30 Days of Diabetes Education: Charlie Kimball

Charlie Kimball

Charlie Kimball is an open-wheel race car driver with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing in the IZOD IndyCar series. Now in his third INDYCAR season, Kimball is the first licensed driver with diabetes in the history of INDYCAR to race at the highest level of the Series. He also is the first driver with diabetes to qualify for, complete and lead laps at the famed Indianapolis 500. In 2012, Kimball achieved six top-10 finishes including a second place finish in Toronto, and received INDYCAR’s Tony Renna Rising Star award.

In January 2013, Kimball and his team mates were the overall Rolex 24 at Daytona winners for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

Kimball, who began racing go-karts at age 9, deferred admission to Stanford University’s engineering program to pursue his dream of racing. He was abruptly forced to abandon his racing program mid-season when he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2007 during a routine physician’s visit. At that time, Charlie was not sure how it would affect his racing.

Determined to get back behind the wheel, 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, Charlie was behind the wheel again claiming a podium finish in his first race back after his diagnosis.

Kimball has a history of breaking the mold. In 2005, he became the first American in 13 years to win a British Formula 3 race. He went on to secure two track records and several Formula 3 victories in both Britain and Europe. Kimball has also raced in the Formula 3 Euro Series, the World Series by Renault and the Firestone Indy Lights Series.

Off the track, Kimball is committed to raising the awareness of people living with diabetes and is a popular speaker on the topic. In 2012, he received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service, considered the Nobel Prize for community service in the United States.

To keep up with Charlie both on-and-off the track, follow him on Twitter at @racewithinsulin or at