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Riley kid Callista Dillion named Ed Carpenter Racing Honorary Pit Crew Chief

Riley kid Callista Dillion with Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter Racing welcomed a special addition to its pit crew Monday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, naming Riley kid Callista Dillion as their Honorary Pit Crew Chief.

Callista, a sophomore at Terre Haute South Vigo High School, spent the practice day alongside Ed Carpenter and his teammates in the garage as they prepared for the Indianapolis 500 this weekend. She and her family got an up-close look at this No. 20 car, which also features the Foundation. The ECR team also presented her with a custom-made fire suit with her name on it and decked out in Riley Children’s Foundation logos.

Riley kid Callista Dillion wears her Riley children's Foundation fire suit.

“It was really cool to experience the other side of racing from dirt and getting to see what it’s like to be in the Indy 500,” Callista said. “It’s cool seeing someone really high in racing talk to and kind of be in their element with you.”

Callista was diagnosed with Scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease, at Riley when she was five. While receiving treatment, she began racing quarter midgets and continued racing before retiring recently.

“Racing has kind of shaped our lives throughout the years, and it will always have a special place in our hearts,” Callista said.

Today, she is in remission and continues to be involved with Riley as president of her high school’s dance marathon. This past year, their program raised more than $18,000.

“Riley has given so much to our family, and it’s important for us to give back to them as much as they give back to us,” Callista said.

You can still join INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway by donating to Racers for Riley before the end of the month.