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 CharlieKimball.com!
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!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Mid-Ohio

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mid-Ohio Recap

What a weekend. I can't say that I enjoyed not being on track, but I think I made the most of it and am even more motivated to get out there at Sonoma! Thanks to Novo Nordisk and the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team for the support this past week.

Chatting with media on Friday.
I watched Friday's practice from turn 5. Mid-Ohio has so many great spectator locations. Of course I'd much rather be driving, but it was cool to see the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car on track with my own eyes. Looks great out there for sure! The helmet colors looked a little off though...

This morning I met Little League groups from Mansfield and Lexington on behalf of Honda. Just like racing, a lot of what they do to win takes a team effort so I think they enjoyed seeing and hearing how everything comes together for us before we even get out on track. I'm a huge baseball fan, so it was cool for me to meet some future major league players!

Talking to the Little Leaguers
Future baseball stars!
I watched the race from the No. 83 pit stand, so I was able to keep an eye on the Ganassi cars from the vantage point of the engineers. Nice job by Giorgio, who finished in 14th place. And congrats to Dixie and the No. 9 crew on the win today! Well-deserved. Now, I'm headed home for some rest. Thanks for all of the support!
Watching from the No. 83 pit stand.
Interview with Townsend during the ABC broadcast