Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Centennial Blog

So this is my 100th blog and I was trying to come up with a good topic to discuss. When I was looking back through my early blogs, I reread my community blog (my first one). Now more than ever, it is true that I am part of a lot of different communities. I really enjoy the different roles that I am getting to play both at and away from the race track.

Away from the race track this year, I have been enjoying going to ADA Expos and sharing my story. Before a couple of those Expos, I got to go to local hospitals and talk to patients with diabetes. That is a really special feeling because most people don’t expect to see a professional racing driver with firesuit and helmet walking around the hospital. Especially not one with diabetes! I have also been to a couple of Taking Control of Your Diabetes conferences. They are great events because the main message of the day is to really Control Your Diabetes rather than let it control you. I have been the closing presentation at both days and always get a great reaction from the crowd. I also get to see and interact with everyone during the day at the health fair. I have met some really great people and always enjoy hearing everyone’s stories. The truth is that I learn and take encouragement from everyone I meet at the Expos and TCOYD. The fact that they come out and spend a full day on their health reminds me to make sure I am being proactive enough about my own healthcare.

At the racetrack, I have gotten extremely busy! Alongside the full time job of racing, I have been doing a lot of media outreach to try and get my story about diabetes out there. I have had some great coverage and gotten to meet some cool reporters. As the son of an engineer, I like getting to see behind the scenes of the TV studios. The first time I went into a studio that had mechanical cameras that move auto-magically, I was blown away. It is amazing how technology has changed the way TV is made. As well as the racing and the media, I am lucky to be a part of the Indy Car Series Pace Car Team. The PCT is comprised of 4 Firestone Indy Lights drivers (myself, Martin Plowman, Stefan Wilson and James Hinchcliffe). While the main duties of the PCT are giving VIP’s, Media and Sponsors rides around the race tracks we visit, we also get to make PCT specific appearances at different events. We just finished a road trip to and from Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois where we appeared on behalf of the Indy Car Series in promotion of our race, August 28th. It was a night open to people who had bought tickets for the season’s races at Chicagoland. The fans got a chance to interact with Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Scott Dixon, Sam Hornish, Chip Ganassi, Alex Lloyd and the Pace Car Team. We answered questions, signed autographs and had a bull riding competition. There was a mechanical bull and as good upstanding members of the PCT, we each threw the challenge at each other. The resulting video is quite amusing and can be found on my YouTube channel soon. We have a lot of fun on the PCT and we are going to be announcing a cool charity program soon! If you are going to be at an Indy Car race this year and are interested in buying a ride in a Pace Car with a PCT driver, leave me a comment and I will let you know who to talk to. So between PCT, media and driving, my race weekends are flat out....so to speak!

5 comments :

  1. Happy 100th post Charlie!

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  2. I would like a PCT ride with a cartoon villain if you please.

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  3. The above Anonymous post relates to this Indy Car news article (http://www.indycar.com/news/show/55-izod-indycar-series/34993/) relating my role in the PCT as Snidely Whiplash... Anyone wanting a Pace Car ride, I can send you in the right direction- just let me know!

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  4. Charlie: Thanks for what you're doing in outreach on the D-Message. I'm a 31-year-old in Indianapolis area who's been living with Type 1 for 26 years since the age of 5. Very inspiring to have high-profile people like yourself stepping up. Actually, I heard you'd be speaking at Methodist Hospital this coming Monday - I work in downtown Indy and was hoping to get away from work to get over there. If that happens, look forward to hearing your message in person! Good luck with racing here in Indy, too!!!

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  5. Jeff SeidensteinMay 25, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Charlie: Thanks for volunteering today to read to the children at the Head Start school in Indy. The kids (and teachers) loved seeing you! You are a fine young man, and I wish only the best for you.

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