Palmer alumni are keeping elite athletes at the top of their game

Palmer alumni are keeping elite athletes at the top of their game

Spring 2012

Davenport Campus

Chiropractic and auto racing a winning combination for alumnus and son

Brandon Wagner holding up trophy after race

It may seem like an unusual pairing, but for Indianapolis-area chiropractor John Wagner, D.C., Davenport ’76, who practices in Lafayette, Ind., and his son, Brandon, chiropractic and auto racing go hand in hand.

For Dr. Wagner and Brandon, the combination of auto racing and chiropractic makes sense for several reasons. First it keeps Brandon, who has been competing in Firestone Indy Lights series races, in prime form for the physical demands of his sport. “I want my body to perform at 100 percent when I’m racing, and with chiropractic care, I know I am physically prepared,” Brandon says. He attends Purdue University with plans to enroll at Palmer’s Davenport Campus within a year.

Secondly, both Dr. Wagner and Brandon want to increase public awareness of chiropractic by exposing more people to it through Brandon’s racing career. This year Brandon is achieving a long-time racing career goal and will be competing in the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27. “This will allow me to expose chiropractic to the largest number of auto racing spectators in the world—more than 95 million on race day alone,” Brandon says. He and his team have aligned with two of the best racing stables in Indy car racing, Davey Hamilton Racing and Sam Schmidt Racing, which will assist with marketing efforts to the Indy car fan base. Brandon’s participation in this year’s Indy 500 will mark the first chiropracticsponsored car and driver in this prestigious, popular auto race. Race viewers will see “chiropractic” emblazoned on the chiropractic Indy car, along with supporting organizations’ logos.

Having been born and raised in Indiana, the children of Dr. Wagner and his wife, Shari, grew up attending races of all kinds, especially the Indianapolis 500. “When our boys showed an interest in racing,” Dr. Wagner says, “they began at the ground level. GoKarting led to Ford Focus Midgets, then national midgets, and now the opportunity to participate in the biggest spectacle in racing. We have been Brandon’s biggest fans, promoting him locally through various businesses, who in time became sponsors. My support for Brandon’s racing career is easy because I share his racing passion, but most of all I get to spend valuable time with him.”

Brandon with some of his family members at a 2010 race. From left are his mom, Shari, Brandon, Dr. John Wagner and Brandon’s sister and current Davenport Campus student, Julia.
Brandon Wagner

Dr. Wagner founded, a practice management organization that also raises sponsorship funds for Brandon’s racing. “I got the idea from another young racer who is sponsored by a diabetes drug company. I felt that chiropractic should be given equal time as a sponsor of a promising young racer. We are trying to show chiropractic in a positive way by joining racing and chiropractic.”

Thanks to the support and positive examples in his life, Brandon has more than impressive racing statistics to carry him to the next level. Success is not optional in the Wagner family, and he is a firm believer in pursing goals. “Put everything you have into following your hopes and dreams,” he says, “and spend time doing something you truly love.”

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