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COTA Honors the Memory of Longtime Race Fan

Posted on February 07, 2017

Written by Meg Trahan

Racing is more than a sport. It’s a way families make memories together that last more than a lifetime.


Charles “Chuk” Starrett
6/5/69 - 11/20/16

As a boy growing up on the outskirts of Indianapolis, Chuk Starrett quickly became a racing enthusiast. Years of going to the Indy 500 instilled a passion beyond just spectator - Chuk wanted to be a racecar driver.

During Chuk’s college years at Indiana University, he opted to take time off to pursue his dream. While professional racing proved to be too expensive, Chuk left the industry of racing with his fandom intact and continued to attend races whenever possible.

Chuk moved to Austin, Texas in 2000 and was ecstatic when the news came in 2010 of a purpose-built F1 track being constructed in his backyard. Chuk attended the inaugural F1 race in 2012 and continued to return every year, making memories at Circuit of The Americas with his 3 young sons and wife at multiple race weekends, X Games and concerts at Austin360 Amphitheater. One particular day at COTA stood out to Chuk among the rest - when he placed 1st during an AMG Driving Academy day.

Unfortunately, this past November, Chuk lost his brave battle to Leukemia at the young age of 47. When time came for his family to decide how they would celebrate Chuk’s life, their decision was unanimous. It had to be at COTA, and COTA was honored to be chosen to host such a personal, special event.

During the upcoming day planned for Chuk’s Celebration of Life, family and friends will gather at COTA for a memorial service and for Chuk’s ashes to be driven around the track by a professional race car driver provided by COTA.

Chuk's three young sons chose custom urns to hold their dad's ashes, one of which is modeled after the helmet of Chuk's favorite F1 driver - Ayrton Senna. This special urn, pictured to the right, is currently being made by Foreverence.