INDIANAPOLIS, May 21 - Robby McGehee, driver of the Panther Racing/Pedigo Chevrolet Dallara Chevrolet Firestone #44 in Sunday's Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will drop two watermelons in front of the Panther Racing garage at IMS this afternoon around 5:45 p.m. during Community Day.
It's all part of McGehee's duties as a spokesperson for the Think First Foundation, a national organization committed to the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries and other traumatic injuries through education.
During elementary school appearances on behalf of Think First, McGehee often illustrates his point with two watermelons. After fitting one watermelon with a bicycle helmet, he drops it to show that it does offer protection against injuries. Then he drops another one without a helmet with obvious results; the kids scream and the point about thinking first about safety is made.
He'll do the same thing for the kids who visit him today in IMS's hallowed garage area as part of the track's Community Day activities.
Dr. Dean Karahalios, a neurosurgeon for the Indianapolis Neurosurgical Group, will also be on hand for the watermelon drop and will be available to talk to anyone who might have questions for him.
There can be few better advocates for helmet and seat belt use than a race car driver, and McGehee, Panther Racing and Pedigo Chevrolet are all chipping in to try to advocate safety first. The Think First logo was already on McGehee's black and yellow Panther Racing/Pedigo Chevrolet #44 when he qualified for his fourth Indy 500 last Sunday.
Pedigo Chevrolet is located at 5101 W. 38th St. in Indianapolis.
For more information about Think First, call Nena Ray at (317) 962-6101. For more information about McGehee, see www.robbymcgehee.com; www.pantherracing.com; www.pedigochevy.com; www.restartcommunications.com and www.indyracing.com.
-linda mansfield, special guest writer-