When veteran and versatile racer, John Andretti went public with his fight against colon cancer last year it forever changed the life of the former Dodge factory driver. Lux followed the advice of Andretti’s #Checkit4Andretti campaign and had a colonoscopy last fall. The results found cancer.
Like the champion she is, Lux faced the disease with her usual lighthearted but focused intensity. Upon reviewing the options for treatment, Lux scheduled surgery for September 26 – just two days after winning the TA3 class race at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) – with chemotherapy planned for late October through January. Having just started chemo one week prior and unsure of the physical toll the chemicals would take, Lux chose safety over bravado, quietly sitting out what was scheduled to be her 2017 Trans Am season finale at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in early November. Despite not driving, she maintained a full workload at the track as a team principal and driving coach for Dirk Leuenberger (Seattle, Washington) in Austin.
With the 2017 racing season put to bed, Lux and husband Fred began the joint task of battling the cancer and preparing for 2018. As the chemo killed the cancer it left Cindi with several of the well-known side effects. She fought through those continuing to work the business side of Lux Performance and her training routine for returning to the car. With the impact of the chemo fading following the final treatment in the first month of the year, Lux increased her training schedule pushing to the regain strength lost and to force the residue of the treatments from her mind and muscles. Progress was steady and Lux got her first laps behind the wheel of the black and red V10-powered American muscle car in April at Portland International Raceway (PIR). She returns to her home track to prepare for the season with a three-day test this week. Lux will make her competition debut in the Viper at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, June 14 – 17.
About the impact on her life | “This was a total wake-up call in life. I tried to approach it like I do anything: stay positive, put your head down and fight like hell. It makes you stronger. I am more focused on things now than I was before. You truly do find out what you have in you and what those around you mean. Fred is such a strong person and kept me laughing through the whole process. He is my rock.”
About announcing the cancer now | “John [Andretti] chose to go public with it and I really respect that. It saved my life that he did. Everyone approaches this differently and, for Fred and me, we wanted to keep it quieter. The hardest part was not telling all my friends in the paddock at the time because you know they care for you. I didn’t want a pity party though. That has never been my style. Now that we have overcome it and we are back on-track stronger and more committed to win than ever before, I wanted to step-up and show people that this is far from a death sentence. My message is simple: get checked people! If there is one thing I ask from all my family, friends and fans, get checked now!”
About the future | “This will not define me but it will make me a better person. Life is now back on track and somewhat normal. But the word ‘grateful’ has a whole new meaning. Getting back into the race car is my happy place and it is so relaxing and rewarding too. From the moment of the diagnosis my target was very simple and remains the same: be ready for Indy. It has energized me for the future and I can’t wait to put this Black Rock Coffee Bar Viper back on the top step of the Trans Am podium.”