Sunday, April 15, 2012

Live from Trackside – Grand Prix of Long Beach

Sunday, April 15
4:20 p.m.
I think it was an encouraging race even though the result didn’t show it. We had a gearbox problem at the end of the race and just couldn’t get a finish out of it. I’m encouraged by the fact that we ran up front all day, in the top six consistently. Strategy maybe played out a little differently than we had hoped, but the car was easily quick enough for a top six. All credit goes to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew all weekend; they made my job easy. We probably had a better car than all of the guys I was racing around me. It’s a shame not to get the result but we’ll learn from it, make it even better, go to Brazil, and hopefully head into May with a great result!

10:11 a.m.
It was a really good warm-up session. The track is still a little cold. The sun's out, so it's warming up now. With the temperature, it took a litte while for the tires to come in. Obviously this place is biting people, especially in turn five. The No. 83 team has a really good race car, so I'm looking forward to starting inside the top 10 and hopefully converting that into a top-10 result. It's going to be interesting to see what people do for tire and fuel strategy--I think it will be different for a lot of guys, but we'll be in good shape. I got a couple of extra laps on blacks; between red flags, we didn't even run the red tires so we'll see what it does at the green flag!

I'm about to do a quick meet-and-greet with all of my friends and family that came out this weekend--I can't thank them enough for their support!

Tune in to the Grand Prix of Long Beach at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC Sports Network!

Ready for race day warm-up!
Saturday, April 14
3:34 p.m.
I think that was a good qualifying session. We made some progress. I'm a little disappointed to not be inside the top six; a few tenths would have put me right there. But we did make progress, and we were a lot closer in lap times to my teammates which is big. It looks like, with the others' penalties, I'll start 9th. I'm really excited for tomorrow's race. I think we have a great race car in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. We're in shape for a good race and hopefully a top-10 finish tomorrow.

On another note, here's a great pic of me and the other Charlie (from Friday at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel)!
11:55 a.m.
The No. 83 team had a pretty good practice session. After watching it rain yesterday, it was nice to get on track to get some laps in. We made a few changes to the car. It was kind of a scrap session with all of the yellows, but in the end we kept it clean and made some progress. We got quicker yet there's still a little bit more to go. We know what we need to do, and we can look at our teammates' data and we've got some good information ourselves. I'm excited for qualifying on this beautiful California afternoon!

8:59 a.m.
It's a beautiful day at the track! I have a somewhat straight-forward day, with practice at 10:25 a.m. Pacific then qualifying at 2 p.m. Because of the rain yesterday, we only have this morning's practice to focus on our qualifying setup, but I have confidence that the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team will get it done!

Be sure to track live timing and scoring here, or watch qualifying on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Friday, April 13
5:30 p.m.
It's just about been a wash-out with the weather today unfortunately. But that's racing. We'll just have to maximize the time we get on track tomorrow morning for practice. It looks like it should be sunny, so we'll make the most of it before qualifying. We'll focus on getting a good spot and then get the car ready to go during warm-up before Sunday afternoon.

Despite the rain, we have quite a productive and fun day off the track. I got to meet a ton of awesome fans at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel this afternoon, including a four-year-old fellow Type 1 named Charlie (a mini-me!). Charlie is a big racing fan, and he said his bedroom is covered in racing memorabilia. He even has a life-size poster of me on his wall! Later on, his dad Jason was talking to one of my team members and said that Charlie told him he wants to be like me--not because I'm a race car driver, but because he wants to make other kids with Type 1 happy too. So cool (and extremely humbling). It's fans like Charlie that totally make the long days worth it! I can't thank everyone enough for the support!

9:01 a.m. 
Well, Cali is obviously getting back at me for moving to Indy... Nothing like a walk to the track in the rain!

I got an early start today for a live shot on KTLA. Depending on the weather, we'll be on track for practice at 10 a.m. Hopefully it will dry out for the afternoon practice so we get some good time in before tomorrow.

Here's a quick story and photos from my hospital visit with Novo Nordisk on Tuesday: IndyCar Driver Charlie Kimball Visits Miller Children's Memorial Hospital in Long Beach

Live on KTLA!
Thursday, April 12
5:16 p.m.
Talking with the folks from ABILITY Magazine
Just finished up with the track walk. Even if you've driven here a few times, it's always good to refresh your memory and check out any changes. For example, they've moved a couple of walls and repaved the hairpin since last year. That will change how we approach the hairpin, which we'll work on figuring out tomorrow. It looks like rain is in the forecast for tomorrow's practice, so we'll just have to play it by ear.

One thing that struck me this morning when talking to the local radio stations was their excitement for the grand prix. It's always one of my favorites so it's great to hear that the fans and media in SoCal share that excitement when we come to town.

I'm going to have a chat with my engineers, then head to dinner with the family. More tomorrow!

12:01 p.m.
Hello from a (relatively) chilly Long Beach! Yeah, it was only in the low 50's earlier today... which is practically freezing for this part of the world.

This morning I talked to KLAA Anaheim, KTLK 1150 AM and COX TV. I'm just getting some lunch now and then I have an interview with ABILITY Magazine. The fun begins at 2 for the track walk. We didn't have a whole lot of luck here last year, but I think we're starting to get a better feel for the new car. We'll see what we can do on Friday for the first practice!

Here's a quick run-down of the Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend schedule (all times Pacific):
Friday 10-11 a.m. and 2:15-3:15 p.m. -- Practice
Friday 12:30-1:15 p.m. -- Appearance at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel (Fan Zone)
Friday 4-5 p.m. -- IndyCar autograph session (Paddock)
Saturday 10:25-11:25 a.m. -- Practice
Saturday 2-3:20 p.m. -- Qualifying
Sunday 9:15-9:45 a.m. -- Warm-up
Sunday 12:30 p.m. -- Grand Prix of Long Beach, live on NBC Sports Network
Live timing and scoring at

P.S. Don't forget to follow @RaceWithInsulin on Twitter -- my new Pit Lane Reporter (PLR) is back and will take cover my feed during practices, qualifying and the race!


  1. Charlie, Thanks for reaching out to your fans. You are a credit to racing and it is deeply appreciated. Young Charlie's dad, Jason, and my daughter were born an hour apart at the same hospital and we have been good friends with his parents for 40 years. We follow your career and have since FF200 days with Jonathan. Hope to see you at the Houston street race and possibly Austin as we now live in South Texas. Elmer Canady

  2. That's great--thanks Elmer! Hope to see you at a race soon.

  3. Too bad about the gear box. My wife and I wondered what happened.