Before the IndyCar and Road to Indy Championships hit the track at Barber Motorsports Park, three Rising Star Racing drivers took time out of their schedules to visit Children’s of Alabama Hospital.
Josef Newgarden, Spencer Pigot and Nelson Alberico all visited children who are receiving treatment at the Austin Hatcher Foundation – a foundation set up to help erase the effects of paediatric cancer through specialist treatment and improving the quality of life of those unfortunate enough to be suffering from cancer.
The trio of up and coming drivers helped kids design their own pinewood derby cars and race them through the ward. It is safe to say the kids taught the drivers a thing or two: “The kids out here definitely taught me a lesson in pinewood derby racing,” said Pigot of the event. “I don’t think I won one race, I think I finished last every time! But it’s all good. It was a lot of fun. We got to design some racecars and race with the kids so it was a great way to start off the weekend.”
As well as pinewood derby racing, the kids also had the opportunity to spend some well deserved time with the stars of tomorrow – and in Newgarden’s case, a star of IndyCar today – signing autographs and letting the kids try on their crash helmets.
“We took a little time out today to come to Children’s of Alabama right here in Birmingham which has been great with the Austin Hatcher Foundation,” said Newgarden. “We spent a little time with the kids, we raced some cars, we drivers all got our butts kicked by the kids because they’re just really fast for some reason. I don’t know if it was their coloring skills or what it was but we had a really fun time. It was cool to do this before the race weekend. We’re getting geared up for Barber–it’s going to be a great round of IndyCar Racing for us and this was a great way to start it off.”