INDIANAPOLIS — For the second consecutive season, the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is the primary sponsor of formula car driver Jackson Lee.
Jackson, a motorsports engineering student at IUPUI, will be driving the No. 47 IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center/Browning Chapman/Prime 47 car in the 2023 USF Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires.
This year’s sponsorship includes a forthcoming public education campaign about cancer prevention and early detection with a focus on lung, breast, testis, colon, and head and neck cancers. In addition, Jackson and his father, NBC Sports reporter and local radio personality Kevin Lee, will also co-host the annual Prime 47 Indy Burger Bash on May 22. The fundraiser, featuring guest appearances by other professional race car drivers, will benefit the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center and kick off race week in Indianapolis leading up to the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500.
During last year’s sponsorship, Jackson Lee Racing helped celebrate the center’s 30th anniversary and raise awareness of its history of lifesaving research.
Jackson, a 20-year-old from Avon, Ind., is entering his first season in USF Pro 2000, which is part of the USF Pro Championships (formerly known as the Road to Indy) and the third of four steps on the ladder towards INDYCAR. He races during many INDYCAR weekend events nationwide, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course event in mid-May.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with Jackson and his team this year,” said Kelvin Lee, MD, director of the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Racing is in Indiana’s DNA, which gives us the unique opportunity to point out to Hoosiers the many parallels between race teams and cancer research and care teams. Both involve precision, determination, and science. With Jackson’s help, we look forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of Hoosiers.” (Note: Jackson and Kevin Lee and Kelvin Lee have no familial relationship.)
Like too many others, Jackson and his family have been impacted by cancer, as he lost his grandfather to lung cancer two decades ago.
“I am truly grateful to have the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center back on board this season,” Jackson said. “The work they do is important, and I am looking forward to helping them continue to spread the word and raise funds to support their innovative research. The IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer has a bold vision to cure cancer, which is personally very important to me because I have lost friends and family members to the disease. I have visited scientists in their labs at IU, seeing firsthand how they’re working on groundbreaking research. It’s an honor to continue working with the cancer center, and I’m looking forward to participating in their new campaign in 2023.”
Jackson’s goal is to reach INDYCAR and the Indy 500 by 2026. Jackson won a karts to cars scholarship in 2018, has four formula car race wins with 16 podiums (top-three finishes) and won a Team USA Scholarship in 2020 to race in several prestigious events in England. He has spent the last two seasons contesting partial campaigns in the USF2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires with five top-10 finishes and one fastest lap of the race.
The 2023 USF Pro 2000 season begins March 4 and 5 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center serves as a central hub of cancer research across Indiana University. The center has nearly 300 researchers who conduct all phases of cancer research, from laboratory studies to clinical trials to population-based studies that address environmental and behavioral factors that contribute to cancer. It is Indiana’s only Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute, the nation’s top cancer agency, and one of only 53 in the nation to hold that status.
The prestigious designation recognizes its excellence in basic, clinical, and population research, its outstanding educational activities and effective community outreach program across the state.
Michael Schug, Communications Director, IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center
IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.