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)

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