Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or treat!

Happy Halloween everyone! Check this ESPN Playbook article to find my favorite Halloween candy and costume... and a pretty sweet pic of Josef. Nice.

On Monday, I tested at Barber Motorsports Park with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing and teammates Dario and Scott. It turned out to be a chilly and windy morning, so we had to wait a bit until we could warm up the Firestone tires on the track. Fortunately the sun was out so we got some good laps in throughout the day. We didn't have the best luck at Barber this past season, but we've turned the page to 2013 and I think we made some progress. I look forward to going back to Barber in the spring for the open test and race with the No. 83 team and showing what we can do!

Tomorrow I'm headed to the Best Coast (that's the West Coast, in case you didn't already know) for a few days in California. After that, I'm in for a busy November with lots of traveling and speaking engagements. Thanksgiving (and all of the delicious holiday food...) will be here before we know it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Going back to 2005...

Happy Thursday! It's been nice being home this whole week... a lot of time for working around the house, playing with our new puppy (she has SO much energy!) and of course working out at PitFit. This weekend I have plans to hang out with friends and relax a bit before I head out for a couple of weeks on the road.

For this week's edition of "Throwback Thursday," I've got some old race photos from the British Formula 3 series in 2005. A lot of great memories from that season... I won 5 races, had 13 podiums and set 2 track records on my way to finishing second in the championship to my Carlin Motorsports teammate. So much fun!

Click on the pic to see more from 2005!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Throwback Thursday!

Thursday: we're over "hump day" but it's sure not Friday. Yeah, the weekend is almost here but not quite within reach. I'm going to give Thursday a bit of a boost during the off-season by starting "Throwback Thursdays," when I'll post an older race video or fun interview. Post a link in the comments if you find a good one to share!

First up is a highlight video of the 2010 Freedom 100. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reflections on my 5-year dia-versary

5 years. 1827 days. And yet it seems like yesterday.

I walked into the doctor's office to get an irritating rash fixed. I walked out with diabetes, a new perspective on life and, I realize now, a whole new community of friends. Getting diagnosed was one of the hardest days of my life so far. Now, with 5 years of distance, I think it was one of the most promising days of my life.

Racing before I was diagnosed was a reasonably selfish endeavor. I was racing for me, my results, my wins, my future. My diagnosis changed that. I know that I am racing for a whole community of people with diabetes, all over the world. Being out on track competing is a success unto itself. All of a sudden, my racing has a bigger purpose than just me. And that means a lot. Don't get me wrong; I love racing and there is no place I'd rather be than in the car. But now when I strap in, it means more.

The whole diabetes community has always overwhelmed me with their support, their insight, their help and their friendship. The very first blog post I wrote on here was about how easy it was to feel alone with diabetes. And all it takes is one random encounter and you can understand that you aren't alone. In fact you are part of something that is so great, you very quickly forget about feeling sorry for yourself! Thank you to everyone in that community for all you have done for me in the last 5 years.

It has not all been perfect. In the last couple of years, I have lost 2 friends. Both were shocking in their suddenness. And both were stark reminders to live each day to the fullest, love what you do, make the most of the opportunities you have, and don't sweat the small stuff.

In the past 5 years, I have been also been fortunate enough to gain a great partner in Novo Nordisk. I believe in them as much as they believe in me. Along with them and with the help of a great race team, Chip Ganassi Racing, I have been able to not only race but make history. As a competitor I love being first. But being first to do something, like finish the Indianapolis 500 with diabetes? That was more fulfilling than I ever expected. My mom has always said that time is measured in events. A lot has happened in the last 5 years. And it feels like it has flown by faster than 225 mph. I can't wait to see what the next 5 years has in store for me!

First race with diabetes, 2008
First IndyCar podium, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Another Friday, another Fan of the Week!

Happy Friday, everyone! The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team had a good day of testing yesterday at The Mile. Fortunately, the rain held off until we were done for the day so we got some good miles in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car.

After a late flight home last night, it was back to work at the gym with Pit Fit this morning. With it being the off-season, it's nice to be able to have more consistent training throughout the week. But believe me--they don't take it easy on us during our "off-season!"

On Monday, I'll be back on a plane headed to Boston for a presentation to new Novo Nordisk employees. The new hires are always a fun group--so enthusiastic and excited about their work! It's contagious.

Last but not least... our new Fan of the Week photo is from Donna Sams. Check it out here and don't forget, you can still submit your photos all month long!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Here we go again!

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

Yep, it's that time of the off-season! And I'm more than ready to be back in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car! Later today I head up to Milwaukee for a test at The Mile tomorrow with the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. After a few weeks out of the car, it'll be great to dust off the cobwebs and get back on track.

I've been a bit quiet the past week or so as I've just moved to a new place here in Indy! Very exciting, but lots of work too. I can finally see around all of the boxes! But don't worry--I've been keeping an eye on your Facebook "CK's Fan of the Week" pics! Don't forget that you can still add them all month long. I'll choose the next winner on Friday.

Since I know you guys are going through IndyCar withdraw too, here's the 2012 Milwaukee IndyFest race to hold you through the end of the week. Enjoy my onboard camera!

Friday, October 5, 2012

First Fan of the Week!

Wow--I've been so excited to see all of YOUR photos posted on my Facebook wall for the first-ever "CK's Fan of the Week" contest! We had more than 50 pics posted this week... so cool! Thanks to everyone who has participated this first week.

And the big moment... our first "Fan of the Week" photo is from Frank Wisneski! Congrats, Frank!

Head on over to my Facebook page to see his photo posted as my profile pic, and don't forget--you can keep submitting your photos to win next week (details here)!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Share your photos and become Fan of the Week!

One of my favorite parts of my job is meeting our incredible IndyCar fans. Veteran fans, new fans, fans with type 1 diabetes like me... all of you help make IndyCar the best racing series in the world! To thank you for your support this past season, I'll be honoring you on my Facebook page all month long.

To become "CK's Fan of the Week," just post your IndyCar-related photo on my Facebook wall. Acceptable photos include a photo of you and me at the track, a pic of your son/daughter wearing No. 83 gear, a shot of the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen showcar, or whatever photo you have to show your support for IndyCar! Each Friday, I'll randomly pick one and change my own Facebook profile pic to your photo! Winners will receive a personalized, signed item.

So, what are you waiting for?! Dig out those photos and start posting! Some of my favorite photos from 2012 are on my website here. Can't wait to see your pics!

I'm back!

I'm back in Indy after a relaxing and fun vacation... just what I needed to recharge! It was nice spending some time in the sun, but I'm glad to be home with the pup to enjoy this fall Indiana weather.

Right after I got back from vacation, I headed straight to Tulsa, OK for an appearance with Novo Nordisk yesterday. It was a ton of fun! We had the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen show car on hand, but the road cars were a major bonus for me at the Concours for the Cure event for sure!

An AJ Foyt-driven dirt champ from 1972!
Thanks to Frank Chambers for this pic!
Lots of good news was waiting for me once I got home. Congrats to the Ganassi team, Scott Pruett and Memo Rajas on the GRAND-AM Championship! Well-deserved.

More good news: the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule was announced last night! I think it will make for a great season, with the diversity of the tracks, double-headers and new events. I'm really glad to hear we'll be at Pocono, adding to the combination of IMS and Fontana for the Triple Crown. Coming off of the 500 in May, the June through July stretch will be tough but the double-header at Toronto will be a blast for sure! With our good result there this past season, it'd be great to go for two wins back-to-back on one weekend. I'm excited about standing starts for a couple of the races... I spent five years in Europe working on my standing starts, so hopefully that will give me a bit of an edge going into 2013. 

Check out the 2013 race schedule below, and let me know what YOU think!

March 24: Streets of St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, Florida)
April 7: Barber Motorsports Park (Birmingham, Alabama)
April 21: Streets of Long Beach (Long Beach, California)
May 5: Streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
May 26: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indianapolis, Indiana)
June 1: Streets of Belle Isle (Detroit, Michigan)
June 2: Streets of Belle Isle (Detroit, Michigan)
June 8: Texas Motor Speedway (Fort Worth, Texas)
June 15: The Milwaukee Mile (West Allis, Wisconsin)
June 23: Iowa Speedway (Newton, Iowa)
July 7: Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, Pennsylvania) 
July 13: Streets of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
July 14: Streets of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Aug. 4: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Toledo, Ohio)
Aug. 25: Raceway at Sonoma (Sonoma, California)
Sept. 1: Streets of Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland)
Oct. 5: Reliant Park (Houston, Texas)
Oct. 6: Reliant Park (Houston, Texas)
Oct. 19: Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, California)