Monday, December 20, 2010

A few good stories after last week's announcement

I got back home to California from Indianapolis last night and I was disappointed to find it raining! At least it's warm here- a solid 40 degrees warmer than Indy. While I try and stay dry, here are links to some great stories from the last few days:

World's Fastest Diabetic

Who the Heck is Charlie Kimball?

Time Magazine talks Twitter, FDA and Charlie Kimball (I like this one because I get called a 'rockstar'! I think I am going to have to get a larger helmet size......:) )

Friday, December 17, 2010

Novo Nordisk Partners with Charlie Kimball and Chip Ganassi Racing

For those of you who missed the press conference yesterday, here are a few highlights!


video

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chip Ganassi Racing and Novo Nordisk Team Up for 2011 IZOD INDYCAR Series Season


Yes, you heard that right! For those that missed it, here is the press release from today regarding the 2011 Season!

Chip Ganassi Racing and Novo Nordisk Team Up for 2011 IZOD INDYCAR Series Season

New Team to Feature Driving Talents of Rising American Indy Car Pilot Charlie Kimball

INDIANAPOLIS (December 16, 2010) – Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGR) today announced the formation of Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing, featuring rising American Indy car driver Charlie Kimball. Ganassi’s IZOD IndyCar Series stable continues to expand with the addition of the new team, which will be sponsored by diabetes care world leader Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk has sponsored Kimball since he joined INDYCAR in the 2009 season, and the partnership between Novo Nordisk and CGR makes him the first driver from the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Series to move up the official “Road to Indy” with a full season sponsorship.

The creation of the new team allows Novo Nordisk to continue as Kimball’s primary sponsor, with naming rights to the car, as well as other branding elements. Kimball will also continue to make appearances for Novo Nordisk throughout the country, with the award-winning Race with Insulin™ campaign and other diabetes programs.

Diagnosed with diabetes in 2007, Kimball monitors his blood sugar before, during and after each race, and uses the Novo Nordisk insulin Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) and NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection) and a pre-filled insulin pen device, called FlexPen® to help manage his diabetes.


Notes of Interest:

About Charlie Kimball: Kimball, 25, began racing go-karts at age nine, and was later accepted into Stanford University and chose to defer admission to follow his dream to become a race car driver. He finished the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Series season in fourth place with five podium (top-three) finishes, including four second-place finishes. Prior to his diabetes diagnosis in 2007, Kimball shattered the European stereotype that “Americans are not fast” by becoming the first American in 11 years to win a British Formula 3 race. He went on to secure two track records and several F3 victories in both Britain and Europe. Kimball has also raced in the Formula 3 Euroseries and the World Series by Renault. With Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing, he will become the first licensed driver with diabetes in the history of INDYCAR to race at the highest level of the series. Follow Kimball and his work with Novo Nordisk on Twitter @racewithinsulin or www.novonordisk-us.com.

About Novo Nordisk: Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 87 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within hemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone therapy for women. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to social responsibility to employees and customers, environmental soundness and economic success. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs more than 30,000 employees in 81 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk’s B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen andLondon. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NVO). For more information, visit novonordisk-us.com.

About Diabetes: In the United States one in 13, or 23.6 million people, have diabetes[i], a condition in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Poorly or untreated diabetes can lead to a long list of health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, high blood pressure, blindness, nerve problems and amputations[ii]. Prescribing information for Levemir® and NovoLog® is available by contacting Novo Nordisk at 1-800-727-6500 or visiting Levemir-us.com and NovoLog.com.

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams 2010 Recap: Team owner Chip Ganassi had an historic year in 2010. After wrapping up the GRAND-AM Rolex Series Championship, Ganassi claimed his second championship of the season by winning the IZOD IndyCar Series title for the third straight year. In addition, Ganassi became the first owner in history to win what has become known at the Triple Crown of American Racing by winning the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. Also, on the weekend of Aug. 6, for the first time in team history Ganassi brought home wins in all three series when Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won the GRAND-AM race in Watkins Glen, Juan Pablo Montoya won the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Watkins Glen and Dario Franchitti won at Mid-Ohio in the IZOD IndyCar Series. In all, Ganassi’s teams shattered a team record with 19 total victories (previously 14) across the three series, and now boast 134 total wins since 1994.


Quote Board:

Charlie Kimball, Driver, Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing: “I am honored to join Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing and excited to be moving up to the IZOD IndyCar Series. This is a dream come true and I am very proud to work with Novo Nordisk and continue to spread the message that diabetes does not have to slow you down.”

Camille Lee, Vice President of Diabetes Marketing, Novo Nordisk: We have sponsored Charlie for the past two seasons in the Firestone Indy Lights Series and seen his development not only as a race car driver, but also as a role model to thousands of people with diabetes. We are excited to join Chip and the entire Ganassi organization to ensure Charlie’s success not only on the race track, but also with Novo Nordisk to prove that diabetes does not have get in the way of your dreams.”

Chip Ganassi, Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams: “Many don’t realize this, but we have had a relationship with Charlie for a number of years now. I have been keeping close tabs on him and his successes in racing from afar for a while now – whether he was racing in Formula 3 in Europe, or running in the Firestone Indy Lights Series the past few seasons. We’re excited to have the opportunity to turn this longstanding relationship into a reality with Charlie and Novo Nordisk.”


[i] 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/estimates07.htm.

[i] National Institute Health of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases. National Diabetes Education Pro Web site, http://ndep.nih.gov/diabetes/pubs/FS_AsAm_Eng.pdf. Accessed January 2007.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday at Edmonton

Here is a quick practice results update with a little more detail than my twitter. I ended the session in P3 and was bouncing around the top 3 all session. I am really happy with the car and got out with a huge smile on my face. Edmonton is an airport circuit so it is pretty wide open, with some really tight twisty sections. Also, with the harsh northern Alberta winters, the track is a bit rougher than last year. And it was bumpy then! With a rough track like this, a bad car can make for a long weekend. But with a good car, it sure makes it fun! I finished just 0.04 off of Hinch in second and about 0.2 off of my teammate, Plowey, who was quickest. Plowey ran a set of new tires though and I have some things to work on- both in driving and with my engineer. There is definitely more to come. I can't wait until tomorrow morning's practice and then qualifying in the early afternoon.

As a quick side note (really quickly, otherwise I will be late to dinner!), the Canadian fans are awesome. Today was Friday, just practice and the stands were pretty full. There were a lot of really knowledgeable people walking around and the Indy Lights autograph session was well subscribed. It probably didn't hurt that today's weather was nearly perfect. Bring on the race weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where did 2 months go?!?!

May 25th. That was my last blog. Hmmm. Nearly two months ago..... Wait!?!?! What? 2 months? Time has just blitzed past. I am used to things moving at a high rate of speed, but these last two months have been crazy fast and busy. Well I guess that's why they have gone by quickly is because I have been crazy busy. Let's see if I can write an update on all that has gone on without having to classify it as a novel....

Freedom 100
I wanted the Win, but came away with a solid second place. I had an incredible race with Wade Cunningham and he just beat me to the win. He has raced in the Freedom 5 times and that definitely helped him. I fought as hard as I could, used all the racetrack (and then some at times) and was very happy with how my Indy weekend turned out. Plus with Wade not being a full time driver this season, it was a moral win. It also put me within 7 points of points leader JK Vernay.

Testing
After Indy, we had a test day at Mid Ohio in preparation for our race there in August. It has never been my strongest track and when I tested with Andretti there last fall, I really struggled to get the car where I wanted it. This time though, we made big strides in the car set up. Because it was a 'private' test, there wasn't official timing, but I ended up within 0.05 of the quickest car at the test, Stefan Wilson. With the a string of street and road course races coming up after the Iowas Speedway event, we were very happy to be quick on the road course test.

Iowa Speedway
Before my race in Iowa, I had a great event for my sponsor, Novo Nordisk. I went to a Minor League Baseball game to talk about diabetes, racing, and throw out the first pitch. The Clinton Lumberkings were great hosts and I managed to make the ball to home plate. I will admit I resorted to the 'skyball' to make sure I didn't one-hop it to home. It is quite a lot of pressure standing out there on the field. I guess it would be like a baseball player strapping into a race car...
Well onto the race at Iowa Speedway. And to be honest, I would rather just forget the whole weekend. In the two practice sessions, where the results don't matter at all, I was quickest and second quickest. In the two sessions that mattered: qualifying and the race, I was last! The car had a fuel pump fail in qualifying so I had to start at the back. Then in the race, I went into turn 1 on the first lap and the back of the car stepped out on me. I caught it the first time, but it stepped out again and I spun into the wall. I think it was a combination of being at the back of the pack and in dirty air and having cold tires. I was definitely trying hard to get past a couple of drivers that were a long ways of the pace before settling down to pick off the rest as I could. It was something I will definitely learn from. The next race was Watkins Glen and one of my favorite racetracks in the world!

ADA and CWD
But before I could get to the Glen for the race, I went to San Antonio TX for an ADA Expo. I was very impressed with the size of the turnout for the Expo as well as the city itself. I really enjoyed myself wandering around the Riverwalk and the older parts of town. Not to mention seeing the Alamo. (On a side not, I got my iPhone 4 that same weekend and the excitement of that might have colored my view- but only a little! And yes I love it. And no I don't have signal problems.)
After San Antonio, I flew down to Orlando for the ADA National conference and the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life conference. I really like both of these events because it gives me a good chance to catch up with friends from the diabetes community at the ADA. Then CWD is such an amazing conference with so many great stories and people! I had a great time at both and still managed to train almost every day to prepare for the Glen, Toronto and Edmonton.

The Glen
Watkins Glen is one of my favorite racetracks and one of my favorite places in the world. The whole of the Finger Lake district is great, the city of Corning is a lot of fun, and the racetrack itself is very special. The length, the speed, the elevation changes all combine to create a challenge for the driver, a challenge for the engineer and a great spectacle. However, once again bad luck would wreak havoc with my race. I had been in the top 5 in practice and was ready to go for qualifying. However, in qualifying I made a mistake and while trying to overtake another driver, I spun across a curb. This stalled the engine and meant I would lose my fastest lap. I still managed to put myself into the top 6. Until we looked at the bottom of the car from when I ran across the curb. The impact had broken the bottom of the engine and would mean it would have to be changed. This also meant I would have to start from the back. Because three other drivers had to do the same, I wouldn't be dead last! Then disaster struck again and half way around the parade lap for the race, the engine shut off. The safety crew towed me back to the pits and after changing the ECU, I rejoined the race- but I was 4 laps down. Because of a full course yellow, I caught the back of the field. Because I was a lapped car, I was cautious to stay out of other people's races. Halfway through the race, there was another yellow flag and the team and I decided to pit to make changes to the car and treat the race like a practice session. As the line of cars ahead of me strung out, I passed people when I was sure it wouldn't impact their race. I moved all the way up to what was 5th place on the road (even though I was 11th because of being laps down). I also posted the 4th quickest lap time, 0.2 off of the 3rd quickest time. While the result was extremely disappointing, the speed of the car was very encouraging. The two bad races in a row had dropped me from 2nd in points to 5th.

Mental Health
Because I had been on the go so much since the beginning of May really, I was looking forward to a weekend off! I was still training very intensely in the week leading up to the weekend and my body was looking forward to some time to recover as well. I went to a BBQ with some friends on Saturday and had a great time relaxing poolside. While there were a lot of racing people at the BBQ, it was definitely a mental health break. Then on the Sunday, I slept in, did some DIY, cleaned my room, watched some of the ALMS race, and then watched the Dodgers destroy the Cubs on Sunday Night Baseball. A perfect Sunday that really rejuvenated me for the Canadian leg of my season- Toronto and Edmonton.

Toronto
The streets of Toronto race is one of the hardest on our calendar. Especially if the weather plays a role. Last year, we had to start the race in the wet, do a pit stop and finish it in the dry. This year, the weather was extremely hot! And with how bumpy, technical and physical the track is, high heat and high humidity just make it more challenging. We had a good car in both practices and were 5th quickest in both before qualifying. Then in qualifying a bit of bad luck struck again. I was having major gearbox problems and didn't really know what gear I was going to be in going into a corner. This makes it really tough! But I told the team that I would do my best and see how we came out. I ended up doing a lap that was good for 7th, only 0.2 off of 3rd! While the result wasn't fantastic, I was extremely how well I had handled the problematic gearbox. And my last lap was going to be quicker until the gearbox auto-magically shifted for me and nearly put me into the wall! Going into the race though, I was confident I would be able to move up through the field. On the start, I passed Adrian Campos Jr. into turn 1 to move up to 6th and set off after the top 5. While I was quicker than Sebastian Saavedra ahead of me, I couldn't find a way past until a mid race yellow flag. On the restart, I set up Seb and passed him into the hard braking of turn 3. Then it was about biding my time and chasing the pack of 2-4th ahead of me. As the race moved towards it's 50 lap conclusion, James Hinchcliffe in 2nd started to struggle with his car's handling. On the last lap, he made a braking mistake into turn 3 and slid wide, Dan Clarke moved past into 2nd and Gustavo Yacaman passed him for 3rd. Then into the next braking zone, turn 5, I moved up the inside of Hinch and made the pass to come home 4th! Unfortunately, Hinch ended his race in the tires in turn 5, but after the race we both agreed it was a racing incident with no hard feelings. Which is a good thing when it comes time for our next boxing workout together!!! The 4th place finish moved me back into 3rd in points, only 7 behind Hinch. JK Vernay is still leading, 75 points ahead. But with 53 points available per weekend, and just after halfway through the season, everything is still to play for!

Edmonton
I am really looking forward to this weekend's race in Edmonton. I thoroughly enjoy the wide open airport track here and the fans always come out and support the race well. I got into town last night and have media commitments today and tomorrow morning before getting on track for practice Friday afternoon. Here's the weekend schedule:
Friday July 23rd- Practice 1; 1:30-2:30 PM (Mountain Time)
Saturday July 24th- Practice 2; 9:15-10:00 AM
Qualifying; 2:15-3:15 PM
Sunday July 25th- Warm-up; 9:20-9:40AM
Race (50 Laps!) 1PM (Streamed live on indycar.com)


I still can't believe it has been two months since my last blog. And if you have gotten this far through what has ended up being a short novel, the next ones won't be so long! I hope. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Getting Ready for the Freedom


This Friday is my race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Wow. As a kid, I never thought I would get to race at the Speedway. But this time is my second year in a row. And I know I'm not in the 'big' show, but still. Unlike last year, I am not going to be happy with a good result, or a solid race. I want to win. And win BIG. We had a good test a couple of weeks ago and I have sooooo much confidence in the Andretti Autosport/ AFS Racing team that I know we can do it. While I have been busy bouncing around to appearances in LA, Raleigh, Chicago, and all around Indianapolis, the guys have been getting the car prepped and pretty. And man does she look good! I can't wait until first practice on Thursday! And this race will be the only televised Lights race this season. It will be shown live at 12:15 ET on Versus TV as part of the Carb Day coverageRoll on Indy, Roll on the Firestone Freedom 100, and (hopefully) Roll on the W!

Schedule for the Freedom 100:
Thursday, May 27th:
Practice 1- 9AM-9:45AM
Practice 2- 11:45AM-12:30PM
Qualifying- 3PM-4PM

Friday, May 28th Carb Day (Carburetor Day, not Carbohydrate! :) )
Pre-Race 12:15PM
Firestone Freedom 100- 12:30PM (100 Miles, 40 Laps)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Centennial Blog

So this is my 100th blog and I was trying to come up with a good topic to discuss. When I was looking back through my early blogs, I reread my community blog (my first one). Now more than ever, it is true that I am part of a lot of different communities. I really enjoy the different roles that I am getting to play both at and away from the race track.

Away from the race track this year, I have been enjoying going to ADA Expos and sharing my story. Before a couple of those Expos, I got to go to local hospitals and talk to patients with diabetes. That is a really special feeling because most people don’t expect to see a professional racing driver with firesuit and helmet walking around the hospital. Especially not one with diabetes! I have also been to a couple of Taking Control of Your Diabetes conferences. They are great events because the main message of the day is to really Control Your Diabetes rather than let it control you. I have been the closing presentation at both days and always get a great reaction from the crowd. I also get to see and interact with everyone during the day at the health fair. I have met some really great people and always enjoy hearing everyone’s stories. The truth is that I learn and take encouragement from everyone I meet at the Expos and TCOYD. The fact that they come out and spend a full day on their health reminds me to make sure I am being proactive enough about my own healthcare.

At the racetrack, I have gotten extremely busy! Alongside the full time job of racing, I have been doing a lot of media outreach to try and get my story about diabetes out there. I have had some great coverage and gotten to meet some cool reporters. As the son of an engineer, I like getting to see behind the scenes of the TV studios. The first time I went into a studio that had mechanical cameras that move auto-magically, I was blown away. It is amazing how technology has changed the way TV is made. As well as the racing and the media, I am lucky to be a part of the Indy Car Series Pace Car Team. The PCT is comprised of 4 Firestone Indy Lights drivers (myself, Martin Plowman, Stefan Wilson and James Hinchcliffe). While the main duties of the PCT are giving VIP’s, Media and Sponsors rides around the race tracks we visit, we also get to make PCT specific appearances at different events. We just finished a road trip to and from Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois where we appeared on behalf of the Indy Car Series in promotion of our race, August 28th. It was a night open to people who had bought tickets for the season’s races at Chicagoland. The fans got a chance to interact with Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Scott Dixon, Sam Hornish, Chip Ganassi, Alex Lloyd and the Pace Car Team. We answered questions, signed autographs and had a bull riding competition. There was a mechanical bull and as good upstanding members of the PCT, we each threw the challenge at each other. The resulting video is quite amusing and can be found on my YouTube channel soon. We have a lot of fun on the PCT and we are going to be announcing a cool charity program soon! If you are going to be at an Indy Car race this year and are interested in buying a ride in a Pace Car with a PCT driver, leave me a comment and I will let you know who to talk to. So between PCT, media and driving, my race weekends are flat out....so to speak!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kimball Races to Second in front of Home Town Crowd


Charlie Kimball competed this weekend, April 17 and 18, in the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Long Beach in front of an enthusiastic crowd of sponsors, friends and family. Kimball put on a great show, qualifying third and racing to a second place finish on Sunday. Balancing responsibilities on and off the track kept the young driver busy, but he continued to impress and share his story across southern California.

Kimball’s race weekend began two weeks ago as he joined the IRL team at the Long Beach media day to promote the race. He coached celebrities competing in the Celebrity Pro race, gave Pace Car rides to members of the media and was the featured Indy Lights driver for the Grand Prix weekend. When he finally got into the #26 Levemir® Flexpen® car at the race weekend on Friday morning, Kimball was ready to go to work. He worked with his AFS Racing/ Andretti Autosport team throughout the two free practice sessions, developing the car and sneaking up on race pace. Kimball’s times in the sessions were never outside the top 5.

‘When we first got on track on Friday, we were a ways off with the car set up but my engineer and I went to work. We worked through a lot of changes and produced a very competitive car,’ remarked Kimball of the practice sessions. ‘We chose to play a conservative strategy in practice and now I’m exceptionally well placed for qualifying.’

Qualifying was run under the midday sun through the streets of Long Beach and was marred by two late yellow flags. Kimball started the session on new tires and immediately posted quick times. By the time he had put on his third set of new tires, Kimball was ready to post a blistering time. As he headed towards the final few corners of the circuit, the Camarillo native was preparing to record the pole time. However, yellow flags were out and Kimball reduced his speed to ensure the safety of the stricken car and on-track officials. Because the yellow flags came out so close to the end of the session, the checkered flag was thrown meaning Kimball ended up third on the grid.

‘I’m really disappointed by this session. We had the car and the pace for pole position, but for the third race in a row, we got caught by yellow flags,’ explained Kimball after qualifying. ‘But I love this track for passing – last year, I passed at least 6 cars so I’m sure I can make something happen from third.’

Kimball spent the rest of Saturday and early Sunday morning hosting his many supporters, fans, friends and family at the track and showing them around his racing world.

‘It’s such a great opportunity to be able to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career by hosting them here at Long Beach,’ said the Camarillo, California native. ‘I’m honored that nearly 70 people are here to support me in today’s race!’

As the Indy Lights field headed for the green flag, Kimball made sure he was tucked up close behind pole-sitter James Hinchcliffe. The field poured into Turn one and Kimball maintained his position behind Hinchcliffe, boxing out second place starter JK Vernay. The 25-year-old then held station behind Hinchcliffe, pacing himself as the tires and cars fell off the pace. Two yellow flags and restarts offered Kimball small opportunities to grab the race lead however it wasn’t to be. Kimball crossed the line in touch with the leader but in second position.

‘I’m pleased with second place. I gain championship points on points leader Vernay,’ said Kimball at the podium ceremony. ‘I had the pace there at the end to catch Hinch. I was hoping for lots of yellows or green running the whole way but neither worked out. On the parade lap, I saw of sea of red in my grandstand and I’m glad I could honor my fans with a good result this year.’

Kimball consolidated his second place points position by gaining 5 championship points on leader JK Vernay and extending his lead over third place. His next race will be the Freedom 100 run on the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 27th and 28th. Kimball will fill the time until then appearing for Novo Nordisk at American Diabetes Association Expos in Phoenix, AZ and Seattle, WA as well as a Taking Control of Your Diabetes conference in Raleigh, NC.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hollywood Boulevard, SHUT DOWN!

Tonight, IZOD took over Hollywood Boulevard and gave it to the Indy Car and Indy Lights guys. They put on a pit stop competition, did an autograph signing, even had Mark Wahlberg and Diddy show up. The event was crazy. There were so many people and it was unreal hearing the engines fire up and reverberate off the Kodak theater. It was really encouraging to see such an amazing event put on by the people at Izod. It bodes well for the future.

But now it’s race weekend. Not just any race weekend, but the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Bring it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Racing at home!

This weekend is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and I am super pumped! Long Beach is one of the more special races on the calendar this year for me. Mainly because the pits are only 75 miles from my house. And when I am racing all over the country (and Canada), 75 miles is practically next door! Long Beach also holds a special place in my heart because I remember coming to this race for years with my dad when he was doing consulting. I would get a ticket and then get to hang around the race track all day and inevitably get sunburned. But I still got to soak in the great atmosphere, the race track, the cars, the drivers and everything else that makes the Grand Prix here such a jewel. Now after years of racing in Europe, being as close to home as Long Beach is means that everyone who supported me abroad can come support me in person. The drive down the 405 is a lot easier (some of the time) than flying across the Atlantic! At the moment, we have about 60 people in the Charlie Kimball Cheering Section of the grandstand. There are a few tickets left if you want to come join us! Message me on Twitter with an email address, or comment here with an email and I will send over some information.

The track itself is pretty special. It is one of the longest straights (Shoreline Drive) we will run on all year and yet it also has the slowest corner (the hairpin) we see as well. Put those things together and it makes for a great racetrack. I come into the weekend sitting second in points behind the Frenchman JK Vernay. I am still confident in the long haul to the Championship because Vernay hasn't been to many of the rest of the tracks this year and has never raced on an oval. Plus, I plan on building on last weekend's second place finish from Barber and working on cutting his points lead!

Time to go racing at the Roar by the Shore!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Podium in the Park!


Sunday was race day at Barber Motorsports Park and I had high hopes going into the day. I qualified second on Saturday morning and then had a nice relaxing afternoon. The car had been really good since I was quickest in the first practice and while we had to make changes for the heat of the day in practice 2, we still had a really good race car. Race day started very early on Sunday morning with a warm up at 8AM! The track was very cold and even though the Grand-Am cars had run all afternoon on Saturday, the grip was really good. We were consistently quick throughout warm up and at the end of the session, I was happy with the car for the race.

The key to the race was always going to be the start. With a short start/finish straight and a fast blind turn 1, getting a good start would be important. Couple that with the very limited passing opportunities at Barber and the start would be crucial. I had talked through strategies for the race with my race engineer and we believed that tire management would be key for the race. As hot as the track temperatures were and with the sun beating down, the Firestone Firehawks would be consistent as long as you didn't overdrive the car early. And overdriving the car early would be easy to do being second on the grid and shooting for a race win. I had a couple of pace car rides just before my race to scare a couple of my guests from Alabama. Those laps gave me an idea of how much rubber had accumulated offline and would make the start even more difficult.

And then it was race time. And I was ready. My blood sugar numbers were just where I wanted them to be, I was relaxed, confident in my race pace, knew my fitness wouldn't be an issue and ready to fight for the victory. I knew I might be able to get a good start because the pole sitter, JK Vernay, would only be doing his second ever rolling start. He had admitted in the qualifying press conference that he didn't have a good start at the first race and was nervous about the start. We lined up side by side as we came around the last corner to take the green flag. I was waiting for him to 'punch off' before hitting the gas. 'Punching off' is a racing term for when the pole sitter hits the gas and starts accelerating for the start. As the pole sitter, he has the right to set the pace and decide when to 'punch off'. The only rule is that when you do go to throttle, you commit and stay on power.

I was ready for JK to go and when he did, I reacted well and got a good start. We were wheel to wheel when we both went to power. Then JK slid back. After the race I found out row 2, consisting of my teammate, Martin Plowman, and Sebastien Saavedra, had gone to power with the front row. Then as JK either made a mistake, lifted, braked or had a problem, Plowman ran into the back of him. Once I had gone to throttle though, I was committed. When the green flag flew, I was in front and led into turn 1. Halfway around lap 2, my engineer radioed me that the officials had said I jumped the start. The penalty for that would not be a complete restart and give me the opportunity to make a good start again, but to give up the lead of the race. At any other racetrack, it would not have been as big a penalty as I would have the speed to take the position back. However, at Barber the track offers slim to no passing chances. As a result, I shadowed JK all race, never more than 2 seconds behind but unable to mount a challenge for the win. To his credit, he never made a mistake large enough for me to capitalize on. The second place finish moves me up to second in the championship and is my first podium in the Firestone Indy Lights. Still it leaves me wanting for more. We had the speed all weekend and the crew did a great job with not making any mistakes. I did all the right things and I can't wait to get to home turf next weekend. Roll on Long Beach and another chance for Victory Lane!

One last comment on the race weekend. It was the first Indy Car race held at Barber Motorsports Park and I could not have been more impressed. The grounds are immaculate, the facilities are incredible and the people couldn't have been friendlier. I was blown away by the crowd (someone said over 100,000 for the weekend) and am sure this is going to be a crown jewel event on the IRL calendar. George Barber has and continues to do an amazing job. Well done to him and his staff and thanks for letting us come race around your park!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday night in 'Bama

A quick update since I really want to get a good night's sleep. Today went really well at the Barber Motorsports Park. I was quickest in this morning's session but just a small margin over James Hinchcliffe. Then in Practice 2, I was 3rd for most of the session until Niall Quinn put new tires on right at the end. Since we wanted to save everything for qualifying, we stayed on old tires. Still, looking through the data and analyzing the split reports, my engineer and I are happy going into tomorrow. I really think we are good on fast time pace and really good on consistent race pace.

Qualifying is at 8:15 AM CDT. You can watch live timing here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Barber Preview

Back at a racetrack and none too soon! I got a taste of racing in St. Pete and am just itching to get back in the car. Not to say that I haven't been busy. I have been in 4 states, 5 airports, 3 hotels and even at home since the race. I got a chance to go back to California to see my family for Easter, rest and beat the cold I picked up in Florida and go cycling for a couple hours with my friends. Then on Tuesday, I got to drive a pace car for media at the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit. It was a blast and I even got to meet a couple of the celebrities and pros driving in the Toyota Pro Celebrity race at the Long Beach Grand Prix. I got to have a cool conversation with Zachary Levi who plays Chuck on TV and even got a photo (I look terribly star struck....And I am so glad he is repping a Dodger hat....Go Blue!).

But now it is back to business. I am down in Birmingham Alabama for the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park. We had a good test here back in February and I can't wait to see how tomorrow shakes out. At the open test, I was third quickest, just 0.2sec off the quickest time (even with an engine problem that cost us 2 hours of track time!). My engineer and I have a few good ideas about how to improve from the test and I hope we can be setting the pace from the outset. I can't wait. I hope I can sleep tonight!

Also, here is a great article from the AP as it was posted on SportsIllustrated.com and CBSSports.com.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quick Post Race Update

A quick update on the craziness that was today's race in St. Petersburg. We knew all weekend that the weather would be a bit sketchy for the race, but we had no idea it would be that bad! There was a huge thunderstorm cell hanging out in the Gulf just of St. Pete and it was headed on shore. With all the guess work on weather calls, who knew when it would hit the race track area! Still, we had to prepare for both wet and dry and then see how it shook out. As we rolled out to start the race, the skies were dark and it was starting to sprinkle. But the rain wasn't hard enough to make us stop for wets, or even slow our speeds. I had a good solid start and after avoiding a spearing Philip Major, I was fourth after the first corner (up from my 7th starting spot). Then after a full course caution to clean up a couple of crashes, it was raining harder. The track was pretty slippery and Sebastien Saavedra ahead of me was tip- toeing around. His super slow pace caught me by surprise and we made light contact in Turn 4. There wasn't damage to either of our cars, and we both continued although we (and my teammate) were delayed and I slid down the order to 10th. Then, the rain was heavy enough that the series red flagged it and allowed everyone to change to wet tires. We struggled a bit with the set up on wets, but I really focused on keeping off the walls and the car in one piece. It was a smart strategy as I passed a couple of cars up to 8th and then picked off 2 more as they slid wide and spun. After a yellow for Saavedra in the wall (one more spot), I had one last chance to move up. I got held up behind a backmarker and couldn't make in roads into the front four. However as we finished our 60 minute race, I moved up one more spot to 4th place!! Summerton had spun into the wall just before the last corner on the last lap. After our checkered flag, the true deluge started and they had to evacuate the stands because of rain, lightning and wind!!!

I promise to get a full report of the weekend from media interviews to hospital visits and the on-track activities (Pace Car Team included!) soon. Like hopefully tomorrow while I watch the postponed Indy Car race!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Wait is Over


I’m on the plane headed down to St. Petersburg, Florida because the wait is over. The 2010 season is getting ready to start! Not the unofficial start with the safety meeting, or even with testing, both official and private; but the first race of the year. I grant you that it is only the first of the season and the champion won’t be crowned on Sunday afternoon. But, when the green flag drops, the nonsense stops. And hopefully, when the checkered flag flies, I will be heading into Victory Lane!

And I do feel particularly positive about the start of this season. Coming to St. Pete last year, I had done a couple of days testing with the team, had no idea how Indy Lights race weekends worked, wasn’t sure what to expect or how I’d do. This year, I know and am friendly with all the people running the races, I have a full and great sponsorship partnership put together, I am running with a Championship caliber (technically double Championship caliber) team and am more relaxed and confident than at the start of any season in the past. I really like the character of the track at St. Pete. I know that when we unload on Thursday, we will already be miles (so to speak) ahead of where I was last year. And that is before I turn my first lap.

This winter has seemed especially long. Not because I have been bored, in fact it has been the opposite. Since my last blog nearly a month ago (shock, horror, I know!), I have tested in Alabama, Texas, and Florida; moved (and drove through a snowstorm in doing so) to Indianapolis; was in 12 states in less than 7 days (these links are to photos of the state signs on the road trip); went to two ADA Expos (Portland and Salt Lake City); went to my first TCOYD of the year in Kalispell, Montana (first trip to MT and loved it!); and even got some time to train with Jim Leo at PitFit in Indy. Some of the smaller accomplishments of the last month include furnishing my new bedroom (I do love IKEA) and even attempting to decorate with drapes, photos and lamps. I have cooked a few meals and was even called ‘quite domesticated’ by my engineer.

But now, all that matters is this weekend’s race and winning. The wait is over. The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Championship is here. Let’s go racing!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sponsorship Announcement

Here is the press release regarding my 2010 sponsorship:

Press Release


Charlie Kimball Secures Partnership with Novo Nordisk, Maker of the Levemir® FlexPen®, for 2010 Firestone Indy Lights Campaign

Indianapolis, IN and Princeton, NJ (February 24, 2010) -- California native Charlie Kimball has secured sponsorship from Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care. Kimball will pilot the No. 26 Levemir® FlexPen® car for AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport and will run a full 13-race schedule on the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights series.

Kimball, 25, is the only licensed racer with type 1 diabetes in the history of the Indy Racing League. Diagnosed in 2007, he monitors his blood sugar before, during and after each race, and uses Novo Nordisk insulin Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) and NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection). The partnership with Novo Nordisk includes primary sponsorship of Kimball’s race car, racing suit and helmet. Kimball also will make appearances on behalf of Novo Nordisk throughout 2010.

“Charlie Kimball is the perfect example of how people living with diabetes can successfully manage their disease without letting it get in the way of their dreams,” said Camille Lee, Vice President of Diabetes Marketing at Novo Nordisk. “We are proud of our association with Charlie and we look forward to a successful year on and off the track in 2010.”

Kimball will be competing in his second season in the Firestone Indy Lights series. In 2009, he finished 10th overall, posting a season-best fourth place at Watkins Glen and finishing the 2009 campaign with eight Top 10 results. The 2010 season includes the following race events in 13 cities across North America:

• March 28: Streets of St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, Florida)
• April 11: Barber Motorsports Park (Birmingham, Alabama)
• April 18: Streets of Long Beach (Long Beach, California)
• May 28: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indianapolis, Indiana)
• June 19: Iowa Speedway (Newton, Iowa)
• July 4: Watkins Glen International (Watkins Glen, New York)
• July 18: Streets of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
• July 25: Edmonton City Centre Airport (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
• Aug. 8: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Toledo, Ohio)
• Aug. 22: Infineon Raceway (Sonoma, California)
• Aug. 28: Chicagoland Speedway (Chicago, Illinois)
• Sept. 4: Kentucky Speedway (Louisville, Kentucky)
• Oct. 2: Homestead-Miami Speedway (Miami, Florida)

“This is a big year for me and expectations are high,” Kimball said. “I am fortunate to not only be part of one of the top teams in all of racing at AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport, but to have the support of Novo Nordisk, one of the world’s leading healthcare companies that is committed to helping me live my dream.”

Kimball launched his single-seater racing career in 2002 and has raced in several international series since then, highlighted by a five-win effort in the 2005 British Formula 3 Championship. At that time, Kimball established himself as the first American to win a British Formula 3 race in 11 years.

Prescribing information for Levemir® and NovoLog® is available by contacting Novo Nordisk at 1-800-727-6500 or visiting Levemir-us.com and NovoLog.com.

About Levemir® and NovoLog®
Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) is a man-made long-acting insulin that is used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.

NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection) is a man-made insulin that is used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes mellitus.

Important Safety Information for Levemir®
Do not take Levemir® if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or if you are allergic to anything in Levemir®. If you take too much Levemir® your blood sugar may fall too low.

Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugars should be and when you should check your blood sugar levels. Alcohol, including beer and wine, may affect your blood sugar when you take Levemir®.

Do not change the type of insulin you use unless told to do so by your health care provider. The amount of insulin you take as well as the best time for you to take your insulin may need to change if you take a different type of insulin.

Never mix Levemir® with other insulin products or use in an insulin pump.

Needles and Levemir® FlexPen® must not be shared.

Tell your health care provider about all medicines you take and all of your medical conditions, including if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your Levemir® dose may change if you take other medicines.

The most common side effect of Levemir® is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Other possible side effects include reactions at the injection site (like redness, swelling and itching), and allergic reactions. Get medical help right away if you experience signs of serious allergic reaction such as body rash, trouble with your breathing, fast heartbeat, or sweating. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

Important Safety Information for NovoLog®
Do not take NovoLog® if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or if you are allergic to anything in NovoLog®. If you take too much NovoLog® your blood sugar may fall too low.

NovoLog® is a fast-acting insulin. You should eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after using NovoLog® to avoid low blood sugar. Do not inject NovoLog® if you do not plan to eat right after using NovoLog®. Check your blood sugar levels. Ask your health care provider what your blood sugars should be and when you should check your blood sugar levels. Alcohol, including beer and wine, may affect your blood sugar when you take NovoLog®.

Do not change the type of insulin you use unless told to do so by your health care provider. The amount of insulin you take as well as the best time for you to take your insulin may need to change if you take a different type of insulin.

Do not mix NovoLog® with any other insulins when used in a pump or with any insulins other than NPH when used with injections by syringe.

Needles and NovoLog® FlexPen® must not be shared.

Tell your health care provider about all medicines you take and all of your medical conditions, including if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your NovoLog® dose may change if you take other medicines.

NovoLog® has not been studied in children with type 2 diabetes or in children with type 1 diabetes under the age of two.

The most common side effect of NovoLog® is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Other possible side effects include reactions at the injection site (like redness, swelling and itching), and allergic reactions. Get medical help right away if you experience signs of serious allergic reaction such as body rash, trouble with your breathing, fast heartbeat, or sweating. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

FlexPen®, Levemir®, and NovoLog® are registered trademarks of Novo Nordisk A/S.


# # #



About Charlie Kimball
Kimball, who began racing go-karts at age nine, was accepted into Stanford University and chose to bypass admission to follow his dream to become a racecar driver. Prior to his diabetes diagnosis in 2007, Kimball shattered the European stereotype that “Americans are not fast” by becoming the first American in 11 years to win a British Formula 3 race. He went on to secure two track records and several F3 victories in both Britain and Europe. Kimball has also raced in the Formula 3 Euroseries and the World Series by Renault. This year, Kimball will be competing in the Firestone Indy Lights races throughout the year.

For additional information about Charlie Kimball, visit www.charliekimball.com.
Follow Charlie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/racewithinsulin, on his blog, www.CharlieKimball.blogspot.com, on YouTube, at www.youtube.com/charliekimball, and via the Charlie Kimball Fan Club on Facebook.

About Andretti Autosport
Based in Indianapolis, IN, Andretti Autosport is led by racing legend Michael Andretti. Andretti Autosport, which is the winningest team in Indy Racing League history, fields multiple entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series and also campaigns multiple cars in Firestone Indy Lights in a joint venture with AFS Racing. Andretti Autosport boasts three IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005 and 2007), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009) and has won the Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007). For more information, please visit www.andrettiautosport.com.

About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 87 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within hemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone therapy for women. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to social responsibility to employees and customers, environmental soundness and economic success. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs more than 29,000 employees in 81 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk’s B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NVO). For more information, visit novonordisk-us.com.

About Diabetes
In the United States one in 13, or 23.6 million people, have diabetes, a condition in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. Poorly or untreated diabetes can lead to a long list of health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, high blood pressure, blindness, nerve problems and amputations.



For further information please contact:

Media:
Al Larsen
Andretti Autosport
317-872-2700
al.larsen@andrettiautosport.com

Ambre Morley
Novo Nordisk
609-514-8400
abmo@novonordisk.com

Investors:
Hans Rommer
Novo Nordisk
+45-444-24765
hrmm@novonordisk.com

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Transcript from IZOD Indy Car Teleconference

Yesterday, I took part in the weekly IZOD Indy Car Series Teleconference. Here is the transcript from my portion of that! Thank you to the IRL PR/ Media department for having me on the call.

Charlie, thanks for joining us.

CHARLIE KIMBALL: Thanks for having me.

THE MODERATOR: Charlie finished 10th in his rookie season in Firestone Indy Lights last year with Team PBIR, but moves to AFS/Andretti Autosport, the team and car that won last year's title.

Q. Do you feel much pressure entering the season going into that car and that team?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: Well, I think I always put more pressure on myself than I feel externally. Obviously, jumping in the No. 26 car means that I know I've got some of the best equipment out there. At the end of the day, it comes down to me to perform. I think that testing has been going really well. I'm really excited. The crew is a lot of fun to work with. I can't wait to get to the open test next week and the first race at St. Pete.

Q. You mentioned you tested with the team. What have you learned about yourself and the team going into next week's test at Barber, which is essentially like a race weekend?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: You're right, going into Barber, we're sort of treating it like our first competition. There's no prizes or rewards for results at Barber, but it's a chance for us to unveil the new paint scheme for the No. 26 Levemir(r) car. We have a line item list of stuff to test. Hopefully we'll end the day near the top of the charts.

I've learned a lot this year just about how a professional team works. Stepping into Andretti, having someone like Michael Andretti with his hand on the tiller, giving me the benefit of his experience has allowed me to learn a lot more quickly than I have in the past.

Q. The test is at Barber Motorsports Park. Have you been there? What are your thought on that facility?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: I actually did a test day at Andretti/AFS Racing last fall down at Barber. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was surprising how much fun it is. It's very technical and pretty quick in places. It's got a really good mix. I think it benefits a driver that's on top of it as well as a good car.

So not only am I looking forward to the test next week, but also to the second race of the season.

Q. You mentioned your sponsor. You're the first Indy Racing League driver to compete with Type 1 diabetes. Does being diabetic affect the way you go racing?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: Having diabetes definitely affects how I prepare to get in the car. From the moment I get up in the morning, before a test day or a race day, I'm preparing. I'm checking by blood glucose levels. I'm injecting Levemir(r) and NovoLog(r), the two insulins I use as needed. Everything is getting ready for the moment I put my helmet on. I check my blood glucose level 15 minutes, 10 minutes, five minutes before I get in the car. It's the last thing I do before I put my gloves on.

That management routine allows me to go out and compete on a test day or race day equally and not have to worry about the diabetes.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about what your sponsor does using your car as a platform?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: A lot of what Novo Nordisk, the company that makes Levemir and NovoLog, the two insulins on the car do, the at‑the‑track promotion, telling my story as the first driver in the history of the IRL with diabetes to compete. But we also do a lot of at‑event appearances, the ADA, the American Diabetes Association, expos, where people come and are there to educate themselves about diabetes and hear my story, talk to me, interact with me.

I'm there proving that diabetes doesn't have to slow you down. It doesn't slow me down on the track or off the track. Together, partnering with them allows me to get that story out there and be proof that you don't have to have diabetes in the drivers seat; it can be in the passenger seat while you drive your life.

Q. Charlie, how did all of this come about with Andretti Racing?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: Well, funnily enough, it started with a phone call at 4 in the morning on a Wednesday before a race weekend in October of 2008. I was here in California at home. I got a call from Andretti about their program in the A1 GP, the Team USA car. They asked if I would come to Zandvoort, in The Netherlands, for a last‑minute drive in the race that weekend. Like five hours later, I was on a plane from LAX headed to Europe. I had a great time. It was a really good opportunity to work with them.

We just sort of kept in contact. After my results last year, developing the team, the results throughout the season, we kept in contact. As my commercial package fell into place, the discussions with Andretti led to a ride.

Q. How is Michael to work for?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: He's a brilliant guy. His experience all over the world in racecars everywhere allows me to learn a tremendous amount. He is always there with a word of encouragement, a word of advice, and very helpful for a young driver hoping to make it to the Izod IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.

Q. Charlie, did you have to convince people when you were starting out in racing that you could do this with diabetes and still manage it? Also, the notes say that you're able to monitor your blood sugar during the race and adjust it if necessary. How does that work exactly?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: Well, I'll hit your first question first.

I was diagnosed in October of 2007, so in the middle of a race season. I'd already been racing. The road back to recovery, it was about six weeks before I got back in a racecar. In that time, you know, I sought out the best medical care. I work with an endocrinologist here in LA, Dr. Anne Peters, who is Gary Hall, Jr., the swimmer's, endocrinologists, as well.

So her experience with athletes gave me the confidence to get back in the car and be able to compete.

So I have found a huge amount of support in the racing community. The IRL, the medical staff there at the IRL and IMS medical team, has said to me, Look, you obviously know a lot about diabetes and diabetes management. Pardon the pun, but we'd love for you to be in the vehicle for you to tell your story, being successful with diabetes.

As far as managing my blood glucose and monitoring that through the race, I wear a continuous glucose monitor, which is a sensor injected in my body and has a wireless transmitter on my skin that looks like a pager‑like device that's Velcro'd to the steering wheel right under my dash. It graphs might blood sugar every five minutes and gives me a reading so I can keep an eye on that while I'm driving. If I'm getting lower than I want to be, I can drink orange juice that runs through a drink tube that runs through my helmet. Orange juice is very glucose rich so it brings my sugar levels back up to a range where I can compete at optimal performance.

Q. What is some of your background? Where have you been racing?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: Well, I started karting in Southern California when I was about 10, in '95. Got into cars at the age of 16. After I graduated high school in 2003, at the end of the 2003 season where I competed in the USS 2000 championship, I delayed entry or deferred admission to Stanford University to move to Europe and race, where I competed in British Formula Ford, British Formula 3. I was the first American in 13 years to win a British Formula 3 race, was Rookie‑of‑the‑Year. 2006 I stepped up to the Formula 3 Euro Series, where I won a race at Zandvoort. In 2007 I was racing in the World Series by Renault when I was diagnosed with diabetes in October of that year. 2008 I did a partial season in the Formula 3 Europe Series. And last year I competed in the Firestone Indy Lights Series with Team PBIR.

I got started in karting because my dad is a mechanical engineer. The car he designed won the Indianapolis 500 in the late '70s. I was in Europe as a kid because he was race engineering for a Formula One team.

Q. I wanted to know if you have, stepping into big shoes at Andretti, is there a timetable before you make the next step to the Izod IndyCar Series and what would you be looking for in terms of what you would call a successful season this year in Firestone Indy Lights?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: Well, I think I have to judge this season by the same yardstick that any good driver does. A good season would be one where I sit on pole for every race, have the fastest lap, win every race and win the championship. Obviously that might not be completely realistic.

But, like you said, I have some big shoes to fill in the No. 26 car. I think I can step up to that. My experience last year, I learned a huge amount about racing on the ovals, learned a lot of the tracks. So coming back to them, it will be my second year seeing them. I'll be able to leverage that into solid results.

As far as the timetable stepping up to the Izod IndyCar Series, obviously it comes down to partially commercial, partially on track. If I can provide the results this year and sort of prove my worth, Novo Nordisk believes that we can be the first driver on the grid at the Indianapolis 500 with diabetes.

THE MODERATOR: That's all the time we have today for Charlie. We appreciate you taking the time to join us today, Charlie.

CHARLIE KIMBALL: Absolutely. If anyone has any follow‑up questions, have them get in touch with you.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Charlie.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meeting up in Mammoth

I have been very remiss in blogging recently. I have been busy, but that is not a good enough excuse! Here is a blog I wrote about a week and a half ago from a snowboarding trip to Mammoth.

A couple of weekends ago, a few friends and I went up to Mammoth Mountain for a few days of snowboarding and skiing. One of my high school friends is working as a lift operator at June Mountain and since the schedules worked out, I was looking forward to hanging out with him. The first of California’s ‘El Nino’ storms had come through the week before and Mammoth got a lot of snow. Like 10 feet of fresh powder! It was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the three days on the mountain. I thoroughly enjoyed some time ‘disconnected’ from the racing world especially as we get towards the busy time of year.

There was however a really interesting chance encounter at lunch on the first day of skiing. Two friends and I headed to Main Lodge to grab some food, warm up and check the score of the AFC Championship game. I had just gotten my food and was sitting down to eat when I grabbed my blood glucose meter to check my blood sugar after a morning of riding and before lunch. As soon as I tested, I heard from a little boy, “do you have diabetes?” I responded with an affirmative and he said he did as well. Then his mom came up and we started a conversation. Turns out they are from the LA area as well and she is head of the local JDRF chapter. He was the coolest little boy, wears a pump and was getting a medal for a competition in the snowboard half pipe school. In the course of the conversation with his mother, it came up that she had heard my endocrinologist, Dr. Anne Peters, speak at a conference. We talked about what I do for a living to which she replied, “wait, you are her racing driver with your CGM on your steering wheel?! What are the odds!”


There are times when I feel very alone with diabetes and it can be a real struggle. Remembering conversations like that one with the little boy in the Main Lodge of Mammoth really helps remind me that I am not alone. Having diabetes makes me a part of a great community full of amazing people. It is a great way to remind myself that while I am racing because it is what I love to do, it is also a great inspiration to a lot of people.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Successful Start to 2010!

Yesterday was a very successful start to my 2010 season. While I had tested with the crew at Andretti Autosport late last year, this was my first test as an 'official' driver for the AFS Racing/ Andretti Autosport Firestone Indy Lights team (say that 10 times fast!). It really is an honor to be a part of a team that has such a history in Indy Lights as well as being led by a driver with the heritage of the Andretti name. I remember growing up with Mario Andretti being a household name as a success in both Indy racing as well as Formula 1. Now with Michael (Mario's son) being involved in my team for this year, it has come full circle. I will also be exposed to all four of the Andretti Autosport's Izod Indy Car drivers: Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Hopefully I will get a behind the scenes look at how a top level Indy Car operation is run and will be able to use this knowledge in the future as I move up the ladder.

But back to yesterday's running at Sebring. Sebring is a great track to test for street circuits. With the hot summers, lots of rain and soft ground of central Florida, Sebring is a notoriously rough track with lots of bumps, road crowns and low grip. All of these mimic a street circuit and make it a great place to tune for 2 of the first 3 races of the season (St. Petersburg March 28th and Long Beach April 18th). Our day didn't go perfectly as the shift cable broke on my second lap of the day and we had a niggling problem with the starter motor , but we got plenty of laps in and made some good progress on the car. The mechanics were on it all day and even though it was my first official day driving with the team, it felt like we had worked together for a lot longer. I am developing a good relationship with my engineer both at the track and away from it. A lot of the changes that my engineer and I made during the day were to tune the car towards my personal driving preferences. Since AFS/AA has won the Lights championship the last two years and sat on pole for every street/ temporary location race last year, their street circuit car is already pretty good. The engineers had done some hard work over the winter and wanted to try some things on the car to see if they could make progress. The track grip wasn't as high as when I tested there last year, but my time was within 0.3 of a second of their best time there. My teammate, Martin Plowman, was within 0.1 of my time which bodes well for a strong competitive season for both cars and the whole team. In conclusion, it was a great day, a perfect start to the 2010 season and it felt fantastic to be back in the cockpit and back at the racetrack. My fitness held up well, but I need to keep pushing my training with Jim Leo at PitFit in Indianapolis. Never know when that call from an Indy Car team is going to come!

Monday, January 18, 2010

First Test of the 2010

Tomorrow will be the first time in 2010 that I will be in a racecar and I am really excited! It has been a long off season and I can't wait to get going again. There were a lot of fun times during the break, but being back in the car has added a spring to my step.

I had a good trip from LA down to Sebring, Florida. Dinner with the team to go over the plan for tomorrow and we are all good! With the forecast for good weather tomorrow, I am going to get a good night's sleep and be up early. We will spend most of tomorrow settling back into the swing of things and tweaking the car to my driving preferences. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow night!