In 2007, INDYCAR® driver Charlie Kimball was abruptly forced to abandon his racing program midseason, when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes during a routine physician’s visit. Now, as we approach the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500™, on Sunday, May 26, Kimball is once again gearing up to compete in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” and remains the first and only licensed driver with diabetes in the history of INDYCAR to win a race at the most elite level of the series and first licensed driver to quality for and complete the Indianapolis 500, where he scored a best finish of 3rd in 2015.
Kimball, in his ninth season in the NTT INDYCAR Series and who races for Carlin Racing, sponsored by Novo Nordisk, has an inspiring story that he wants to continue to share with the public and other people with diabetes.
Kimball began racing go-karts at age 9 and deferred admission to Stanford University’s engineering program to pursue his dream of racing. Determined to get back behind the wheel following his diagnosis, Kimball worked with his doctor and team to initiate a diabetes treatment plan that included some creative precautionary tools to help him manage his condition while driving. Six months later, he was behind the wheel again, claiming a podium finish in his first race back after his diagnosis.
While racing and at the Indianapolis 500, Kimball is up to speed on his glucose levels in real-time thanks to the Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitor, allowing him to keep track of his blood sugar while driving at speeds up to 200 mph. The device allows Charlie’s team members to stay apprised of his glucose levels throughout the race. He is now sharing his story with others living with Type 1 diabetes and encouraging them to follow their dreams and reach their full potential.