ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — One championship driver at Road America this weekend will be racing with a purpose. Mark Kvamme will have the names of numerous people battling Alzheimer's disease on his car.
"Every time I talk about it, I get emotional," Kvamme says.
Kvamme and his MDK Motorsports team are Racing to End Alzheimers.
"And they said, 'Hey, let's go use this as a fundraiser where 100 percent of proceeds go to Alzheimer's research.' I was all in," Kvamme says.
Kvamme has 122 names on his car of people who battle this disease.
"This has a deep, emotional attachment and I get emotional every time talking about it," Kvamme says. "But a friend of mine, you may have heard of Jack Hanna, the animal lover and you know, Columbus Zoo. He's a very close friend of mine. (He) just announced a couple weeks ago he's in late-stage Alzheimer's. I've known about it for quite some time. So I was able to put his name on the car. It's just, it's such a terrible disease, because physically on the outside, you're 100 percent. But in the inside? I just saw it where my grandfather, for example, first couldn't recognize his grandkids, then couldn't recognize his kids, then couldn't recognize my grandmother. And it just robs a person of life."
Kvamme gives the cause more publicity by winning five of his last six races and he's the defending Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America champion. No better place to do it than Road America.
"Road America is the best track in the United States. I'm not just saying that because you're in Wisconsin," Kvamme says. "It is by far the best. And the enhancements they have made over the years and of course this last time putting in a new asphalt across the whole track? Amazing. Every time I come back here, they've made something better. It could be just the bathrooms. It could be the asphalt. It could be the pit lane. It could be anything. But it's always getting better and I think that's so fun about Road America."
The Carrera Cup Series is part of the NASCAR Xfinity race weekend July 27 through the 29 at Road America.