My Thursday was slightly more relaxed than my wild Wednesday yesterday. I got to sleep in a bit and build up a sleep excess for the race weekend (and I will need it- more on that later!). Then I answered some calls, wrote a couple of emails, discussed with my sister about passes and tickets for all my friends and supporters who are coming this weekend (she rocks BTW. She is doing this all for me on her vacation!) and then headed out to the track. I met up with the team, got introduced to my new number 2 mechanic, Anna, who seems really on the ball and already has a good working relationship with my number 1 mechanic, Chris.
Then I ran into Bobby Oergel, who ran me in 2003 in Formula Ford 2000 and still is the best driver coach I know. We talked about the track here in Long Beach as I have not driven here before. Then my race engineer, my teammate, Jay Howard, the team manager, and Bobby O walked around the track. The track walk is my first impression of a circuit and gives me an idea of what it will be like when I first drive it. It also helps the engineer to understand things that I talk about later in the weekend, as far as how the car is reacting because of the road, or bumps, or manhole covers or even changes in pavement.
After the track walk, I went and picked up all the tickets for my friends, family and supporters that will be here this weekend. When I saw the big envelope they gave me, I was even more excited. The chance to race almost in my back yard is exciting, the fact that so many of my friends, family and supporters are coming to cheer me on is the icing on the cake.
Now, the reason why I appreciated the chance to sleep in this morning. My alarm is going off before 5AM tomorrow morning! And I am so excited about it. Excited about getting up in the middle of the night? Yes! I have an interview scheduled with the KABC 7 live morning show from the racetrack at 6AM. I believe the interviewer is going to be the weather man who is on site for the race weekend. Still......ABC!!!! Woohoo. A big thanks to my new sponsors Novo Nordisk for working with their PR agency to get this set up. Our story (that I have been using their insulin since the day I was diagnosed, and our partnership is a great way to raise awareness about diabetes) will make for a very powerful message all season. And then I get to go drive my race car through the streets of Long Beach. I can't think of a better day. Except maybe starting it a little later. :)