Indianapolis Motor Speedway
September 17, 2023
Spend enough time in racing circles and you’re bound to hear “The Brickyard” uttered in hushed tones of reverence. There’s a magic to Indianapolis Motor Speedway that is difficult to describe. It’s not just the track or the grandstands or the paddock. It’s as if years of victory, heartbreak, emotion and competition have seeped into the ground. It feels eternal, transcendent, never to fade away. Races and teams come and go, but the Brickyard remains.
On a weekend in mid-September, Racing to End Alzheimer’s brought a Porsche 992 GT3 Cup Car clad with 184 names to compete at Indy. We had to pinch ourselves to make sure we weren’t dreaming.
On Saturday, the Racing to End Alzheimer’s/MDK team had some trouble nailing down the car’s setup. After a qualifying round in which Mark Kvamme placed second, the crew decided to go with a soft setup in order to take advantage of the track’s unique surface and to maximize grip. During race one, the strategy allowed Kvamme to gain four overall positions as he battled hard to catch his blistering teammate and fellow Racing to End Alzheimer’s badge carrier Scott Noble.
As the checkered flag approached, Kvamme found himself in a barn-burning race for second. He maneuvered deftly, weaving the No. 43 Porsche through the track’s 14 turns while holding position. By the end of the race, Kvamme had held on long enough to earn a second-place finish and a coveted Indy podium spot.
Chasing a Teammate
At the start of Sunday’s race, the field had barely gotten off the start line before a multi-car collision during turn one brought out yellow flag conditions. The stop slowed the race down for close to 18 minutes, leaving everyone chomping at the bit for a re-start. Once the green flag came out, Kvamme had limited time to close the gap on Scott Noble. But Mark isn’t one to give up.
Slowly, the No. 43 gained on Noble. Lap after lap, Kvamme put down better and better times, bringing him within two seconds of first place. However, it soon became clear that the late charge, though valiant, simply didn’t have enough time. Those 18 lost minutes, along with the speed of Scott Noble, combined to deliver the No. 43 another second-place finish.
As we watched the purple and white Porsche 992 Cup Car compete at Indy, it was hard not to feel the power of our mission. Those 184 names blurring past at 200 miles per hour, each representative of a precious loved one, are the soul of Racing to End Alzheimer’s.
With our champions both literally and figuratively along for the ride at this track that most drivers only see in their dreams, Racing to End Alzheimer’s had the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of a cathedral of motorsports. Better than that, we got to do it while raising awareness for the cause we care so deeply about.