Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Two slightly different tests

As you may have heard yesterday, I will be competing in the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona! I watched from the Ganassi pit stand last year and saw first-hand how much work and team effort it takes to have a good race, and I know I have great teammates in Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Juan Pablo Montoya. I'm looking forward to getting down there for a test in a few weeks and take my first laps in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target car. I have to thank Chip Ganassi, Felix Sabates and the whole team for this opportunity. I'll be sure to make the most of it in January!

The test at Sebring on Thursday went pretty well. With it being a Honda engine day, they had a few development pieces to test and we ran through a bunch of stuff. The No. 83 car ended up doing a lot of miles—close to 300 I think. We weren’t quite as fast on the outright pace, but we did have a red flag on our best new tire run. We made a lot of changes and learned a ton, so overall a good day. A lot of credit goes to the guys because they were really on top of things. The whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew has been great all year, and hopefully they get to enjoy some downtime over the holidays as we get ready for 2013!

Working hard at
Texas A&M's lab!
After the test, I spent a day at the Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University. I’ve been working with David, one of their Ph.D. candidates, for about a year now to do some physical fitness evaluations. Basically, they try to simulate the stress my body goes through during a race at the lab, then figure out how to make my body perform better while in the car. Honestly, I was exhausted by the end of the day! But it was really cool to get some feedback and suggestions that could help me next season. A big thanks to Dr. Tim Lightfoot, David and everyone at the Huffines Institute for spending the day with me.

Today I’m headed down to Loudon, Tennessee to take a tour of the Malibu/Axis boat factory tomorrow. I’m pretty excited… they’ve really thought of everything for these boats; the attention to detail is like none other! It’ll be cool to see how it all comes together at the shop. I’ll also get to meet their employees and give away some cool IndyCar prizes. The only downside is that it will make me want to get out on the water even more! If only it was a bit warmer in Indy…

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