Three weeks ago, the lot at 2355 Wheeler St. on Indianapolis’ east side was bare. In a few weeks, Sherry McClure and her family will be the recipient of a new home being built there by the Greater Indianapolis chapter of Habitat for Humanity and sponsored by the Indiana’s racing community.
“All year the racing industry competes against each other. It is great to see how the Indiana Motorsports Association and Habitat for Humanity are bringing the racing community together as one team to help a deserving family,” said Tom Weisenbach, Executive Director, Indiana Motorsports Association, which helps promotes motorsports business opportunities in Indiana.
Nov. 5 was the first day that the volunteers from Habitat’s Racing to Home Build were back on the job site after it had been turned over to professional contractors to complete the electrical and plumbing work.
The work day got a boost of speed from Firestone Indy Lights drivers Dan Clarke, Charlie Kimball and Martin Plowman and NHRA Top Fuel drag racers Antron Brown, Larry Dixon and Cory McClenathan, who joined Weisenbach to help out with the build.
“I had the chance to meet the Sherry and her daughter when they were here earlier and they were so appreciative of what everyone is doing here,” Kimball said. “They have to put almost 400 hours in their own time themselves into the house and it’s so nice to be one piece in the really big machine that’s making a home for them. “
Clarke and Kimball joined Dixon and McClenathan to form “Indiana’s Fastest Paint Team,” which teamed with members of Indy Partnership—Central Indiana’s Economic Development Commission – to prime the interior of the home for painting.
“I’ve never done this sort of thing before, I’ve only seen it done on television,” Clarke said. “It’s good fun and it’s nice to give back and meet the family who will move in here. It’s nice to know things like this exist and I enjoyed learning about how Habitat works and how the city of Indianapolis helps facilitate the homing of families.”
Plowman and an Irish carpenter named Tristan completed the front porch of the home. The group even recruited me to help as they installed some cabinets in the kitchen.
“I’m doing a lot of things for the first time, and with the help of my Irish friend Tristan we built the porch,” Plowman said. “In the offseason we have a lot of time on our hands and it’s good to give something back to the community. I can’t help as much as some of the professionals who work on the home, but I’m doing my part. And I’d have to say it was a success because I managed to do it without losing an eye or a finger. “
Though we were only there for afternoon shift, everyone’s hard work will all pay off on Dec. 8, when the McClure family will move into their new home.
Weisenbach plans to be at the home dedication ceremony and hopes it is the first of many homes the racing community can build in Indianapolis in the years to come.