Charlie Kimball will be riding with 42 copilots in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced Monday that Kimball will drive the No. 42 Tresiba Chevrolet in this year’s historic race, “borrowing” the number from Ganassi NASCAR driver Kyle Larson.
The “42” is significant because it represents how many hours that Tresiba, a once-daily, long-acting basal insulin approved for blood sugar control in adults with diabetes launched by Novo Nordisk earlier this year, lasts after eight once-daily injections. Kimball, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007, has been taking Tresiba since December.
Kimball’s livery will also display the names of 42 people active in the diabetes community, including Larson’s cousin Justin Hinton, who also has type 1 diabetes. Other names listed on the car include retired NBA star Dominique Wilkins, retired tennis great Billie Jean King and actor Ben Vereen.
Larson attended the car number change announcement at Indianapolis Motor Speedway a day after he finished second in the NASCAR Cup race at Dover, Delaware. He was honored to share the “42” for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
“It's going to be fun to cheer him on as well as all the other Chip Ganassi teammates,” said Larson. “My cousin is a type 1 diabetic and his name will also be on the car. That's pretty special to myself and my family. Gives me more reason to cheer on Charlie.”
Kimball has been aligned with Novo Nordisk since 2009 as both work to raise awareness and treatment in the fight against diabetes. The Dutch pharmaceutical company has been his primary sponsor in all six of his Verizon IndyCar Series seasons with Ganassi.
“The partnership with Novo Nordisk – I use 'partnership' there as a key word – it's more than a sponsorship,” said Kimball, whose normal car number is 83. “They make products and delivery devices I use every day to manage my diabetes, a big part of my daily lifestyle.
“It's a way to honor our relationship with Novo Nordisk with Chip Ganassi Racing, having that number on Kyle's NASCAR as well as we're going to honor the diabetes community with 42 names of influential people within the diabetes community on the (Indianapolis 500) car all month long.”
Novo Nordisk is also making a $4,200 donation to the Indiana chapter of the American Diabetes Association on behalf of the driver leading Lap 42 of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29 and another $4,200 to the Charlotte chapter of the ADA for the driver who leads Lap 42 of the NASCAR Coke 600 that night.
“As an individual living with diabetes, Charlie continues to be such an inspiration and leader for the community of others affected by diabetes,” said Camille Lee, senior vice president, diabetes and obesity marketing, Novo Nordisk Inc. “By changing the number of the Tresiba Chevrolet to 42 and displaying names of real people touched by the disease on his car for this historic race, he is making great strides to honor the diabetes community.”