Sunday, March 24, 2013

Live from Trackside - Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Sunday, March 24
3:45 p.m.
It was a hard-fought race all the way through. I give a lot of credit to the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen guys in the pits. They put a new wing on the car when I needed it. The strategy was right; it was just a question of having to come from too far back at certain points. The pace is certainly there. We were quick when we needed to be. We have to find that balance but we’ll be in good shape come Barber.

I'm off to the Best (West) Coast for a couple of days with family. Thanks for watching and thanks for the support!

Morning warm-up.

Pit stop for the No. 83!
10:00 a.m.
Pretty good warm-up session. We did a couple of pit stops at the beginning--great job by the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi guys, as always--and ran for a bit on blacks before putting on reds for the last couple of laps. Finished up P2 so hopefully we'll keep that speed for the start of the race, make some early passes, and start the season with a good result!

7:30 a.m.
Good morning! It's race day! We have an early start today, with warm-up at 8:45. It should be interesting to see how the weather changes things.

Last night I has a nice dinner with the Novo Nordisk folks. Always appreciate their support and company!

Saturday, March 23
3:40 p.m.
It was a pretty good qualifying effort. It was the first time we’ve run the red Firestone tires this year. We have a really good race car and we’re further ahead than where we were this time last year. The field is so competitive I think it’s going to be about strategy, running smart laps, and getting the fuel mileage you need in the race tomorrow. I have a lot of confidence in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen crew, especially in pit lane, so we’ll be good.

Watching group 1 during qualifying

Heading out with group 2.
Around noon, I went to the NovoLog FlexPen Tunnel to meet some fans. Check out to find the Tunnel at each race, or join my crew online here to win a VIP to the season finale!

At the NovoLog FlexPen Tunnel
Debriefing with my engineers now before heading to the IndyCar driver autograph session at 4:15. Then it's off to the drivers meeting and a dinner with some of my friends from Novo Nordisk. Looking forward to the race tomorrow!

Friday, March 22
4:00 p.m.
It was a good practice. The weather is changing and it got hotter so the track is coming in inconsistently, and everyone is going quicker all the time. The way the tires are specced for the weekend, we had to be a little careful because we’re going to start on that set tomorrow. I feel pretty happy with today’s result. We’re working on our program and we have a plan coming in. We had good momentum heading in and we’re making good progress, so I think we’ll be in good shape tomorrow for qualifying when it all counts.

1:50 p.m.
We had a pretty good first practice session. We have a few things to make better, but we've made some improvements since we were here last year for sure. We just need to make up a bit more time but I know the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys are working hard to make that happen, and so am I. Not just for this afternoon's practice session, but for when it really matters tomorrow for qualifying.

I just had some lunch, and then talked to Bay News 9 for a piece on driver fitness that will be featured online soon. Headed back to the engineering office now before another practice at 2:40.
First practice session of the season.
8:30 a.m.
Good morning! It's a beautiful day here in St. Pete to start the 2013 IndyCar season. On the agenda today: practice time in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car! Make sure you're following me on Twitter @racewithinsulin for updates during on-track sessions. Nope, I don't tweet and drive... my Pit Lane Reporter (PLR) will help me out while I'm in the car!

Heading to the track now for some time with my engineers before practice.

Thursday, March 21
8:30 p.m.
Just got back from a good dinner with my parents. Looking forward to getting out on track tomorrow! If you missed NBC Sports Network's The Crossover earlier tonight, check out my appearance on the show below:

2:30 p.m.
It's a beautiful day here in St. Pete. Hopefully it sticks around for the full race weekend! I had a great time this morning with Jerome and Holley at Studio 10. They're always a fun stop on the media tour while we're here for the race. If you missed it, you can watch it here.

After the interview, I headed to the circuit to meet up with the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew, who got into town from Indy earlier today. With all of the work we did over the winter and taking into consideration last year's data, it's nice to be able to really focus on one thing at a time.

I just spent some time chatting with Meesh about all things 2013 and the off-season (including taping #TheOffSeason videos!), so be sure to check soon. Now it's back to the engineering office before the track walk at 4.

Can't say it enough... It's great to be back at a race track!

Interview time in the transporter.
7:50 a.m.
Good morning from St. Pete! I got in last night as I'll be on WTSP-10 around 10 a.m. today. Tune in if you're in the Tampa Bay area!

I'm really excited to kick off the season in St. Pete with the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team this weekend. The whole team has been working so hard over the winter. We had a pretty good test at Barber, making a lot of progress and developments both on the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car itself and competition-wise. We had a strong start at St. Pete last year, with a top-10 finish, so I think with a whole year of data on the DW12 under our belts and a lot of prep over the offseason, we'll go into the season very strong.

Here's a quick rundown of the weekend...

Thursday, March 21:
  7 p.m. INDYCAR Welcome Party (Mahaffey Theater)
Friday, March 22:
  11:10-11:55 a.m. Practice
  2:40-3:25 p.m. Practice
Saturday, March 23:
  10:25-11:10 a.m. Practice
  12-12:45 p.m. Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel appearance (INDYCAR Fan Village)
  2:05-3:15 p.m. Qualifying
  4:15-5:15 p.m. Autograph session (INDYCAR Fan village)
Sunday, March 24:
  8:45-9:15 a.m. Warm-up
  12 p.m. Race coverage begins on NBC Sports Network
Timing and scoring for all on-track sessions available here.

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