Kiddo William's great gain, lucky horseshoes, and the historic yard of bricks

First a little background

If you’ve had an eye tuned to our e-news, blog, or social media, you already know that something wonderfully unexpected happened as a result of the Children’s TherAplay #Horsepower500. After much discussion with and encouragement from Indy 500 driver Jack Harvey during the event, kiddo William marched in to occupational therapy the very next day and tied his shoelaces, almost completely by himself, for the very first time. Even though he’d really been struggling with it before.

Jack was unable to make it out here to congratulate William, so he invited William to come out to the track and celebrate his great gain just days before the biggest race of the year!

Here’s how kiddo William’s big morning went

William’s occupational therapist, Miss Leah, is never one to miss an opportunity to work in some occupational therapy, so she brought some race-themed flash cards. William’s spot-on responses earned him a high-five.

Then we practiced our interview skills.

Posing as reporter William’s mom Emily asked important questions like Who’s your favorite therapy horse?

Next, William met a new friend, Children’s TherAplay spokesperson and originator of (and emcee for!) the #Horsepower500, Anders Krohn.

Anders (like all of us) discovered that the super-fast way William ties his shoelaces can be quite tricky to learn. It took Anders (like of us) a while, but he got there.

Then it got silly

Pause for a moment, if you will, to recall something: Here we have one of the very few people in the world who can say they’ve raced in the Indy 500. Jack, like all the Indy 500 drivers, is an elite athlete, a world-class competitor –highly-focused, disciplined, and driven.

And silly. And great with kids.

Jack drove up to the historic yard of bricks in his golf cart, dangled his foot over the edge, and playfully greeted William with one of the best entrance lines ever: something along the lines of “But I didn’t get my shoelaces tied.”

Then he hopped out and proceeded to show William his Chewbacca socks.

And shoelace-tying commenced. William is such a pro at tying his shoelaces now that he goes too fast for newbies to follow along. So Miss Leah stepped in for a tutorial.

Jack did eventually work out the new lace-tying method. …Just not in this video. And not quite fast enough to beat our shoelace-tying kiddo. (How many kiddos can say they’re faster than a professional racecar driver? William can!)

Did the horseshoe bring good luck?

Their #Horsepower500 teammate, therapy horse Moe, sent along some carrots, carrot juice, and two lucky horseshoes.

Just a few days later, after tucking one horseshoe in his helmet case and hanging one in the garage, Jack did end up in second place for four key laps in the Indy 500. ...Just sayin'!

"You are the man!"

William’s mom had made a special #60 t-shirt in Jack’s team colors, which Jack was quick to autograph: To my best friend Will. You are the man! Jack Harvey #60.

Then William signed Jack’s t-shirt. Jack’s reply? “That’s my favorite autograph of the month!” And this was certainly one of our favorite mornings. Thank you for making it possible, Jack. #ThisIsMay


The real interview

You saw kiddo William's practice interview above. Enjoy the real/media interview with WTHR Channel 13.

Then click over to the #Horsepower500 media page to listen in on Jack's interview with HANK FM's Mornings with Dave O'Brien. You'll hear about Jack's jaw-dropping position towards the end of the Indy 500, how he and kiddo William made a connection, and what we are referring to as "the hibachi incident."  It's all good fun and it's right here.