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Terre Haute teen gets to be honorary crew chief for the day

riley ims
Posted at 9:08 PM, May 20, 2024

SPEEDWAY— On Monday, 16-year-old Callista Dillion was hanging out at the Ed Carpenter Racing garage. She's the first female honorary crew chief.

Each year, Riley Children’s Foundation and Ed Carpenter Racing team up to give full VIP treatment to a Riley Kid. Dillion got to hop in his car, talk with carpenter and got her own personalized fire suite.

"He’s really just like a mentor, you look up to him," said Dillion.

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Dillon isn't new to racing. She used to drive midget cars and has been to the Indy 500 before.

"I went to my first Indy 500 and I fell asleep on the third lap. I was in fourth grade I want to say. Pretty cool to be back and know more about it," said Dillion.

Being back at the track this time, she knows more about what's going on.

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"It’s fun, we’ve had such a great relationship with Riley Children's Hospital for probably ten years now," said Ed Carpenter.

When Dillion was in kindergarten she was diagnosed with a rare skin disease called Scleroderma.

"It was a rash. It can be anywhere on your body, but mine was underneath my eye so pretty much it would cause the skin to harden if left untreated. It was treated very early on, so I’m very thankful for that," said Dillion.

Early on Dillion says she did treatment three days a week at Riley Children's driving from Terre Haute. In July, she got off of her last chemo medication.

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"I just appreciate Riley so much," said Dillion.

Dillion now works to raise money for Riley Children's Hospital.

"I started a dance marathon at my high school, started it last may and we ended up raising just over $18,000 our first year," said Dillion.