Today was practice and qualifying at Infineon Raceway. The weather was perfect with sun all day and, unlike yesterday, it didn't get too hot. The Indy Lights first practice was at 9 this morning and I was focused on learning the track, evaluating the car set up and getting ready for qualifying in the early afternoon.
Practice didn't go exactly to plan as I spun off in Turn 2 after about 6 to 8 laps. We didn't have the greatest balance or grip in the car and I was just pushing hard. I lost the back end and lightly brushed the wall. The car was fine, but we did have an electrical problem. The mechanics got the problem fixed and I was back out on track quickly. There were a couple more yellow flags that disrupted the session. My lap time only put me 13th, but I knew that I could go better for qualifying.
My engineer and I worked hard to come up with good ideas for qualifying and we must have done something right! The car was a lot better in qualifying and I could really push the limits. We made the right call on when to put new tires on the car and the yellow flags actually worked in our favor this weekend. I ended the session 9th and I am really pleased to qualify back in the top 10. Watkins Glen and Edmonton are the only other two road courses where I qualified in the top-10 this season. I finished both of those races in the top-5. I am not sure that a top-5 will be possible tomorrow as it is so hard to pass around this track, but I will be doing everything I can to make it happen.
We have a quick 30 minute warm up in the morning to make some more progress and the Carneros 100 rolls off at 11:15 PT. I have a lot of family, friends and sponsors supporting me this weekend and I can't wait to go racing tomorrow!