Photo: Getty Images

Charlie Kimball heads to California to help family battle wildfires

Leave a comment

Earlier today, Charlie Kimball and his wife Kathleen headed to Southern California to assist Kimball’s family in their efforts to battle wildfires that have affected several areas of Southern California, including Ventura County, where Kimball grew up and where his family currently still resides and operates a family ranch.

While Kimball detailed that his family is safe, they may need to evacuate because of the severity of the fires, which have grown substantially since first breaking out earlier this week.

“It’s terrifying seeing the glow of wildfires cover your hometown, especially with so many family members and friends in Ventura County right now,” Kimball said of the fires. “It makes it even harder to be far away, feeling helpless. Thankfully and most importantly our families are safe, but it’s still so devastating to know their farmland is being destroyed. I know it’s a strong community and everyone is coming together to help out.”

Kimball also posted information on his twitter page detailing how people can help relief efforts for everyone affected by the fires.

Additional information about how to help relief efforts can found be on Kimball’s website.

Follow @KyleMLavigne

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Leave a comment

Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

Follow @KyleMLavigne