TORONTO -- Charlie Kimball told his story of being an IZOD IndyCar Series driver living with type 1 diabetes and heard inspirational stories of others during a "Role Models in Diabetes" town hall session at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Children's Congress in Washington, D.C., earlier this week.
More than 160 delegates ages 6-17 from around the world attended the biennial meeting.
"Having diabetes is a real challenge and to see these delegates handle it with such grace and be successful and great with each other was awesome," said Kimball, who is competing in the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader races this weekend in the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car. "Every time I interact with somebody in the diabetes community I come across something that's inspirational."
Kimball and others also took their message of advocating national government funding for diabetes education and prevention programs to Capitol Hill, where they met with Vice President Joe Biden and members of Congress.
"We talked about the investment side of funding for understanding, education versus the 10-times cost of treatment down the line," Kimball said. "It's also encouraging the FDA and other government agencies to shepherd through advanced technology and not fall behind. The more understanding the scientific world gets about the triggers, genetics and treatment methodology, about how to turn that autoimmune response off, about how to better regulate it as well as making better insulin delivery devices and sensing technology, the sky is the limit until we get a cure.
"The more research is done, the more opportunities we with diabetes have to be successful."
Will a driver earn SONAX Perfect Finish Award?
The SONAX Perfect Finish Award for the Honda Indy Toronto is a cool $100,000 if a driver can sweep the 85-lap races on July 13 and 14.
Because Mike Conway didn't sweep the races (he came close with a victory and third place) in Detroit in early June in the Dale Coyne Racing car, the prize fund carried over and doubled for the Toronto race weekend.
If no one secures two wins on the Exhibition Place street circuit, the bonus will be $150,000 at Houston in early October. Conway is back in the No. 18 entry to give it another shot, along with 23 other entrants on the 1.7-mile, 11-turn circuit.
SONAX Perfect Finish is INDYCAR's Official Automobile Detail Partner.
"INDYCAR's racing presence brings another avenue to our customer base, while continuing SONAX's corporate marketing path through motor racing," said Rob McCrary, managing director for SONAX U.S.A. "The SONAX Perfect Finish Award is a great opportunity to not only help promote the doubleheader weekend races."
IZOD IndyCar Series officials announced that the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts car driven by James Jakes for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will receive a 10-spot grid penalty because of an unapproved engine change following the July 7 race at Pocono Raceway. The Honda engine was changed out before meeting its 2,000-mile threshold.