PARALYZED RACE CAR DRIVER SURPISED WITH NEW VAN
USAC Benevolent Foundation & Indy Family Foundation Split Cost
INDIANAPOLIS – When Quinn McCabe was asked to bring his girlfriend, Amy Schulz, to Indianapolis and join 2009 USAC Midget champion Brad Kuhn and other friends to ring in the New Year, McCabe was only expecting to see an Indy car fall to earth to start 2015.
What McCabe didn’t know is that he’d be riding back home to Marengo, Ill., in a new accessible van presented to him on New Year’s Eve by the USAC Benevolent Foundation and the Indy Family Foundation.
Like Kuhn, McCabe is a retired race car driver. McCabe’s retirement, however, happened abruptly Sept. 20, 2003, after an accident at a small racetrack in Illinois left him paralyzed from the chest down. He remains a quadriplegic.
After regularly being in the shop for repairs this last year, the van that McCabe’s friends and family have used to transport him since being released from the hospital in 2003 needed to be retired. It was no longer a reliable form of transportation for McCabe, though it remained his only form of transportation until friends decided to do something.
“When we saw a picture on Facebook that Quinn’s van clicked over 300,000 miles, we knew we needed to do something,” said Kuhn, from Avon, Ind. “We just wanted to try and find a way to give something back to Quinn. When I was racing full-time, he and Amy used to do whatever they could to help me out. I lived with them for a couple of summers before his accident. He organized a tow vehicle for me one year when ours was involved in an accident and was out of commission for a while.”
Though his accident physically slowed down McCabe, his affection for racing and fellow racers has not diminished. This is another reason Kuhn was motivated to help secure a new vehicle for a fellow racer with a limited income.
“He helps racers all around the country in any way he can,” Kuhn continued. “I have seen him rolling all over a pit area somewhere trying to help a guy find parts to get his car back on the track. It is just the kind of guy that he is. We wanted to try and find a way to give something back to the kind of guy that is always giving what he can to others.”
To put the wheels in motion to secure a newer accessible van for McCabe, Kuhn approached the USAC Benevolent Foundation. The Foundation’s president, Rollie Helmling, and the other board members quickly agreed to commit funds and approached the Indy Family Foundation to also help purchase the van. The two Indianapolis-based funds focused on aiding the motorsports community split the cost of a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, which was already outfitted with the appropriate lift for McCabe.
“This is just really special, and I am a little taken back and at a loss for words,” said McCabe. “I would like to sincerely thank everyone involved that made this happen especially everyone at the USAC Benevolent Fund and the Indy Family Foundation.”
McCabe was presented the van on New Year’s Eve by Heather Carpenter, president of the Indy Family Foundation, and in front of friends and family.
“On behalf of the Indy Family Foundation, it is an honor to be able to give back and make a difference in the lives of our fellow racers,” said Carpenter. “With the continued support of the racing community and events like Festival on Main, we are blessed to be able to be a resource for those that life has thrown an obstacle in their way. As we ring in the New Year, let us be reminded of the importance of helping others and lending a hand to those in need.”
Helmling added, “Quinn represents the spirit of short track racers all over this country. As a driver, he wanted to beat you on the track badly. But off the track, he has always gone out of his way to help other racers. So, it’s especially rewarding for the USAC Benevolent Foundation to help out a true racer.”