Press Release - October 1, 2013
Beginning in June 2013, IZOD IndyCar Series racer Charlie Kimball and FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen, took their passion for technology and engineering to the race track as they teamed up to inspire young people’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. Since then, Kimball has hosted a number of FIRST teams at races over the summer, and has even convinced fellow IndyCar racer Josef Newgarden to get involved.
On October 5th, 2013, Kimball and Newgarden will team up with FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) teams from Texas and their disc-throwing ULTIMATE ASCENTSM robots for a “roborivalry” between the drivers trackside at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, Texas.
Kimball will partner with FRC team 148 “Robowranglers,” from Greenville, Texas. He first met the team in June 2013 when he hosted them at Texas Motor Speedway and showed them the technology and engineering behind his No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara. The team will be bringing their robot Viper to the match.
Newgarden, driver of the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda Dallara, will join the League City, Texas-based FRC team 118 “Robonauts” and their robot Apex.
Kimball’s introduction to racing and STEM came at an early age. Kimball’s father was a race engineer in Formula 1 racing, and his mother was a mathematician. Kimball began racing at age nine on the go-kart track and deferred his acceptance into Stanford’s mechanical engineering program to pursue a career in racing.
At 22, Newgarden is the youngest driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series. As a child, he would build theme parks made out of LEGO bricks in his backyard and has always had a strong interest in knowing how things work. Last year, Newgarden met with ASIMO the humanoid robot at Disneyland.
Join the #RacingRobots conversation on social media!
Great friends off the track, Newgarden and Kimball remain fierce competitors and they will surely bring their game faces to the FRC playing field for this highly-anticipated IndyCar roborivalry! The driver on the losing team will have to succumb to a pre-determined wager on Sunday, October 6th prior to the race start – but we need YOUR help to determine their fate!
Ahead of the event, fans are encouraged to support their favorite driver and team, and also suggest what the wager should be by reaching out on Twitter to @FIRSTweets, @racewithinsulin, @josefnewgarden, @Robowranglers, and @Robonauts118 using #RacingRobots. Also, be sure to join the conversation on Facebook by ‘liking’ the following pages: Official FIRST Facebook, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden, Robotics Team 148 - Robowranglers, and Robonauts.