Ohio State University junior mechanical engineering major, Patrick Gallagher will never suit up for the Buckeyes and play in front of 106,000 screaming fans at "The Horseshoe." The 20-year-old from Thornville, Ohio will, however, strap on a Buckeye helmet this June as he competes in his school's colors at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the SCCA Pro Mazda Playboy MX-5 Cup.
Gallagher and his CJ Wilson Racing team will be competing at the Lexington, Ohio, from June 14-16. Gallagher is currently the leading rookie and is in fifth in the overall championship standings.
Gallagher is in his first year of competition in this ultra-competitive racing series and he hopes it will be the first step on his road to the top of professional sports car racing. For the fifth and sixth rounds of the championship, his team, CJ Wilson Racing, has created a very special helmet for him. Gallagher will wear a custom racing helmet that is designed to resemble the football helmets worn by the Buckeyes every Saturday in the fall. This special one-off design will then be signed and auctioned immediately after the event with all funds benefiting the Hematosis and Thrombosis Center at the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.
When not traveling to races or studying, Gallagher is a race instructor at the renowned Lexington venue, providing him with an intimate knowledge of the track, which he hopes to exploit throughout the race weekend.
"I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time at this world-class track and the corps of outstanding instructors has helped me become better in every aspect of my racing."
One could say that the OSU undergraduate was almost born to race there. "While my mom was pregnant with me she was watching my dad race from the Keyhole. After the race, they went home and a few hours later I was born. It's a cool story but I wish I was actually born at the track -- that would have been pretty awesome."
"I am thrilled to have the support of Ohio State University and the opportunity to wear the school colors on a unique helmet design. To have the support of so many people from such a large school like Ohio State is an incredible feeling. We will be looking to score a win for the whole OSU group!"
"CJ Wilson's Children's Charities is pleased to partner with The Ohio State University to stimulate public awareness about hemophilia and to be able to help the Hematosis and Thrombosis Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus," said Robert E. Champagne, the President of CJ Wilson's Children's Charities. "As a father of an 11-year-old with hemophilia, I want to thank CJ, CJ Wilson Racing and of course Ohio State for this opportunity which presents a unique way for CJ Wilson's Children's Charities to give back to the people of Ohio and to help bring public awareness to the bleeding disorders community."
The team owner and two-time Major League Baseball All-Star, CJ Wilson, is also extremely enthused by the partnership with the University. "A great thing about racing is we have an opportunity to recruit from across the country and showcase partnerships locally at each event. With Patrick being an Ohio State student, partnering with the school, for the Mid-Ohio round, while showcasing the work of the charity, will be awesome. Now all he has to do is set pole, and win the races or he will never hear the end of it from the crew."
The online auction begins on Monday, June 10th and more details can be found at www.cjwilsonracing.com, www.leftyleft.com and on the official Facebook page of CJ Wilson Racing, www.facebook.com/CJWilsonRacing.