Race With Insulin

Meet Charlie Kimball, the First Licensed INDYCAR® Driver With Type 1 Diabetes

Charlie Kimball is a successful racecar driver who has lived and breathed racing since the age of 9 when he began racing go-carts. After high school, he was accepted into Stanford University, but chose to follow his dream of becoming a racecar driver.

Charlie Kimball
(5:30 min.)

Charlie Kimball, INDYCAR® Series racecar driver, talks about being diagnosed with diabetes.


Diabetes diagnosis didn’t slow him down

In 2005, at age 22, everything came to a halt when Kimball was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and had to abandon his racing program in the middle of the season. He was afraid that he would never race again. But with the help of his racing crew, his diabetes care team, and diabetes treatment, including NovoLog® FlexPen®, he got his diabetes under control and was back in the driver’s seat by 2008. He even claimed a podium finish in his first race since his diagnosis.

Kimball learned the importance of properly managing diabetes. And he proved that diabetes doesn’t have to stop anyone from making their dreams come true.

After 2 successful years in Firestone Indy Lights, Kimball joined the newly formed Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team in 2011 for his rookie season in the IZOD INDYCAR® Series. Kimball went on to record 2 top-10 finishes in the #83 Novo Nordisk INDYCAR®. And he became the first driver in history with diabetes to qualify for, start, and finish the Indianapolis 500.

In January 2013, Charlie impressed his crews on and off the track when he and his teammates won the Rolex 24 relay, his first win in a major touring series. Then in February, Kimball joined with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams to launch the Race With Insulin® Unites program to support his goal to educate more people with diabetes. On August 4 of that year, he again made history by becoming the first and only driver with diabetes to win an INDYCAR® race! Charlie took the checkered flag at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, earning his first victory at the highest level of the sport. He also ran second at the Pocono INDYCAR® 500 and fourth in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. He was in the top 10 in more than half of his 19 races in 2013.

In 2014, Charlie recorded 10 top-10 finishes, including four top-five finishes and one podium finish. He also earned the "Don’t Crack Under Pressure" Award for advancing the most cumulative positions during the season.


Preparing for races

Kimball prepares for his races by eating right, exercising, and using NovoLog® FlexPen® to help control his diabetes while managing his insulin delivery routine. On the track, Kimball’s doctor and crew watch his blood sugar levels through a wireless monitoring system. If he needs to, he can sip a sugar-infused drink from his helmet. Kimball and his crew prepare carefully before each race to make sure he’s ready for each—just like his car.

Charlie Kimball continues to race in one of the most competitive categories in the world, proving that living with diabetes doesn’t slow him down.


Check out the INDYCAR® schedule here.

Follow Charlie on Twitter @racewithinsulin 


INDYCAR® is a registered trademark of Brickyard Trademarks, Inc.

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