to bring mental health toolkits to everyone we can in every demographic. The beauty of our programming is we can custom tailor our programming to the individual groups' needs that we work with. We have evidence-based tools that we use with highly credentialed people, and we put our programs together for the unique circumstances of the group that we’re working with. It’s just an honor to be able to put a program together for the drivers.
“I held my first Wally – John Frech’s F/Dragster Wally at Maple Grove – when I was a kid, and I never could have dreamed that I’d get to race in the same class one day,” Myers said. “We’re gonna go out there and try to be as competitive as we can. We don’t have the big budgets like a lot of the teams do, but to be mentioned in that same category as some of my heroes like David Rampy and John Frech, it’s a dream come true. This is the top of where it gets, and we’re really, really excited about it. To be able to do it with my dad and to be able to partner with The Scars Foundation are both special aspects of this. It’s an opportunity to bring awareness to something that really hit home in the last several years and has been a big part of my life, and I don’t think the timing could be any better.”
In addition to the NHRA Carolina Nationals, The Scars Foundation intends to have a presence at the 2023 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show.