Driving for Dyslexia- Honoring Justin Wilson, Helping Kids Succeed

Photo above: Elliott Cox, (L), and Bill Herman, executive director of the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana, hold a check for $32, 462 raised at Friday’s Driving for Dyslexia event.

Justin Wilson didn’t let his dyslexia stop him from a successful career as a racing driver. When he was in Indianapolis he took time to talk to the children and parents from the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana. I was DII tutor at the time and went with the group one year to the track to meet Justin. I’m not sure if the kids or their parents were impressed.

Wilson’s death in a freak accident at Pocono in 2015 hit everyone, but perhaps no one outside his family was affected more than Elliott Cox. Cox was seven years old when Justin died. Like Wilson, Cox also has dyslexia. He had written Wilson a couple of years earlier and of course Wilson responded.  Cox was just beginning to drive karts. The two became friends.

Cox had begun working with a tutor at DII and last year had the idea for a fund raiser for the organization. Driving for Dyslexia came from that idea. The event was April 26 at Speedway Indoor Karting. Attendees had an opportunity to race go karts or just socialize.  A silent auction began a couple days before the event and raffles on site produced more funds.

As for my karting experience, which is minimal, let’s just say I would have gotten a point in a CART race. These are the best karts I’ve ever driven. the track is well lit and challenging. wp-15564086910333481250072676842801.jpg

Elliott said he began the event so other kids with dyslexia could learn to read and to honor Justin’s memory. He did a fine job doing both.

To donate to the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana, visit their website,





Some Notes and a Drive for Dyslexia

I found out late last week about Driving for Dyslexia, a fund raising event for the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana. The late Justin Wilson worked with the students who received services, once hosting a group for a tour of his transporter at the speedway before practice. I don’t know if the kids or the parents were more impressed. As always, Justin was generous with his time helping kids who had the same issue he did.

The event is April 26 from 6 pm to 9pm at Speedway Indoor Karting. Tickets are $100 to drive and $20 just to watch. Kids 8 and under are free. More information is at this link


I have signed up to drive, so for just $20 you can watch me look foolish. Or you can just read my blog and watch me look foolish for free.

More 500 Entries?

Oriol Servia has said he is close to finalizing a deal to enter the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.  My guess is this will be the third car at Arrow Schmidt Peterson.

Harding Steinbrenner Racing has begun calling drivers for their second 500 entry.

If these two cars become a reality, I have thirty five entries. A. J. Foyt Racing may have a third, which would be 36. I think that will be the final number of entries.

J. R. and Salesforce?- J. R . Hildebrand and Salesforce sent out a cryptic tweet last week about their exciting plans for May. No car was mentioned, but a photo of the car Hildebrand drove in 2018 was in the photo. I’m not counting this as an entry yet.

 Winning Is Good for Business

Following Colton Herta’s win at the Indycar Classic in Austin last week, Team owners Mike Harding and George Michael Steinbrenner IV told Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star, that there is interest from possible sponsors. Harding sounded optimistic that they may have an announcement soon.

In 2010 Ryan Hunter-Reay was driving for Michael Andretti on a part time arrangement. After Hunter-Reay won at Long Beach, DHL began a sponsor relationship that kept Hunter-Reay on track the rest of the year and continues to this day. I hope HSR and Herta have the same good fortune.

Game Changers?

Jay Frye mentioned a while ago about two game changing announcements coming in May. Everyone assumes one is the elusive third engine manufacturer. The assumption has led to wild speculation. Cosworth has stated they are not involved.  The favorite seems to be a German manufacturer, Which one?

As for the second announcement, I have no idea.

Pruett- Indycar May Return to Watkins Glen

The most exciting news item last week came from Marshall Pruett who said there is a rumor that Indycar may be racing at Watkins Glen again, sooner rather than later. The Glen is a track Indycar needs to run. It is classic and fast. Going to Watkins Glen was one of my favorite race trips.

2020 Schedule

I look for some significant changes in the schedule for 2020. I’m basing this partly on Nascar’s schedule reshuffling and wondering how NBC had a hand in it. I have no knowledge of anything imminent.

This is why a return to Watkins Glen would make sense next season.  I’m not sure how long Iowa can remain without a title sponsor, but that is one race I hope never leaves the schedule.

Some COTA Leftovers

Some things from last weekend I didn’t get to:

I understand why the checkered flag has a Speedway logo on it. I am not opposed to having a sponsor logo on the flag, but this one seems larger than most. I found it a bit invasive on the purpose of the flag. Can we make it just a bit smaller?

NBC ran what I suppose was a promo for the Indianapolis 500, but it looked like it was more a promo for the fact Danica Patrick was going to be part of the broadcast.  I get that NBC thinks she will help ratings (maybe), but to make her out to be bigger than the race I found distasteful.

I have nothing against her being on the broadcast. I’m neutral on Danica. I just thought that promo could have been done better with more focus on the race and event itself.

Back Thursday with a Barber preview. I will be reporting for Wildfire Sports on site next weekend, but will still have my notes and quick thoughts here.