Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy holidays!

I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you all for your support and well-wishes this year! I truly appreciate the IndyCar fans--without you all, I wouldn't be able to live my dreams. 2012 was a year of ups and downs... my first IndyCar podium finish, leading laps at the Indianapolis 500, and of course a small injury. Through it all, you guys have been so great to me!

Happy holidays to you and your family! Wishing you joy, peace, and happiness. See you in 2013!

P.S. Enjoy this #TheOffSeason piece... the first in a series of videos giving you a look into our lives during the winter.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just add water...

Yesterday I spent the day at the Axis Wake Research and Malibu Boats factory in Loudon, Tennessee, and let me tell you... I had an absolute blast! A big thanks to Debbie for putting together the luncheon and to Adam for the awesome tour.

I went down for the company's annual luncheon and awards. For my part, I did a presentation on my job as an IndyCar driver, then showed a video highlighting how I unwind and spend time outside of the racecar... on my Axis A22! Once the awards ceremony part of the luncheon began, I was able to raffle off some IndyCar-related prizes to the factory employees. I'm excited to host two of them at Barber Motorsports Park next season for the race weekend and show off our machines!

Speaking to the employees about IndyCar.
After the luncheon, Adam took me on a tour of the factory. This is where I definitely geeked-out! The whole thing was just so impressive... the attention to detail is evident throughout the process. You see the employees fitting pieces by hand, stitching the seat covers, inspecting the product during each step. It's truly a hand-made boat. And in talking to the factory employees along the way, I could tell that they all take such pride in their jobs. Axis and Malibu seem to have a rewarding, inclusive company culture and everyone there "gets it" for sure.

It actually reminded me of visiting the Honda plant in Alabama last March, though of course there were some differences. At the Honda plant, everything was very mechanically efficient and had its own place on the production line. Honda can get out almost 1500 Odyssey vans per day (with a full inspection for each car) while the Axis boats are more custom, and more hands-on time is spent with each piece. However, at the end both produce such high-quality products. So cool to see it all happen in person!

Now all I need is some sunshine and warm weather... I'm ready to get back out on the water!

I think Spencer liked the No. 83 diecast!
Thanks for saying hi, Jane!
Another prize winner!

An honor and an opportunity to give back

I'm excited to announce that I was recently recognized as a finalist for the Indy Family Foundation's Giving Back Award Presented by Firestone! I was one of five finalists, nominated for my work in the diabetes community, who will receive $500 to donate to the charity of my choice. Congrats to Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing who won the overall award, announced at the INDYCAR championship banquet.

Now on to the best part... I will be donating my $500 to Camp John Warvel, an American Diabetes Association residential camp for children and teens located here in Indiana! The donation will help fund a child's camp fee for a week of fun with other kids who also happen to have diabetes. Throughout the past few years, I've visited several camps for children with diabetes. I've seen first-hand how much it means for the families to have an outlet for the kids to learn how to manage their diabetes independently, while giving parents the assurance that they are being properly taken care of with medical supervision and dietary staff. And of course, it's summer camp... so there are tons of fun activities for the kids! Believe me, every time I go to meet the kids, I want to stay!

It's such an honor for me because it comes from people who I respect--the IndyCar family--and a group of people who work hard to help those in need within IndyCar. I have to thank Firestone for their commitment to every aspect of the sport, supporting us on track and off track. I also have to thank Novo Nordisk for giving me the platform and resources to have a voice in the diabetes community.

Again, I'm humbled to receive this honor and I look forward to doing more to give back! Be sure to follow @IndyFamilyFnd on Twitter, and click here to learn how to make a contribution toward Camp Warvel.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Two slightly different tests

As you may have heard yesterday, I will be competing in the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona! I watched from the Ganassi pit stand last year and saw first-hand how much work and team effort it takes to have a good race, and I know I have great teammates in Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Juan Pablo Montoya. I'm looking forward to getting down there for a test in a few weeks and take my first laps in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target car. I have to thank Chip Ganassi, Felix Sabates and the whole team for this opportunity. I'll be sure to make the most of it in January!

The test at Sebring on Thursday went pretty well. With it being a Honda engine day, they had a few development pieces to test and we ran through a bunch of stuff. The No. 83 car ended up doing a lot of miles—close to 300 I think. We weren’t quite as fast on the outright pace, but we did have a red flag on our best new tire run. We made a lot of changes and learned a ton, so overall a good day. A lot of credit goes to the guys because they were really on top of things. The whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew has been great all year, and hopefully they get to enjoy some downtime over the holidays as we get ready for 2013!

Working hard at
Texas A&M's lab!
After the test, I spent a day at the Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University. I’ve been working with David, one of their Ph.D. candidates, for about a year now to do some physical fitness evaluations. Basically, they try to simulate the stress my body goes through during a race at the lab, then figure out how to make my body perform better while in the car. Honestly, I was exhausted by the end of the day! But it was really cool to get some feedback and suggestions that could help me next season. A big thanks to Dr. Tim Lightfoot, David and everyone at the Huffines Institute for spending the day with me.

Today I’m headed down to Loudon, Tennessee to take a tour of the Malibu/Axis boat factory tomorrow. I’m pretty excited… they’ve really thought of everything for these boats; the attention to detail is like none other! It’ll be cool to see how it all comes together at the shop. I’ll also get to meet their employees and give away some cool IndyCar prizes. The only downside is that it will make me want to get out on the water even more! If only it was a bit warmer in Indy…

Friday, December 7, 2012

Giving back, and a surprise honor!

Happy Friday! My week is definitely ending on a high note. Yesterday morning I spent some time at the INDYCAR office filming some videos you'll see later this off-season. In the afternoon, I went to Gleaners Food Bank here in Indy to do some volunteer work for INDYCAR's Day of Caring. Indy is my adopted home now and I always enjoy giving back whenever I can.

Last night the INDYCAR community came together to celebrate the 2012 season and Ryan Hunter-Reay's championship. I was just looking forward to seeing friends and competitors from the paddock, so I was extremely surprised to receive the Tony Renna Rising Star Award! It's truly a special honor for me to recognized like this, and I'll be working as hard as ever in 2013 to live up to the award!

Photo credit: @RACERmag

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Throwback Thursday

Another Thursday, another "throwback" photo! Today I found a good group of shots from the Firestone Indy Lights race at the 2010 Long Beach Grand Prix. Spoiler alert: I came in second place! Click here or on the pic below to see more... including podium photos!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Another busy week!

It's funny... on a race weekend when friends and family ask me what I do during the off-season, sometimes it's hard to imagine how I pass the time spent out of a race car. But it's another non-stop week for me with training, appearances, IndyCar events and more!

Last Friday I met fans and signed autographs at the Big Ten Tailgate Party in downtown Indy. They closed off Georgia Street (like during the Super Bowl) and had a bunch of activities for the college football fans. Thanks to everyone who came out to see us!

With the IndyCar showcar at the Big Ten Tailgate
On Saturday, I headed to Phoenix (and warmer weather) for a speaking engagement for Novo Nordisk. It was a fun group of physicians and other medical professionals. I even met this guy below... he wasn't all that talkative though.

You look good in orange, man!
I was back in Indy on Sunday in time to see the Colts win (in the last few seconds of the game!) with some friends. The remainder of this week is filled with photo/video shoots, media interviews, the INDYCAR Championship Banquet, the infamous annual weigh-in at driver physicals, and volunteering at Gleaners Food Bank.

Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Racing into December

OK, I apologize for the bad pun in the title, but I just couldn't help myself! It's almost December... which means I'm another month closer to the start of the 2013 season and being in a race car every weekend! While I'm counting down the days until St. Pete (113 days, if you were wondering), I'm staying busy with appearances, training and testing.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I was the keynote speaker for the "Stop Diabetes @ Work" event on Tuesday hosted by the Indiana-area chapter of the American Diabetes Association. It was really cool opportunity to be in the company of Mayor Greg Ballard,  Dr. Joan Duwve (Chief Medical Officer for the Indiana State Department of Health) and Gerry Dick (host of Inside INdiana Business) while sharing my story on behalf of Novo Nordisk.

If you're in Indy, come by the Big Ten Fan Fest today from 6-8 p.m. I'll be on Georgia Street downtown for a Q&A and autograph session (at the Pan Am Plaza). Hope to see you there!

Tomorrow morning I'm heading to Phoenix for an event with Novo Nordisk. It's about 30 degrees warmer in AZ than here in Indy... no complaints from me! Make sure to follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin for updates from the road.

P.S. If you missed my interview on WPIX, you can check it out here or below!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Throwback Thursday - 'Vintage' Interview

Hope you are all having a great week! For today's Throwback Thursday post, I found an interview from 2009... so maybe not "vintage" or "classic" per se but it's an older one for me at least!

This interview is from the website, and I had just finished up my first stint in Firestone Indy Lights. A few things have changed since 2009, but one goal remains the same... win the Indianapolis 500! Click here or on the image below to read the full interview.

Click the image above to read the full interview!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hey NYC... tune in!

If you're in the NYC area, be sure to check me out on WPIX-TV tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 28) at 7:45 a.m. Eastern! I filmed a segment for their morning show last week, talking about IndyCar and diabetes.

I'll also appear on the Dr. Steve Show on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on WPIX-TV, as well as various markets around the country. Click here for air times in other markets.

Hope you can tune in! Thanks for the support.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A busy week... with more to come!

It's been a busy week or so since I last posted. We had a great time at the Ganassi holiday party. Turns out, the guys clean up nicely! It was fun to spend some time with everyone while not talking about race setups or looking at race data (OK, maybe there was a bit of setup talk...).

With artist Jeff Moses at the gala
After the party, it was time to pack for a five-day trip around the East Coast. I started in Boston for the Joslin Diabetes Center's High Hopes Gala. It was a ton of fun to be around people who all share such enthusiasm for the same cause. But to be honest, I'll take wearing a firesuit and helmet over wearing a tux and bow tie any day!

Following the gala it was on to Princeton, NJ, home of Novo Nordisk, for our annual media training sessions. I'm always humbled to be a part of that group... chatting with legends like Will Cross, Jay Hewitt, Kendall Simmons, Marcus Dupree, Lou Brock and Rosa Rosen is pretty cool! I stayed an extra day and met local high school students in Princeton.

On Wednesday I was in the Big Apple and put that media training to good use right away, filming segments for the WPIX morning show and the Dr. Steve Show. If you're in the NYC area, be sure to tune in this week!

I traveled back to Indy and spent my Thanksgiving here with good friends who are like family to me. I'm very thankful to be able to do what I love and have the support to do so! I even got a head start on working off those calories on Thanksgiving morning by running the Drumstick Dash with some fellow IndyCar drivers and PitFit owner/trainer Jim Leo. Thanks to Jim for getting me the No. 83 bib number!

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving! For me, it's back to work now... daily PitFit training sessions, a presentation at an ADA event tomorrow, an autograph session at the Big Ten Fan Fest on Friday, and another presentation in Phoenix on Saturday.

Hinch, Scott and Jim

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Throwback Thursday - My first race car

I had a great day in Milwaukee yesterday for World Diabetes Day! I had the chance to speak at both Wheaton Franciscan and the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, and I even got to see some friends who live in the area and came out to the event. Tonight, I'm back in Indy for the annual Ganassi holiday party. It should be fun to see everyone in one place again... while not wearing firesuits or grease stains!

For today's Throwback Thursday post, I found some old photos from my very first open wheel race car... a Van Diemen Formula Ford 1600. Everyone has fond memories of their first car, right?! I started driving it in 2001, raced it in 2002 (with my first win and track record!) and had sold it by June of 2002 before moving up to Formula Ford 2000 Zetec.

Click here for more photos!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

World Diabetes Day

Wearing my blue circle pin for diabetes awareness in Chicago last week!
As you may know, today is World Diabetes Day. November 14 is a special day to make one small change toward a healthier future. Today I urge you to reach out to just one person and ask them to talk to their doctor about diabetes. Many of you took part in our Race With Insulin campaign this past season by signing my show car at the track... click here to "Take the Pledge" online today!

IndyCar fans who signed my car to "Take the Pledge"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A trip to Seattle... complete with rain!

Seattle this past weekend was a lot of fun! I got to hang out in the Touchdown Village during the Seattle Seahawks pre-game. Fortunately it was indoors because it was quite chilly and threatening rain (as it tends to do in Seattle). We were right inside the front door, which was cool because most people probably weren't expecting to see an IndyCar--especially the Race With Insulin car--at a football pre-game. It was really neat to meet all of the Seattle Seahawks fans. Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Seahawks, has a family connection and has been deeply affected by diabetes, so to be able to go and represent not only Novo Nordisk but also diabetes awareness month and the whole Race With Insulin program was pretty rewarding.

Right when I was walking into the stadium, a guy came up and asked for a couple of autographs for his son. I looked at his name tag and realized it was Mack Strong, the ProBowl fullback that had played his entire career for the Seahawks! It was really cool to be a part of the event and connect with other athletes like that. By the way, the Seahawks totally destroyed the Jets... it was fun to be with the home crowd there!

Now I'm looking forward to visiting Milwaukee, one of my favorite cities with one of the best race tracks in the country, for a couple of hospital visits for World Diabetes Day tomorrow!

Meeting Seahawks fans before the game!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Throwback Thursday - Back to 2009

Happy Thursday! Today I'm in Chicago for a couple of appearances with Novo Nordisk. Looking forward to meeting some new friends at the La Rabida Children's Hospital later this evening!

For today's Throwback Thursday post, I found highlights from Watkins Glen in 2009, my rookie year in the Firestone Indy Lights series. Spoiler alert: I finished fourth, my best finish of the season. I miss racing at The Glen!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Feeling nostalgic...

Yep, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic on this Throwback Thursday. Today I'm sharing the press conference announcing my first year in the IZOD IndyCar Series with Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing. December 16, 2010 was an amazing day and one that we worked toward for so many years! I'm so thankful I can live my dream.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or treat!

Happy Halloween everyone! Check this ESPN Playbook article to find my favorite Halloween candy and costume... and a pretty sweet pic of Josef. Nice.

On Monday, I tested at Barber Motorsports Park with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing and teammates Dario and Scott. It turned out to be a chilly and windy morning, so we had to wait a bit until we could warm up the Firestone tires on the track. Fortunately the sun was out so we got some good laps in throughout the day. We didn't have the best luck at Barber this past season, but we've turned the page to 2013 and I think we made some progress. I look forward to going back to Barber in the spring for the open test and race with the No. 83 team and showing what we can do!

Tomorrow I'm headed to the Best Coast (that's the West Coast, in case you didn't already know) for a few days in California. After that, I'm in for a busy November with lots of traveling and speaking engagements. Thanksgiving (and all of the delicious holiday food...) will be here before we know it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Going back to 2005...

Happy Thursday! It's been nice being home this whole week... a lot of time for working around the house, playing with our new puppy (she has SO much energy!) and of course working out at PitFit. This weekend I have plans to hang out with friends and relax a bit before I head out for a couple of weeks on the road.

For this week's edition of "Throwback Thursday," I've got some old race photos from the British Formula 3 series in 2005. A lot of great memories from that season... I won 5 races, had 13 podiums and set 2 track records on my way to finishing second in the championship to my Carlin Motorsports teammate. So much fun!

Click on the pic to see more from 2005!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Throwback Thursday!

Thursday: we're over "hump day" but it's sure not Friday. Yeah, the weekend is almost here but not quite within reach. I'm going to give Thursday a bit of a boost during the off-season by starting "Throwback Thursdays," when I'll post an older race video or fun interview. Post a link in the comments if you find a good one to share!

First up is a highlight video of the 2010 Freedom 100. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reflections on my 5-year dia-versary

5 years. 1827 days. And yet it seems like yesterday.

I walked into the doctor's office to get an irritating rash fixed. I walked out with diabetes, a new perspective on life and, I realize now, a whole new community of friends. Getting diagnosed was one of the hardest days of my life so far. Now, with 5 years of distance, I think it was one of the most promising days of my life.

Racing before I was diagnosed was a reasonably selfish endeavor. I was racing for me, my results, my wins, my future. My diagnosis changed that. I know that I am racing for a whole community of people with diabetes, all over the world. Being out on track competing is a success unto itself. All of a sudden, my racing has a bigger purpose than just me. And that means a lot. Don't get me wrong; I love racing and there is no place I'd rather be than in the car. But now when I strap in, it means more.

The whole diabetes community has always overwhelmed me with their support, their insight, their help and their friendship. The very first blog post I wrote on here was about how easy it was to feel alone with diabetes. And all it takes is one random encounter and you can understand that you aren't alone. In fact you are part of something that is so great, you very quickly forget about feeling sorry for yourself! Thank you to everyone in that community for all you have done for me in the last 5 years.

It has not all been perfect. In the last couple of years, I have lost 2 friends. Both were shocking in their suddenness. And both were stark reminders to live each day to the fullest, love what you do, make the most of the opportunities you have, and don't sweat the small stuff.

In the past 5 years, I have been also been fortunate enough to gain a great partner in Novo Nordisk. I believe in them as much as they believe in me. Along with them and with the help of a great race team, Chip Ganassi Racing, I have been able to not only race but make history. As a competitor I love being first. But being first to do something, like finish the Indianapolis 500 with diabetes? That was more fulfilling than I ever expected. My mom has always said that time is measured in events. A lot has happened in the last 5 years. And it feels like it has flown by faster than 225 mph. I can't wait to see what the next 5 years has in store for me!

First race with diabetes, 2008
First IndyCar podium, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Another Friday, another Fan of the Week!

Happy Friday, everyone! The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team had a good day of testing yesterday at The Mile. Fortunately, the rain held off until we were done for the day so we got some good miles in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car.

After a late flight home last night, it was back to work at the gym with Pit Fit this morning. With it being the off-season, it's nice to be able to have more consistent training throughout the week. But believe me--they don't take it easy on us during our "off-season!"

On Monday, I'll be back on a plane headed to Boston for a presentation to new Novo Nordisk employees. The new hires are always a fun group--so enthusiastic and excited about their work! It's contagious.

Last but not least... our new Fan of the Week photo is from Donna Sams. Check it out here and don't forget, you can still submit your photos all month long!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Here we go again!

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

Yep, it's that time of the off-season! And I'm more than ready to be back in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car! Later today I head up to Milwaukee for a test at The Mile tomorrow with the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. After a few weeks out of the car, it'll be great to dust off the cobwebs and get back on track.

I've been a bit quiet the past week or so as I've just moved to a new place here in Indy! Very exciting, but lots of work too. I can finally see around all of the boxes! But don't worry--I've been keeping an eye on your Facebook "CK's Fan of the Week" pics! Don't forget that you can still add them all month long. I'll choose the next winner on Friday.

Since I know you guys are going through IndyCar withdraw too, here's the 2012 Milwaukee IndyFest race to hold you through the end of the week. Enjoy my onboard camera!

Friday, October 5, 2012

First Fan of the Week!

Wow--I've been so excited to see all of YOUR photos posted on my Facebook wall for the first-ever "CK's Fan of the Week" contest! We had more than 50 pics posted this week... so cool! Thanks to everyone who has participated this first week.

And the big moment... our first "Fan of the Week" photo is from Frank Wisneski! Congrats, Frank!

Head on over to my Facebook page to see his photo posted as my profile pic, and don't forget--you can keep submitting your photos to win next week (details here)!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Share your photos and become Fan of the Week!

One of my favorite parts of my job is meeting our incredible IndyCar fans. Veteran fans, new fans, fans with type 1 diabetes like me... all of you help make IndyCar the best racing series in the world! To thank you for your support this past season, I'll be honoring you on my Facebook page all month long.

To become "CK's Fan of the Week," just post your IndyCar-related photo on my Facebook wall. Acceptable photos include a photo of you and me at the track, a pic of your son/daughter wearing No. 83 gear, a shot of the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen showcar, or whatever photo you have to show your support for IndyCar! Each Friday, I'll randomly pick one and change my own Facebook profile pic to your photo! Winners will receive a personalized, signed item.

So, what are you waiting for?! Dig out those photos and start posting! Some of my favorite photos from 2012 are on my website here. Can't wait to see your pics!

I'm back!

I'm back in Indy after a relaxing and fun vacation... just what I needed to recharge! It was nice spending some time in the sun, but I'm glad to be home with the pup to enjoy this fall Indiana weather.

Right after I got back from vacation, I headed straight to Tulsa, OK for an appearance with Novo Nordisk yesterday. It was a ton of fun! We had the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen show car on hand, but the road cars were a major bonus for me at the Concours for the Cure event for sure!

An AJ Foyt-driven dirt champ from 1972!
Thanks to Frank Chambers for this pic!
Lots of good news was waiting for me once I got home. Congrats to the Ganassi team, Scott Pruett and Memo Rajas on the GRAND-AM Championship! Well-deserved.

More good news: the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule was announced last night! I think it will make for a great season, with the diversity of the tracks, double-headers and new events. I'm really glad to hear we'll be at Pocono, adding to the combination of IMS and Fontana for the Triple Crown. Coming off of the 500 in May, the June through July stretch will be tough but the double-header at Toronto will be a blast for sure! With our good result there this past season, it'd be great to go for two wins back-to-back on one weekend. I'm excited about standing starts for a couple of the races... I spent five years in Europe working on my standing starts, so hopefully that will give me a bit of an edge going into 2013. 

Check out the 2013 race schedule below, and let me know what YOU think!

March 24: Streets of St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, Florida)
April 7: Barber Motorsports Park (Birmingham, Alabama)
April 21: Streets of Long Beach (Long Beach, California)
May 5: Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
May 26: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indianapolis, Indiana)
June 1: Streets of Belle Isle (Detroit, Michigan)
June 2: Streets of Belle Isle (Detroit, Michigan)
June 8: Texas Motor Speedway (Fort Worth, Texas)
June 15: The Milwaukee Mile (West Allis, Wisconsin)
June 23: Iowa Speedway (Newton, Iowa)
July 7: Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, Pennsylvania) 
July 13: Streets of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
July 14: Streets of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Aug. 4: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Toledo, Ohio)
Aug. 25: Raceway at Sonoma (Sonoma, California)
Sept. 1: Streets of Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland)
Oct. 5: Reliant Park (Houston, Texas)
Oct. 6: Reliant Park (Houston, Texas)
Oct. 19: Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, California)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A look back...

Is it September already? I feel like I’m finally coming up for air after being immersed since March, so now is a good time to reflect on the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season with the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team.

Pre-season testing at Sebring
Having the new DW12 put everyone on a level playing field in some senses. Throughout the many, many off-season tests, it was all about experimentation and finding out what works best, from the carbon brakes to the Honda engines and every little piece in between.

Coming into the season, we sat down and set some goals for the team and myself. I’m not a rookie any more, so it was important to use this year as a building period, using what we learned last season and improving on our weaknesses. Over the winter we set our sights on running inside the top-10 consistently with top-10 finishes. Looking back, I think we had our ups-and-downs, but overall I’m really pleased with the advancements we’ve made from last season.

The season started off on a high note at St. Pete with a ninth-place finish. At Long Beach, the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car was really quick and we ran up front in the top-10, but unfortunately we had an issue late in the race so our results just didn’t show our hard work. Brazil was a high point for sure—the guys gave me a great car, and with good strategy and a clean track we were able to come out with a new career-best of eighth.
2012 Indy 500
The Indy 500 deserves its own paragraph because it’s just that awesome, right? The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team worked so hard all month long, and I think that paid off with our 14th qualifying position. May can sometimes be a blur of countless appearances and miles and miles of practice runs, but I honestly had a ton of fun during this year’s race. The car was quick from the start, we had good restarts, we led three laps—and to top it off, we matched a career-best finish of eighth.

Toronto 2012
From Indy, the series had a month-long road trip that proved to be a roller coaster as far as our results. We came out with our third consecutive eighth-place finish at Detroit, then had some bad luck in Texas but came out of Iowa with some momentum heading into the two Canadian races. Toronto was a race like no other for me—the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car was super quick, the guys in the pits did their jobs perfectly, and I just went for it on the track. And we had our first podium, 2nd place, to show for the hard work… such a good day!

One of the low points of the season was definitely the testing incident when I fractured my hand. Missing Mid-Ohio was tough but we came back strong at Sonoma and Baltimore although with some issues, we didn’t get the results we wanted. It was nice to cap off the 2012 season with a top-10 at Fontana.

So there you have it… six top-10s, one podium, and a lot of time racing inside the top-10 positions. I know that the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team is going to come back stronger next year. We’ve got this figured out, and we’re ready to go figure out the rest of our shortcomings. We’ll be stronger next year, and more importantly, faster.

As for now, I'm headed off to somewhere sunny and warm for a much-needed vacation. Yes, the phone is turning off and sunscreen is going on! Thanks to all of the IndyCar fans, the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team, my awesome Novo Nordisk support system and everyone who has helped make this another fantastic season of racing. Already counting down the days until the 2013 season...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Fontana

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Live From Trackside - Fontana

Saturday, Sept. 15
11:00 p.m.
It’s nice to finish out 2012 with a top-10 for the whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew. They deserved better than that tonight. We had a much better car but I made a mistake in the pits and it took me too long to figure it out early in the race, but I know that the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car is going to come back stronger next year. We got this figured out. We’re ready to go figure out the rest of our short-comings. We’ll be stronger next year, and more importantly, faster.

500 miles of racing... a good way to finish off the season.
Visting the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel in the afternoon.
What does a helmet look like after 500 miles? Like this!
Friday, Sept. 14
7:30 p.m.
It's hot... No other way to describe today! It made for a long day but I think we made some progress on track, so I can't complain.

I’m pretty happy with the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. It was pretty quick. Especially when the sun goes down, that’s what will really matter. With a 500-mile race, you can go front-to-back a few times, so it’s more about the racecar than it is qualifying here. The temperature is going to be so different for the race. When the sun goes down, it can drop 10 to 15 degrees and that’s going to be a factor in tomorrow’s race.

For now, I'm headed off to dinner with some Cali friends. We have a huge group coming out to the race tomorrow (more than 90 friends and family!)... Looking forward to putting on a good show for everyone. 

The 2012 Honda drivers.
Practice pit stop for the No. 83 crew.
Thursday, Sept. 13
3 p.m.
Well, it's here... the last race weekend of the 2012 IndyCar season. I'm looking forward to showing what we can do with the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car here at Fontana, and hopefully we'll finish off the season on a high note! Make sure you come by the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel on Saturday if you're at the track!

I started out the day with a Twitter chat with fans via @NBCSN (NBC Sports Network). Check out a recap here. Through @racewithinsulin, I'll be their "Twitter reporter" for the race weekend at Fontana (@ACSupdates)... providing a "behind-the-scenes" look at the INDYCAR World Championships. Be sure to follow to see some fun pics and video!

Here's a quick run-down of this weekend's schedule (all times local/Pacific). As always, live timing and scoring for all sessions is available here.

10:45 am-12:15 pm  Practice
2:15-3:45 pm  Qualifying
5:45-6:30 pm  Practice

1:45 pm  Appearance at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
2:30-3:30 pm  IndyCar Autograph Session (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
4:30 pm  NBC Sports Network coverage begins (local listings here)

5:45 pm  "Drivers, start your engines!"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My new (temporary) side job!

As you may remember, I had the honor of acting as the @IMS "Twitter reporter" during the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway via @racewithinsulin. Well, I must have done alright because I've been reinstated! This time around, I'll be helping out NBC Sports Network as the Twitter reporter for the INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway this weekend.

To kick off my first day on the job, @NBCSN will be hosting a Twitter chat today at 11 a.m. Pacific (that's 2 p.m. Eastern). Tag your questions with #KimballChat and join in!

My job duties:
- Give fans an all-access pass to the race weekend from a driver's perspective
- Share my thoughts before and after each on-track session
- Provide some insight while I'm driving... via my Pit Lane Reporter ("PLR") of course
- Share photos and videos to give you an inside view of life in the paddock
- Answer your questions, sent to me on Twitter via @racewithinsulin, @NBCSN or #KimballChat

If you tune in to the race broadcast on NBC Sports Network (Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern), you just might see some of the tweets featured during the race!

Hope you guys enjoy this... I think it's going to be a ton of fun!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Time flies...

...when you're having fun. I can't believe in one week, the 2012 season will be behind us already. I feel like we just got started! However, I'm really excited to be going back to California to finish out the season. We've had a really good year and it'd be nice to finish on a high note at Auto Club Speedway. I think the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car has come along really well, especially the second half of the season. The whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team--from the crew to the strategists--has been working really well together. With a 500-mile race, we'll have to make sure we keep making smart decisions, move forward from where we start, and finish up toward the front at the end of the race.

I leave Indy tomorrow for the test session in Fontana on Wednesday. It will be nice to have that extra practice day at the track before the race this weekend. Hope to see you there for the INDYCAR World Championships!

On the grid at St. Pete in March... we've come a long way!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Baltimore

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Live From Trackside - Baltimore

Sunday, Sept. 2
6:11 p.m.
It was a really great run for the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car all day. The car was quick and the guys in the pit lane did an awesome job. The team not only made the right strategy calls to keep me on slicks when it was damp but also the second stop they did a really good job. It’s a shame to have something behind me go wrong around lap 65 but we proved we have the speed all weekend. We’ll carry that on to Fontana, finish the year out with a really good result and head to 2013 looking to come back stronger than ever.
On the grid during pre-race.
9:15 a.m.
Happy race day! I feel really good about the race today. We were so close to getting into the Firestone Fast Six during qualifying yesterday, and I know the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car is quick. We'll work on getting things set during this morning's practice then work our way up the field later today.

Saturday, Sept. 1
4:30 p.m.
It was a really good qualifying session today. It was a little busy in both groups I ran in. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car was quick. With as limited practice time we got, it felt really good to get a nice lap in like that. The race will be good tomorrow. We’ll use some new strategy and some new reds to move forward.

I'm having dinner with some of my friends from Novo Nordisk tonight... They have quite a few guests coming to the race tomorrow (more than 400, to be exact!), so I'm excited to show what we can do on track!
A rainy morning start.

Pit stop practice for the No. 83 crew.
8:07 a.m.
I can't believe it's already September... This season has flown by! Time flies when you're having fun, right?

It was great to be back in the top-10 during the afternoon practice yesterday. Now the challenge is finding that little bit of extra speed for qualifying. I know the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team is working super hard to get it done, so I'll be working just as hard for a good qualifying spot here in Baltimore.

Friday, Aug. 31
5:30 p.m.
It was a good start to the weekend. It was nice to see the track and the series come up with a solution that works for a little bit of practice today. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car is pretty good. I think the weekend is looking up. We’ll see how tomorrow goes. I think that qualifying is going to be pretty important here, even though there are some passing opportunities.

Thursday, Aug. 30
12:30 p.m.
It's a beautiful, sunny day here in Baltimore! I've finished up with my media interviews this morning, and I'm off to the track to meet with my engineers and do a quick track walk after lunch. We're actually staying right inside the circuit, so I can basically roll out of bed and into the car!

Here's a virtual lap of the track, courtesy of Can't wait to get the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car out there tomorrow!

Wednesday, Aug. 29
3:00 p.m.
I'm really looking forward to racing here in Baltimore with the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. Not only was the racing exciting last year, but so was the entire atmosphere of the event. The fans made it a special and fun inaugural event, and I have no doubt it will be even better this year. Novo Nordisk has a ton of guests coming out, so I'm excited to put on a good show for them. We had a really good run at Baltimore last year, running inside the top-10 before an incident caused us to lose a couple of laps. With the track changes and experience, I think the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car will be racing up front again this weekend.

I arrived in town a bit early for a Novo Nordisk dinner this evening, where I'll be presenting about my racing program. Always fun to meet the field reps and share my story! Tomorrow morning I'll be on WBFF FOX and WMAR-TV ABC here in Baltimore before starting my race weekend prep at the track.

Here's my race weekend schedule for those attending and those following along at home...

Friday, Aug. 31:
9:30-10:30 am Practice
1-1:45 pm Appearance at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
2:45-3:45 pm Practice

Saturday, Sept. 1:
9-10 am Practice
12:05-1:20 pm Qualifying (on NBC Sports Network at 6 pm ET)
2:30-3:30 pm IndyCar Autograph Session (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)

Sunday, Sept. 2:
9:45-10:15 am Warm Up
2:30 pm Grand Prix of Baltimore (live on NBC Sports Network)
Timing and scoring for all on-track sessions available here.

Hope to see you out here this weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Sonoma

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Live From Trackside - Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

Sunday, Aug. 26
9:30 p.m.
It was a really good day for the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. The car was really quick. We just have to get qualifying figured out. I have to find those two-tenths to get into the top-12 because the fact that we drove to the top-10, shows we have the pace. The guys in the pit lane today were awesome. The fact that we had to change the gear-stack in the end there in the middle of a race just shows that there’s a lot of credit to them. We’ll go back and figure out what went wrong and be stronger in these last two races.

Met some of the Little Leaguers from Petaluma!
Speaking to Honda dealer guests up on the hill of Turn 2

Pre-race at Sonoma... more photos at!
I'm just hanging out at SFO right now, waiting for my red-eye flight back to Indy with a bunch of my fellow IndyCar travelers. On the way to the airport, I made a detour to In-N-Out Burger with some of my closest Cali friends... it's just one of those "must-stops" on any trip to the Best Coast!

Saturday, Aug. 25
4:30 p.m.
Not an ideal qualifying session for the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car, but we’re really close. Just a couple of 10th’s would have put us inside the top-12 of qualifying. We were just on the wrong side of that 10. As a team, the whole Novo Nordisk crew did a great job. Tomorrow, we have a really strong car for the race. We’ll just have to maximize strategy and opportunities as they come up and move forward throughout the day.

2:00 p.m.
It's not quite time for qualifying yet, but I've already had an eventful day! First up was an appearance at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel, where I met some IndyCar fans and really great people with diabetes.

Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel
And then I just had the chance to meet Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tyler Clary! It was such an awesome experience... I got to see and hold his Olympic medal, but I can't even imagine how it would feel to actually win one. I suppose you could say it's like winning the Indianapolis 500, right? Thanks for stopping by, Tyler!

Just chatting it up with an Olympic gold medalist.
Tyler with me and Graham.

Friday, Aug. 24
8:30 p.m.
Just finished up a nice dinner with some of my family members... one of the benefits of a "home" race here on the Best Coast for sure!

Unfortunately we only got about five laps on track today during practice after a spin early on in the session. It’s obviously disappointing to start off practice like that. I overestimated the track grip a little bit and spun off, and we weren’t able to get back out today. Our teammates are quick so we should be in good shape for tomorrow’s practice and more importantly tomorrow’s qualifying.

On a better note, check out these two stories from the media luncheon yesterday, via the Napa Valley Register and ABC News 10 (video!). 

Thursday, Aug. 23
10:00 a.m.
Hello from California! I just arrived in Sacramento and am heading to a media luncheon soon. Even though home is actually hours away, I always feel like I'm coming "home" for the West Coast races. I have some good friends and family coming out this weekend, so I look forward to putting on a good show for them (and all of you, of course)!

Below is a race weekend schedule (all times local/PT). Follow along with live timing and scoring for all sessions here.

Friday, Aug. 24:
2:50-4:05 pm  Practice

Saturday, Aug. 25:
9:30-10:15 am  Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel appearance (in Fan Village)
10:50-11:50 am  Practice
2:30-3:45 pm  Qualifying
4:45-5:45 pm  IndyCar driver autograph session (in Fan Village)

Sunday, Aug. 26:
9-9:30 am  Warm up
12:30 pm  Pre-race
1 pm  Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma (live on NBC Sports Network)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recharged and ready to go!

It's great to be back behind the wheel of the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car! After the test at Sonoma on Friday, I am confident we'll have a good race this weekend. I have to give a lot of credit to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team for working on the steering wheel and making sure I was comfortable. With the recent changes to the circuit, it's almost like learning a new track--which should make for a great race for the fans! We'll adjust here and there, use the information we gained at the test last week, and hopefully come out with a competitive race car. Sonoma is like a home race for me, so I look forward to getting out on track and putting on a good show.

After the test on Friday, I came back to Indy and went out to IMS to check out the MotoGP. It was a ton of fun! I was lucky enough to take a garage tour and see the bikes up close... a different perspective being in the Speedway garage area as a fan for sure! I also took some time this weekend to recharge by camping and relaxing on my Axis Wake boat. I can't lie... it was nice being out of cell service range for a couple of days!

Today I'm in Washington, D.C. with Novo Nordisk. This morning I spoke to a group of their new employees, sharing my story and experiences. Lots of new faces, enthusiasm, and good times! I'm truly honored to work with such great people.

After a pre-race meeting with my engineers and a physical therapy session tomorrow, it's on to Sonoma on Thursday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin for updates!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Getting back on track

I've been overwhelmed with support and well-wishes these past couple of weeks... thank you all so much! To give you an update, I'm doing much better and feeling somewhat back to "normal" after the surgery. I got the staples taken out of my hand this week, and I even got back to PitFit for a training session yesterday. I've really missed working out, and I feel more like myself after a good workout. Physical therapy is still going well, and I think I'm on track to get back in the car for Sonoma later this month as planned! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

On Wednesday I made a trip to Stillwater, New Jersey for an appearance at Camp Nejeda with Novo Nordisk. And as always, I had a TON of fun with the campers! The camp is just for kids with diabetes, so it's great to see them having fun without worrying about injections or testing and focusing instead on having a good time with friends. I even got into some of the activities... sang songs after lunch, judged a silly hat contest, and of course talked about my own experiences with diabetes in and out of the race car. All in all, a very good day. You can read more about it here and check out some photos here.

Songs after lunch at camp!