Alexander Rossi, Dr. Jen Arnold Help Kick Off Racing For Kids’ 30 Anniversary Celebration
The Racing For Kids® 30th Anniversary Celebration got off to a busy but stellar start this weekend at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Thursday Andretti Autosport star racer Alexander Rossi stopped by Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital to spend time with youngsters on the hospital’s Oncology Floor.
Joining Rossi was the hospital’s Dr. Jen Arnold, a nationally renowned expert in Pediatric Trauma, who often uses the analogy of an IndyCar Pit Stop to explain the urgency of her team’s care for a child in distress.
Dr. Arnold is also well-known for her starring role in TLC’s popular TV series, The Little Couple.
Rossi and Dr. Arnold had lively conversations while engaging young patients in room to room stops. Rossi offered up an inside look to high-speed racing while posing for pictures, signing his “hero cards” and handing out bright red Racing For Kids baseball caps.
Adding to the exciting atmosphere at All Children’s was the presence of a film crew for The Little Couple Series, on hand to record the hospital driver-doctor visit. When Rossi invited Dr. Arnold and her family to come to the race track Saturday, she immediately accepted the invitation as did her film crew.
Friday, the Racing For Kids Team led by Debby Wright, COO and Linda Finger, event manager, hosted a group of 40 children and their family members in a “VIP Day At The Track” program.
Green Savoree Promotions, which runs the St. Pete Grand Prix, provided facilities and passes for the kids’ group, while Lundy Catering provided hospitality. The youngsters had a private viewing area for watching track activity and then enjoyed a paddock tour led by Racing For Kids volunteer Steve McNeely, an amateur racer in his own right.
Highlighting the day was a visit from longtime IndyCar racer Oriol Servia, a native of Barcelona, Spain and Indy 500 race veteran. The personable Servia answered a plethora of questions from the youngsters and their parents.
On Saturday it was back to the race track where racer Rossi welcomed Dr. Jen, her husband Bill, their kids, Will and Zoey to his Andretti Autosport paddock. There he explained the features of his sleek #27 NAPA Honda Dallara race car, then introduced his crew and followed with a tour of his transporter which is a race shop on wheels.
With The Little Couple film crew following Dr. Jen’s and Bill’s every step the group moved to the Firestone Racing transporter complex for an in depth explanation of race tire technology and a demonstration of how each team’s tires are installed and inflated on high tech wheels.
Firestone provided Dr. Jen’s group with grandstand seats for Saturday’s practice and qualifying session, while Dr. Jen and Bill were welcomed by Andretti Autosport to Alexander Rossi’s pit and pit box to watch Saturday’s morning practice and preparation for qualifying in the afternoon.
Rossi qualified 5th for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg where he finished a very respectable 5th gathering valuable points in his quest for the 2019 NTT INDYCAR Series Championship Title.
Dr. Jen finished her Racing For Kids weekend with a tweet of thanks for the warm and hospitable reception she, Bill, their kids and extended family received from Andretti Autosport, Firestone Racing, the public relations staff of the NT INDYCAR Series and the staff of Green Savoree Promotions.