Sunday, May 17, 2009

Headed for Indy!

(From the airplane yesterday)

I am currently on the plane flying from Los Angeles to Indianapolis (with a quick run through Dallas/ Fort Worth airport- literally!). I had an awesome week at home. I had some really good meetings with sponsors and investors keeping them up to date with my progress, my travel schedule and mostly how I’m feeling about the racing. The biggest talking point was what it was like to drive at Indy. My first impressions have not faded at all- I still think it is one the most special places I have ever driven. In talking about it, I still get goosebumps. I was also lucky enough to spend some time with my family on Mother’s Day, hang out with my friends and get out of the ‘office’. I went cycling and hiking, ate at a few places I had never been before as well as a couple old favorites I really miss when I am on the road. I also got some good rest and am raring to get back to the track.

I have been to ‘big’ races all over the world- Monaco Grand Prix, Macau Grand Prix, Long Beach Grand Prix, a Moto GP race. I have even been to qualifying at the 500 before, but being a part of the whole ‘Month of May’ is a totally different experience. Having a permanent credential that says Indy Lights Driver on it makes you a part of the action and it gives you a true idea of what the Indianapolis 500 is all about. The history, the racing, the spectators, the yellow shirts directing traffic with their whistles, the city getting involved- all of it is a huge part of the ‘the greatest spectacle in racing’. When I was in town for the test, I went to the mall to pick up a gift for my mom for Mother’s Day. In the candle store, the saleswoman asked if I was going to the 500! Now as I head back to Indianapolis for my race, I can’t wait to be a part of it all. My dad has had success at the Speedway with cars he designed and engineered; now I am ready to leave my mark as a driver.

There are a couple of other exciting reasons I am looking forward to the coming week. Firstly, one of my sponsors, American Diabetes Wholesale, is launching a Share-A-Story contest called GlucoStories on Monday. The people at ADW were so inspired by my story about continuing to race after my diabetes diagnosis that they wanted to share that story with the online community and see what other inspirational stories about diabetes are out there. The grand prize is a trip for two to my last race of the year at Homestead in October with airfare, hotel and the chance to see me race. There are some other really cool prizes and I am very excited to be a part of it. Join the race to put the most diabetes stories on the internet here!

The second reason I can’t wait to get this week started is that I will be unveiling a new paint scheme on the race car. The new colors were being put on the car last week and after the mechanics get the car rebuilt, we will be launching the new title sponsorship for the Freedom 100 and the rest of the season. Part of that sponsorship is custom designed crew shirts for my engineer and mechanics. I can’t wait to show it off and hopefully it is as fast on track as it looks on paper!

TV Reminder: The Freedom 100 from Indianapolis will be shown LIVE on Versus TV on Friday May 22nd at 12:30PM Eastern (9:30AM Pacific). For those of you that may be digitally recording it, it will be shown as part of the Miller Lite Carb Day on-track activities. (As a side note, it is called ‘Carb Day’ as it is the last day of practice for the Indy Cars before the Indianapolis 500. Back when the engines had carburetors, it was the last chance to tune the carburetors’ fuel settings. It has nothing to do with the carbohydrates in Miller Lite beer which just happens to sponsor the days festivities including a 3 Doors Down concert after our race.)

1 comment :

  1. Good luck at Indy, Charlie! Your fellow Californians will be cheering you on this Friday! All the best...JL