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Norma Lawrence Unser Shares Wings & Wheels Foundation at SILO Auto Club By VoicesOfRacing.com

Norma Lawrence Unser at Silo Auto Club and Conservatory, Indianapolis, In

About Wings & Wheel Foundation

Enjoy Norma Lawrence Unser’s interview by Sean Kurker with VoicesOFRacing.com for SiloCarStories.com in the video above, or read our translated text below.
VIDEO TRANSCRIBE

Sean //
Hi, this is Sean with Silo Car Stories, and I’m with Norma Loren Unser, is that right?

Norma //
Lawrence.

Sean //
I’m sorry.

Norma //
Close.

Sean //
And you are the lovely wife of Al Unser, Jr.

Norma //
Yes.

Sean //
And you also are involved with a foundation that helps who?

Norma //
We are the Wings & Wheels Foundation, and we help young, proven drivers who are socially and economically unable to really get to that next level of driving. It’s not a sport you sign up for in high school, and it takes a lot of money. And there’s a lot of talent out there that just can’t get there. So our scholarships give drivers a chance to drive an open-wheel and hopefully get into an IndyCar someday.

Sean //
So when did it start, and who came up with the idea?

Norma //
Mark and Alora McAlister are the founders. They’re Indianapolis-based business owners, and they feel so blessed in their life. They love racing. And they said, “People are saying they’re doing it.” They wanted to really see first young drivers being able to get to that next level. Not everyone’s born an Unser and gets all that coaching right there, so Al is our driver coach. Mark and Alora, former friends of mine, called and asked me to help them out; well, I don’t know much about racing. But they said we hired Al Unser, Jr. to be our driver coach and consultant, and Sarah and Andy O’Gara and I said, “Okay,” and here we are, and I met the love of my life.

Sean //
So, where does this take place?

Norma //
We are based here in Indianapolis, but our foundation funds drivers from all over the country.

Sean //
Okay…

Norma //
We had our first team this year, one being Ernie Francis, Jr., who has had a lot of success, and we hope to see him in his car in a few years is the epitome of what we’re trying to do. We have a lot of drivers that are signed right now to be part of our program. We’re trying to add two more cars in our series, which is the F4 and FR series, which are similar to Indy Lights, but that’s what we’re doing. We’re taking the winner to do a lot of fundraising and find sponsors to help us give up the scholarships to hopefully soon, not just drivers but mechanics, PR, people who want to do social media, and anything that has to do with the motorsports.

Sean //
Can companies sponsor specific people?

Norma //
We have Future Star Racing, which is our for-profit race team. They can go through there, or if they want to donate to Wings and Wheels Foundation as a nonprofit — we can’t specifically give it to one driver, but it will go to the team of their choice because we can give to any team.

Sean //
How many drivers have you helped so far?

Norma //
Since we just started in, I think it was January when we became a 501 C3. So we’ve had two drivers.

Sean //
Okay.

Norma //
We’re hoping to have four this year and keep going from there, and being a first-year race team and foundation, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve done. Our team is awesome. We love the families that are involved with us. And you know, we’re asking for involvement from $25 to $25,000. People in Indiana want to be a part of a race team, and we want to make that possible. So you know, being a little giver, you know, like $50 here, that’s how we can keep adding and being a part of seeing that guy that you helped or that girl that you helped in an IndyCar in a few years.

Sean //
Well, that’s beautiful. Well, I wish you luck on the road ahead. And congratulations to your husband on his new book.

Norma //
Thank you.

Sean //
I’m sure it’s been a life in the making. And a lot of people helped get into where he’s at, but he obviously did the most effort.

Norma //
Yes, yes. He and he’s a great coach, people, and he’s one of the most humble men I’ve ever met, and a lot of the proceeds from the book are going to the Wings and Wheels Foundation, so we’re trying to just cover the cost of printing and go from there.

Sean //
Okay, all right. Well, this will be at SiloCarStories.com and VoicesOfRacing.com. We thank you for your time.

Norma //
Thank you!

Sean //
I think you got it.

Catch more great Sean Kurker videos at VoicesOFRacing.com and SiloCarStories.com.
Video transcribed by TeamWWF.

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by Al Unser, Jr. (as told to Jade Gurss). Foreword by Roger Penske

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