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Robowranglers and IndyCar Driver are Match Made in Heaven

Disc-throwing robots will invade the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on October 5th with Honda Racing’s IndyCar drivers Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden alongside for some Texas “roborivalry!”  

Kimball will be partnering with the Greenville High School FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) Team “Robowranglers,” while Newgarden will join the League City, TX-based FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) Team “Robonauts.” The robots, Viper and Apex respectively, were built by the high school teams and will have a showdown as the driver-controlled robots try to score as many flying discs into team goals as possible.

Great friends away from the track, Josef Newgarden of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, and Charlie Kimball of Chip Ganassi Racing, are fierce competitors in their Indy cars and will likely extend the rivalry as they go head-to-head in the robotics contest. The driver finishing second in Saturday’s battle will have to make good on a pre-determined wager the next day.

Fans are encouraged to support their favorite driver and team and suggest a possible wager by reaching out on twitter to @racewithinsulin, @Robowranglers, @josefnewgarden and @Robonauts118 using #RacingRobots. 

The high school robotics teams are part of FIRST, a competitive robotics group for K-12 students created by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders. Charlie Kimball has been collaborating with FIRST this season to bring students to IndyCar events to show them the "cool" side of STEM principles. 

The GHS Robowranglers are a robotics team comprised of students and teachers from Greenville High School and engineers from Innovation First, Inc. and L-3 Mission Integrated. Each year through the FIRST Robotics Competition, volunteer engineers, high school students, and members from the community partner together to build a robot in a time period of six weeks.

Through this building process, engineers mentor students in brainstorming, prototyping, design, and creation of the robot and its functions. Students work with engineers each evening to create and build the various parts needed for the robot. This enables the students to take classroom concepts from the math and science fields and apply them to real world situations.

For more information on the Robowranglers, visit