Charlie Kimball on IndyCar, IMS, and managing diabetes during COVID-19 shutdown


FORT WORTH, TEXAS – JUNE 06: Charlie Kimball, driver of the #4 TRESIBA / A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet, on track during practice the NTT IndyCar Series – Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 06, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

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INDIANAPOLIS – With a whole month between race #1 and race #2 in this IndyCar season, Charlie Kimball and his team are putting in the work.

“We’re keeping pretty busy,” explains Kimball, driver of the #4 A.J. Foyt Racing entry. “Even though it’s a month off, that doesn’t mean we’ve taken our foot off the gas at all.”

Kimball came out of the chute strong in the IndyCar opener at Texas Motor Speedway, running up near the front for much of the night. An unfortunate last lap wreck gave him an 11th place finish, but Kimball is focusing on the positives and the lessons learned on the oval..

“I think it bodes well for the rest of the year and especially coming back to Indy in August for the Indy 500,” says Kimball.

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of the 2020 IndyCar season by nearly two months. While all the series’ drivers remained focused on preparing for the eventual start, Kimball also had to manage his diabetes during a national shutdown.

“The things I really focused on in managing my diabetes during the shutdown (were) nutrition and activity,” Kimball says. “(During a race), I have a sensor on my body, and it transmits to a display that plugs into the car’s data system. As far as the IndyCar’s concerned, it’s just another sensor like oil pressure or water temperature.

“My diabetes is along for the ride. It’s kind of a passenger at that point.”

Kimball’s partnership with pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk has produced the Race With Insulin program, encouraging people living with diabetes to embrace technology and diabetes management tools.

“For me, that’s been one of the single most rewarding pieces of the relationship (with Novo Nordisk),” explains Kimball. “When they start to envision their dreams becoming reality with diabetes, it has been really rewarding and special.”

Kimball’s in for one of his most special weekends of the year on July 4 weekend, as IndyCar returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the GMR Grand Prix.

“I would say the greatest race track in the world,” smiles Kimball. “July 4, partnering with NASCAR, breaking ground as the first time as a doubleheader is gonna be extremely special.”

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