Monday, May 28, 2012

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Indianapolis, Week 3

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Live from Trackside - Indianapolis 2012

Sunday, May 27
4:43 p.m.
What a fun race! Really happy with today's finish. All credit goes to the whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. I know they’ve worked really hard all month and they did a great job today. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car was quick from the word 'go.' Each time we got a re-start I learned a little more. We came through matching my career-best of eighth--so I'm pretty pleased. The guys in the pits did a great job. I have to give a lot of credit to the Honda Performance Development guys too.

All in all, we did what we could, we stayed smart, and we stayed out of trouble. I’ve got my head down, got my foot down, and I’m ready to do it all again! Thanks for the support, everyone!

Getting into the No. 83 on race day.
8:02 a.m.
It's race day for the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway... easily one of the greatest days of the year for drivers and fans alike! I can't even express how excited and humbled I am to be a part of this race, so I'll keep it short this morning. Thanks for the support this month!

P.S. I might get the chance to meet baseball legend Tommy Lasorda this morning before the race... so yeah, it's a good day. :)

Saturday, May 26
2:15 p.m.
What a fun (but scorching hot) day! I just got done riding in the 500 Festival parade downtown with Camille, a good friend from Novo Nordisk, as well as a young lady from Kansas City named Mary Clare. If you watch the ABC broadcast, you'll learn more about her! She has type 1 diabetes like me, and she is a ton of fun. Thanks to everyone who waved at us during the parade--especially for standing out in the heat!

After I grab a bite to eat, I'm headed to the Chip Ganassi Racing party then to a dinner with my sponsor. Tonight I'll relax and prepare for my favorite race of the season. I'm confident in my team, the No. 83 car and myself heading into tomorrow's race... can't wait for the green flag!

Mary Clare, me, Camille

Friday, May 25
1:30 p.m.
It was really good to get back in the car on Carb Day and go through the one hour practice. All credit to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi racing crew for putting it back together in fine form. It’s quick and slippery. We have a really good set up. I'm back to being confident in our race car. We just have to stay smart on Sunday and there’s no reason the NovoLog FlexPen car can’t be up front at the end!

8:34 a.m.
Happy Carb Day! This is always one of my favorite days during the month of May at IMS. It's our last chance to get things all squared up for race day, and it means we're another day closer to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing!

Yeah, I know the term originally came from the time when teams tuned the carburetors, but I like to think of Carb Day as a good time to load up on carbohydrates... :)

Heading to a drivers meeting, then to the NovoLog FlexPen Tunnel (behind the IMS Museum) to meet fans from 9:45-10:30 am. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 24
5:20 p.m.
The No. 83 car is back at the Speedway after a couple of days at the shop. About to go chat with my engineers. Good day so far--the CARA Fashion Show went very well. I didn't trip or fall on the runway, and I talked to a good number of my media friends, so you really can't ask for much more than that, right?!

I'd say we clean up pretty well!
Shooting a piece for ESPN.
9:26 a.m.
Good morning! Another busy day off-track. No complaints, though!

First up is the CARA Fashion Show downtown. I'm usually much more comfortable dressing in a fire suit and helmet with pit lane as my catwalk, but it should be a good time. After struttin' my stuff, I'll head to the track for media day and a couple of meetings.

On track tomorrow!! Can't wait to get back in the No. 83 car. If you'll be out at IMS for Carb Day, make sure to stop by the NovoLog FlexPen Tunnel (behind the IMS Museum) from 9:45-10:30 a.m. to say hi!

Great turnout for Community Day!
Stoked to see so many fans out at IMS!

Wednesday, May 23
10:10 a.m.

Ah, sunshine at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. Let's get to work!

It's Community Day here at IMS, so I'll be signing autographs at the Plaza Pavilion from 4:30-5:30 p.m today. A full list of today's events at the track can be found here. I've also got a busy day of media interviews and a sponsor dinner tonight.

Can't wait to get back in the car on Friday... the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has been working so hard on the No. 83!

Don't forget... if we hit 4,000 followers on Twitter @racewithinsulin by the end of the day on Carb Day (Friday), I'll give away two race credentials for later this season! Tell your friends!

Tuesday, May 22
5:30 p.m.
Another day closer to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing!

After a fun and productive media day yesterday, I was able to relax with family a bit last night on the boat. This morning I got fitted for the CARA Fashion Show... yes, I'll be workin' the runway on Thursday! In the afternoon I taped a few interview segments with the IMS Productions team for an upcoming episode of IndyCar 36. They'll be shadowing me for 36 hours in Texas, so stay tuned for their feature on my race weekend!

If you'll be at IMS on Friday for Carb Day, be sure to stop by the NovoLog FlexPen Tunnel from 9:45-10:30 a.m. I'll be there signing autographs, and who knows, you might see yourself on TV later on! Hope to see you there.

Taping at the CGR shop

Monday, May 21
8:00 a.m.
It's Monday after Bump Day, which means the field of 33 are scattered across the country for media day. I'm headed to Birmingham with Scott and Will for a full day of interviews and a media luncheon. If you're in AL, be sure to check us out...

10:40 a.m.: WJOX Roundtable
11 a.m.: Fox 6 TV
11:20 a.m.: NBC 13 TV
11:40 a.m.: ABC 33/40 TV
1:45 p.m.: CBS 42 TV
2:15 p.m.: The Sports Czars on 97.3 FM The Zone

Follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin and the hashtag #500mediaday for updates all day!

Sunday, May 20
5:31 p.m.
First off, I'm OK, physically. It’s really disappointing to go out today and crash the car. Fortunately, the chassis is okay and the guys have plenty of time and are well into fixing it already. I just feel bad for the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew because we have been having a very good month. We still have a really good race car and I just made a mistake. I learned my lesson and we’ll go out and have a really good race next weekend. That's the day that matters at IMS--race day!

Tomorrow I head to Birmingham with Dixie and Will for IndyCar's media day, and then a busy week before Carb Day. I'll be looking forward to getting back in the car for some practice time for sure!

12:35 p.m.
It's Bump Day... But fortunately for the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team, we are able to use the time for practice runs and pit stop practice. We'll run a few full-fuel stints and do some hot pit stops once the track goes green in about an hour or so. The good thing about the heat today is that we should have the same conditions on race day, so it will be a good opportunity to see how the car runs in race setup!

Saturday, May 19
4:53 p.m.
Well, that was fun! I'm stoked to be in the top-15 for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing... I'll start from 14th, the middle of row five.

The goal coming into the Indianapolis 500 was to qualify in the top-15 and race inside in the top-10, so we’ve checked that first box. I have to give a lot of credit to the whole Chip Ganassi Racing organization. The Novo Nordisk team has been working so hard all month, giving me a car I can believe in. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car was a lot of fun to drive around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for those four qualifying laps today. I can’t wait to go race next weekend! Thanks for the support, everyone!

Lining up for qualifying.
Team photo... thanks No. 83 crew!

7:29 a.m.
Happy Pole Day! I'm just about ready to head out to practice. Feeling good this morning... We'll be working hard to make the No. 83 quick for qualifying later today. Sounds like it will be a hot day do we'll see how it all plays out!

Catch live timing and video at and follow my Pit Lane Reporter (PLR) on Twitter @racewithinsulin!

Friday, May 18
6:34 p.m.
Phew, what a day!

We made a big change in the middle of the afternoon. The car really came alive for us after that. It's a lot of fun racing around here in 224s and 225s. With more boost, it definitely accelerates out of the pit box a lot quicker. It's going to be a lot of fun tomorrow. The challenge we face is that the aerodynamic options aren't quite as available as last year so it's either a big step or no step. I think we have a pretty good car. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car is stout in race trim, and I think we have a really good qualifying car. We'll have to keep an eye on the weather but we'll go out tomorrow and get it done.

All in all, I feel much better now than a few hours ago!

I'm heading to the Indy 500 Club Casino Night in a few, then dinner with my family. Have a good evening everyone!

9:29 a.m.
It's Fast Friday! It's been a really good week of practice for the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi team, and today we'll hopefully be able to get some clean laps in to see how we're doing on qualifying speeds.

Thursday, May 17
6:25 p.m.
Today was really good... Another good day of race simulation stuff. We ran a couple of sets of tires and made some good progress. I had some good running with my teammates and other cars on track. I think we have a really good race car and I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow when we get a little more boost. It’s supposed to warm up tomorrow and be hot on Saturday... the hotter it gets, the quicker we go. I can’t thank the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi team enough. We just keep asking for more from them and they just keep giving me more. It's great to have a really good team behind me!

Interviewing WTHR anchor Jennie Runevitch after her 2-seater ride
That's a wrap! Another day of practice in the books.
Sweet! Check out my new die-cast car!

11:36 a.m.
I know I sound like a broken record... But it's another beautiful day to be at IMS!

This morning I had a little fun with members of the local media... They took 2-seater rides and I interviewed them! A little role reversal. Good to know that I have some reporter skills to add to my resume!

Just now grabbing some lunch then we'll head out on track.

Wednesday, May 16
9:00 p.m.
I'd say it was a really good day. We ran about 80 laps total, and we're still working on the race car. We figured out a lot about what it takes to race the car and also what the timing is like as far as the tools and the adjustments I’ve got in the cockpit. 

I’ve got to say, the views better from the front of the pack than the back of it! The plan is to do a good job in qualifying, so come race day we can be at the front of the pack instead of in the middle of it.

3:06 p.m.
A good early afternoon of practice here at IMS! Had a best lap of about 220 but we're making some changes to the car now, so we'll see how we run later on.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin... My Pit Lane Reporter (PLR) is tweeting photos and videos, and if we reach 4,000 followers by the end of Carb Day I'll give away two race credentials!

Thanks to Adam and the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association for coming out to the Speedway today and for the t-shirts!

8:02 a.m.
Another beautiful day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!

After breakfast, I'll be participating in the pit stop time trials at 9:20. We're shooting to be on track around noon, so be sure to check out the live video and timing and scoring all afternoon here!

And if you have a few extra moments, you might get a laugh or two from this IndyCar video with Hinch, JR and myself:

Tuesday, May 15
8:12 p.m.
It was good to be back on track today! It definitely felt a lot like race conditions this afternoon, with as hot as it was at IMS. We ran in a pack later in the session and I almost thought I was racing in the 500 already! I think we finished P6 today, but we'll really be working hard on our qualifying setup for the rest of the week. Our focus is definitely on Saturday!

Right after practice I quickly changed and headed to Riley Hospital for Children for their Indy 500 party. Thanks to everyone who joined us!

New friends at Riley
9:14 a.m.
Good morning! I arrived at IMS bright and early today, but it's a beautiful day here in Indy so no complaints!

On the agenda today is getting the primary No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car on track to work on qualifying speeds. I'll spend the morning prepping with my engineers. A big thanks to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi crew for working so hard on the car yesterday. It's a true team effort.

This evening, I'm headed to Riley Hospital for Children for their annual Indy 500 party. I've met so many fun, brave kids the past few years at this event, so I know it'll be a good time today. After their party, I'm hoping to have some downtime with friends. Might as well take advantage of this sweet weather and get the grill out!

One more note... if we reach 4,000 followers on the @racewithinsulin Twitter account by the end of Carb Day, I'll give away two race credentials for any race after the 500. So tell your friends!

Monday, May 14
8:22 p.m.
The whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team is having agreat start to the month of May. The weather has been almost ideal—a littlesurprising for Indy—and we’re already making a good amount of progress. We werepleased with how the backup car ran in race setups the past couple of days, andhopefully we’ll improve from here.

The guys worked hard today to make sure thetransition from backup to primary car goes smoothly, and we’ll be working onqualifying setup to get all of the little things that make a big difference atIndy just right.

Since we didn't practice today, I spent some time in the spotters stand in Turn One, getting a different perspective of the track and race lines. Though the view was great, I can't wait to get back in the car tomorrow!

Turn One

12:08 p.m.
Happy Monday! It's another beautiful, sunny day in Indy... doesn't get much better than this!

I had dinner downtown last night with the boss, Mike, Scott, Dario and Graham. We talked everything from books, to drivers, to Indy, to the racing business in general. It was just a great experience to learn from Chip and Mike’s years at the Speedway, and soak up some of the wisdom of my more-experienced teammates too.

As you can tell, I'm not yet on track for practice. We've been running the backup car the past couple of days, so the crew is working hard to switch over to the No. 83 primary car this morning. I'll probably be on track by 3 p.m. Remember, you can catch the live video and timing all week here!

Sunday, May 13
6:30 p.m.
Today was another really good day at the Speedway. It got hotter and windier this afternoon, which was good, because it allowed us to work on our race car a little bit preparing for a couple Sunday’s from now. I think we’ve got a pretty good race car and we’ll continue to work toward qualifying later in the week. We’re going to change over to the primary NovoLog FlexPen car tonight. We’re being smart about our approach this month. Practice is important but not nearly as important as qualifying or the race.

If you're in Indy, tune into WISH-TV tomorrow morning... I'll be live on Indy Style around 9 am!

Saturday, May 12
5:09 p.m.
I had a really fun day back at the Speedway! The weather was absolutely perfect for Opening Day. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car had a good starting point and we are ready to make progress moving forward. We will run the backup car again tomorrow and work on a race car until the middle of the week, before working on a qualifying setup.

All in all, a good first day! Back tomorrow for more.

Day one in the books!
9:31 a.m.
Yes, it's finally the day we wait for all winter long... Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! I was here yesterday for a little bit checking everything out and even though I've been here so many times before, I still got goosebumps when I drove in.

Our first practice session begins at noon, so I'm going to head into the engineering office then hopefully get out on track! Click here for live timing and scoring updates.

Calm before the storm...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Indianapolis, Week 2

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Indianapolis, Week 1

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Good news: I’ve been hired!

It’s true, I have a new part-time job… I’m the new @IMS Twitter Reporter for the month of May!

So what does this mean? Basically I’ll keep you updated on the all of the happenings throughout the month, from how I feel after a practice session to off-track activities… maybe even some fun “behind-the-scenes” exclusives. I’ll also be participating in a live chat via Twitter as well as a tweetup in the garage (stay tuned for dates on these).

How can you take part? Easy! Just follow me (@racewithinsulin), @IMS and @IndyCar all month long on Twitter. Also keep an eye on the #Indy500 hashtag to see what other fans are saying.

I told my friends at IMS that I’m willing to do the reporter’s job for a few extra laps before Indy 500 qualifying. Seems fair, right?!

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s May—the greatest time of year. I couldn’t be more excited and anxious to get on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway! No matter how many times I drive into the Speedway, or take a walk down Gasoline Alley, it never gets old. And to have the opportunity to take a shot at winning the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is priceless.

It’s only the first week of May, but things are already ramping up. Yesterday I went up to Ft. Wayne, Indiana to visit a group of families at Lutheran Hospital. I had the chance to share my story, talk about racing, and hopefully give the kids motivation to chase their own dreams. Click here to watch a quick video, and click here to see a couple of pics. Tomorrow I head to Memorial Hospital in South Bend and St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Mishawaka to meet more fellow type 1 diabetics.

On the agenda for today is a seat belt fitting at the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing shop, then later this evening I’m going to a concert with friends. Should be a fun time! This Sunday I’ll fly down to Texas for the open test on Monday… a little bit of seat time is always a good thing! After I get back, it’s full-speed ahead (pun intended!) for the Month of May!

Hope to see you all at the track this month!