Riley kids gear up for big race

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - We all know there is a big race coming up this weekend, but for the kids at Riley, race day is actually Tuesday.

The Kroger Race for Riley actually started 21 years ago, a go-kart race held at the New Castle Motor Sports Park. If you want to know how big a deal it is, just ask a Riley kid, like 13-year-old Dane Farlee, who is getting a new catheter next week.

"It gives money so that parents don't have to pay all this money...insurance this and that. 'Cause surgeries can be very expensive and things like this really helps the kids," he explained.

Monday was part of the buildup to Tuesday's big race. Riley kids and their families got to tour the Andretti Autosport garage.

"For kids it's unfair. For me it's one thing. I've led a great life and have had a lot of great things happen, for them it's totally different. We are trying to change things for them so they get out and have a great life," John Andretti said.

And Monday, they did.

"I think it's really cool. It's like one of those behind-the-scene things, where what goes into racing, it's not just going to the track and car. You see it takes time. You gotta build it, make sure everything is correct. You see there is a lot of time put into it. It's not just going around in circles," Farlee said.

But one thing is different this year. Now, John Andretti is running his own race against colon cancer and so now he finally knows what many of these kids are facing.

"So many years trying to understand what they are going through, appreciate what they are going through but now you know more first-hand how they are responding to different things. When they say they are going through different treatments and things I'm following that path. They are a lot tougher than me but it's something where I think we feel like we are somewhat closer," Andretti noted.

They have always been on the same team, but now they are running the same race.

By the way, John Andretti will not be racing Tuesday, doctor's orders, but his son Jarret will be.

He says his main goal Tuesday is to make sure Dave Calabro doesn't win. Dave has won the event four times.

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