RACE: Bob Kleinman 12 Hours at the Point preview

The drive to win boosts racer's cancer survival odds. "Having the drive to win can boost the overall survival rates of cancer patients," reflects racecar driver Bob Kleinman, who is one of the frontrunners in a new field of scientific study ...

The drive to win boosts racer's cancer survival odds.

"Having the drive to win can boost the overall survival rates of cancer patients," reflects racecar driver Bob Kleinman, who is one of the frontrunners in a new field of scientific study called psyconeuroimmunology. His revelation is double-edged: Kleinman's racing to beat the non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma he has been battling since his 40th birthday and he is racing to beat the other drivers when he takes to the track in this weekend's 5th Annual Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point held at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, West Virginia.

"Attitude! There's no second place when you are battling cancer," Kleinman continued. Kleinman believes that his cancer cells actually subside after race weekends. He is out to prove that participating in extreme competitions can boost the immune system and aid in fighting cancer.

Kleinman, 49, is racing a Dodge Neon ACR racecar co-sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and National Marrow Donor Program (1-800-MARROW-2). With his racecars and his Dancing Bears Racing Team he gets people to register as potential marrow donors. He has promoted bone marrow registration drives for the past nine years. Bob jokes, "Not only are the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the National Marrow Donor Program my racecar's sponsors, I'm also a client of theirs."

Bob has raced in the Neon Challenge pro races and in Sports Car Club of America and Professional SportsCar events throughout the United States. "Maintaining a positive attitude while living with cancer and being on the race track is important to me. Even if it doesn't work in totally healing me, it still improves the quality of my life, so it's a win-win situation. Truly living with cancer is like developing a race plan. You attack it the same way, with insight, strategic thinking and action. I hope others living with cancer will stop by and say hello at the races and share their lives with me," said Kleinman.

Kleinman is devoted to Neons. "I fell in love with Neon racing ever since I saw the first Neon Celebrity Challenge race in Detroit in 1994. It's nine years later and I'm still racing Neons," said Kleinman. Kleinman added, "This is wonderful. At the stroke of midnight, as we end the Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point, National Cancer Survivors Day begins. I hope we have survived the grueling 12-hour race -- just as I am surviving living with cancer."

Now a respected racecar driver, Bob honestly believes that, "It's not how well the bear can dance, but that the bear can dance at all."

-dcr/jj-

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Series SCCA