Sunday, June 3, 2012

Live from Trackside - Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix 2012

Sunday, June 3
8:25 p.m.
What a day! I have to give a lot of credit to the Detroit Grand Prix to get us back out there to finish that race. For the fans it was important and for us as drivers it was good to get back to the race. We did really well all day, just running the pace, and we got the fuel mileage we needed out of the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team in pit lane did exactly what I needed, putting us in perfect position on the restart to go racing with the leaders. I came out with my third eighth-place in a row so we’re really happy with the day.

Morning warmup session.

Saturday, June 2
5:15 p.m.
I was a little disappointed in our qualifying result of P21. I think with the speed in the car, and the speed in me, we were better than we showed. We were really close to being two or three spots up and that’s two or three rows further up on the grid for tomorrow. I know that the whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team will do a good job both on strategy and giving me the right tires at the right time so I can move up. I think there is every opportunity with the way this track is and the character of the race tomorrow that we can have a good result and hopefully end up back in the top 10.

Friday, June 1
5:30 p.m.
The weather earlier prevented us from doing too many laps, but the second session gave us a reasonable foundation for the weekend. This place is pretty rough and we spent a good part of the day just trying to figure it all out. This is my first time here, so I really want to learn what it’s like all the way through. A gearbox problem kept us from running right at the end of the second session but we had some good information from the earlier laps. When the rubber goes down, each lap is quicker and quicker so we’ll see what it does tomorrow morning in practice and then in qualifying.

8:30 a.m.
It's a brisk morning here in the Motor City. Yesterday evening we had the track walk, which was a good chance for me and my engineers to get a sense of the course. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car goes on track for the first time today at noon, so we're looking forward to getting some practice time.

Here's the race weekend schedule (all times local/Eastern):

12-1 p.m. Practice
3:45-4:45 p.m. Practice

9-10 a.m. Practice
11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Qualifying
1:45-2:30 p.m. Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel appearance (at the INDYCAR Fan Village)
2:30-3:30 p.m. Autograph session (at the INDYCAR Fan Village)

10:45-11:15 a.m. Warmup
3:30 p.m. Race! (live on ABC)

You can find live timing and scoring for all sessions here.

Thursday, May 31
10:40 a.m.
Good morning, Detroit! My race weekend started a little earlier than normal... I came into town last night and had an early morning interview at FOX 2. I'll have a phone interview here in a bit before the track walk this evening.

This will be my first time racing at Belle Isle but coming off of a strong finish in Indy, I'm confident in myself and the whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. We've been building momentum week after week this season, and I'm more excited than ever to get back in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. I know the team and Honda will put together a great race car for me, and I'll be working extra hard to run up front in the top-10 again!

P.S. Check out the die cast I saw for sale at the IMS shop at the airport yesterday... pretty cool!

Only a smidge smaller than the real No. 83 car!

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