Friday, June 8, 2012
Charlie Kimball gives peek into racing with diabetes
By David Collier
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Most drivers are focused solely on the track leading up to a race. Charlie Kimball makes time for other priorities.
The driver of the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing spent Thursday visiting Children's Medical Center in Dallas.
Dealing with illness is something that hits close to home for Kimball. In 2007, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. During races, his blood sugar is monitored through a wireless continuous glucose device that sends the data to his team's pit.
Kimball will be featured in an episode of the TV show IndyCar 36. He hopes fans will get to see not only how his team prepares for each race but also how he deals with his diabetes on race days.
"I think that the nice thing about the IndyCar 36 is that it gives an insight to all the fans and everybody interested in racing to see how we prepare," Kimball said. "So ideally, we shouldn't change anything when the camera crews are there, so everybody gets an understanding of what really goes on behind the transfer of the doors and the drivers lounge.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to give that insight and also give people a better understanding of what diabetes is for me and what it means to manage it, using all the tools that I have available before I ever get anywhere near stepping in a race car."
Kimball, who is currently in 11th place in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings, is readying for Saturday's Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. He hopes to keep momentum from four top-10 finishes in six races this season going.
"Well, I think heading into the next three weekends with three different types of ovals, you have to just continue to be smart and make good choices, both on setup and on the track during the race," Kimball said. "I think Detroit was a good example and a good reminder to me that no matter where you start the race, you don't exactly know how it's going to go and where you're going to end up.
"We started on the 10th row and ended up finishing eighth. And that played out by just racing smart, racing clean, paying attention to and focusing on our own race as far as fuel mileage and pit stops and tire strategy, and that's the same thing heading into these three weekends. If we can maximize our package, then that'll continue to give us really good results."