For some people, watching fast cars drive in circles for 500 laps on a race track would be considered boring, but for Junior Communication Studies major Mitch Robinson (IA 1823), the Indianapolis 500, taking place this Sunday, May 24, is his "Christmas Day."
Racing has been a part of Mitch's life since he was young. His father, Mark Robinson, was contracted as a Public Relations Consultant for Firestone Racing in 1997, when Mitch was only two years old. That year, Mitch attended his first race, and since then, he's been to around 80 races at 25 different racetracks in three different countries. He says that "of the 16 tracks on the [IndyCar] schedule this year, I have been to races at 13 of them, which even I find crazy to think." This Sunday, Mitch will be attending his 14th straight Indianapolis 500.
Mitch attributed his love for this sport because he has grown up with it. Growing up in Carmel, Indiana, Mitch has never been far from a racetrack. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is known as the "Racing Capital of the World," is only a short 30 minute drive from his home. "I've never been a morning person," he stated, "but getting up at 3:00am on a Sunday morning of the Indy 500 is the best alarm in the world." Mitch thinks that if you experience the race in person, there's a chance that you'll love it too. He explained that "if you actually go to the track, stand up against the fence, and see, hear, smell, and feel and IndyCar blast you going 230+ miles per hour, you can't not fall in love [with it]."
Mitch is currently an intern with AJ Foyt Racing for this year's Indianapolis 500. He also is working as the PR contact for Alex Tagliani in the No. 48 Al-Fe Heat Treating Honda, connecting with media to promote the team's effort in race. After he graduates from college in two years, Mitch hopes to "get paid for what I'm doing now." This year is Mitch's third year working at the Indy 500. He says that "although the job is almost always hectic and can be very stressful, I get to travel the world and interact with some of the most unique athletes on Earth and call them my friends and colleagues. It's not easy work, but if I didn't love it the first time, I wouldn't have come back."
As Mitch was working at the Speedway last spring, he found an interesting fact about it's president, Doug Boles -- he's also a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha! Mitch says that "solely because of that, we've had countless conversations and have formed a great relationship." He also stated that "it's pretty cool getting an email from someone of his status that ends in 'in ZAX.'"
Headed to this year's Indy 500, taking place this Sunday, May 24? You know you'll find Mitch there -- he'll be in Pit 27 working with the Al-Fe Heat Treating Honda crew, living out his passion and enjoying his "Christmas Day."
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