Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mid-Ohio, here we come!

After a two week break, I am more than ready to be back at a race track! I had a great vacation on the lake, getting a lot of use out of my Axis A22 boat, relaxing and spending time with friends. This past weekend I went out to California for the Citrus Classic Balloon Festival, an annual event near my hometown. I helped judge the car show, but I also got to see the balloons go up... so cool! Yesterday I spent the day at an American Diabetes Association camp in Illinois on behalf of Novo Nordisk. I always have a blast at these events. It's a great chance to meet kids with diabetes who are just looking to have fun like everyone else, without having to worry about any of the challenges associated with the condition. Hopefully I'm able to help them out a bit. Plus, I'm still a big kid at heart so I try to join in on the camp fun too!

My A22 and the pups!
Citrus Classic... what a view!
The balloons are almost up & away!
Later today I'll leave for Mid-Ohio and the Honda Indy 200. We've got a lot going on this week before we even officially start the race weekend, so I hope you can join us for a few of the events! The IndyCar test day is open to race ticket holders tomorrow, Wednesday, July 31 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Bring a picnic, invite a few friends and watch from the Keyhole or the infield!

After the test, meet me at the start/finish line for the American Diabetes Association Community Walk to Stop Diabetes at 7 p.m. I'm really excited to participate on behalf of Drive4Diabetes.com, along with their developmental drivers who I'll help coach this season. After the lap around the track (sorry, just walking--no driving!), you'll have the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes guided tour of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. They are also offering special race ticket discounts to walk participants so come out early for good deals!

As always, you can check my online appearance calendar for more info! Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's Turbo Day!

In case you haven't heard, today is opening day for Turbo! I had the chance to see the premiere in Toronto last week and let me tell you, I loved it! It was funny and so well done--the attention to detail on recreating the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was fantastic! Have you seen it yet? What did you think?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Live from Trackside - Honda Indy Toronto

Sunday, July 14
6:00 p.m.
What a great day for the NovoRapid FlexTouch car. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys did a great job in strategy and a great job in pit lane. All I had to do was drive, again, just like Pocono last weekend. They gave me a great car. We didn’t have the greatest of starts but we stuck with our strategy, we stuck with the fuel mileage and all we had to do was get spots while they were there. The No. 83 Honda was great. It was pretty tough out there today with the amount of marbles on the track. It was a hot day, so for a doubleheader it was hard work but we’re already looking forward to heading to Mid-Ohio for the next round.

Thanks for all of the support!

12:30 p.m.
It's race day... number two! Another shot for the podium. We made some changes this morning in warm-up, and I think the No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch car will be fast in the race today. Hopefully the fans enjoy the standing start today!

Just finished up with a drivers meeting and am hanging with my engineers until race time. Before the race, Milos Raonic (the highest ranked Canadian tennis player in history) is coming by for a tour of the transporter and paddock. Can't wait to catch up with him again!

Tune in to Honda Indy Toronto's race 2 today at 3 p.m. Eastern on NBC Sports Network!

Morning warm-up
Saturday, July 13
5:20 p.m.
I feel badly for the No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch team today. We had a really good car; we just got caught up in other peoples wrecks. It’s the first time we haven’t seen the checkered flag all year, which is a pretty good run. The car was great and we have to make the most of it here, but we learned a lot. I think we can make the car better for tomorrow, and I think for tomorrow’s race we have every chance of moving forward again.

After engineering meetings, tonight will be pretty low-key.. I'll just get a good meal and get rested for tomorrow. Thanks for watching and for the support!

Race #1
12:15 p.m.
It's race day! And of course with the doubleheader, it's qualifying day (again)!

This morning’s qualifying session we qualified the same spot as yesterday, so we’ll start each leg of the doubleheader races from the eighth row in P16. I’m much happier with the car... the crew did a great job of making it better overnight. The No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch car handled better this morning and we had a lot more confidence in it. Everyone else seemed to take the same step, so it’s still really competitive. We’ll just focus on what we need to do in the race. This afternoon's standing start will be extremely interesting.

Friday, July 12
8:30 p.m.
It was pretty slick out there for qualifying. There was only about an hour and a half of practice with IndyCars out there so there wasn't a lot of rubber down yet on the track. The track is really busy today with other series; it’s just hasn’t put any grip down yet. The guys were able to get a lap time out of it, and we were within a couple tenths of transferring, so we’re making some progress. Having Dario be the quickest in that group and being able to look at his data and to make it better will be good, not just for tomorrow, but also for the future. I think we’ll be in good shape come race time tomorrow. With the standing start, there’s more chance for trouble being in the back so you have to keep a head up for sure but I think the No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch car here in Canada is going to be good, we just have to get a clean start in the race.

On the plus side, I had a great dinner tonight with some guests from Novo Nordisk--always a good time and enjoyed the chance to catch up with them! Now it's time for some rest for race one. Tune in tomorrow at 3 p.m. Eastern on NBC Sports Network!

1 p.m.
Just grabbing a bite to eat after practice and before qualifying! I had a great time last night at the Turbo movie premiere with IndyCar. It is so well done--and so funny! You will love it whether you're 8-years-old, or 48!

During this morning's practice, we made a good deal of changes to the No. 83 car. We didn't get a chance to really get some good laps in but I think we'll be in good shape for qualifying.

Heading out on track for the first session.
Practice pit stop.
Thursday, July 11
11:30 a.m.
After a busy yet exciting couple of days in Washington, D.C. for the JDRF Children's Congress, I'm here in Toronto for the race weekend. This morning I visited the Novo Nordisk Canada office and had a great time meeting their employees. Hope to see a lot of them out at the track!

I can't wait to get started here at the Honda Indy Toronto. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team had a great race last year, with our first podium finish, and we're coming in with a good deal of momentum from our second place at Pocono. I think the whole Ganassi organization is really gelling, apparent from last weekend's podium sweep, and if we continue to build on that we'll have even more success through this second half of the IndyCar season. We'll work hard this week to see what we can do to get set for Toronto's street circuit, with the additional challenges of the double-header and standing starts to consider. We're focused on getting the No. 83 NovoRapid FlexTouch car on the podium not once but twice this weekend!

Here's a race weekend schedule for you (all times Eastern):

Friday, July 12
10:25-11:55 a.m. Practice
2:15-3:25 p.m. Qualifying #1 (on NBC Sports Network at 5:30 p.m. ET)
4:30-5:30 p.m. IndyCar autograph session
Saturday, July 13
10:35-11:05 a.m. Qualifying #2
3 p.m. Honda Indy Toronto Race #1 (live on NBC Sports Network)
Sunday, July 14
10:50-11:20 a.m. Warm-up
3 p.m. Honda Indy Toronto Race #2 (live on NBC Sports Network)

You can find live timing for all sessions here. Don't forget to follow @racewithinsulin on Twitter for on-track updates from my Pit Lane Reporter (PLR)!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Live from JDRF's Children's Congress!

Hello from our nation's capital! Yes, I'm in Washington, D.C. this week for the JDRF Children's Congress on behalf of Novo Nordisk. It's definitely an honor to represent the diabetes and IndyCar communities. I'll be speaking as part of the "Role Models in Diabetes" town hall at 10 a.m. Eastern today... and you can watch the live stream via YouTube! Click here or on the video below to start the video once it goes live.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Live from Trackside - Pocono INDYCAR 400

Sunday, July 7
8:30 p.m.
What a day! It was really cool to be a part of the Ganassi podium sweep and finish second with so many Novo Nordisk employees in attendance! Definitely a historic day... Team Target's 100th win, Honda's 200th win, and Scott's 30th win. Congrats to him and Dario for the well-deserved result today! Both Thursday at the test as well as yesterday, we really focused on our race car. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team, the whole Chip Ganassi Racing crew as evidenced by 1-2-3, was focusing on race day, knowing that’s when it mattered. So throughout today, the guys made it better on each pit stop and the car just got quicker and quicker. A lot of credit to Honda--they gave us the fuel mileage and speed today. Thanks to the Chip Ganassi Racing teams for their hard work this weekend. Let's do it again in Toronto!

Great pit stops by the No. 83 crew!
Post-race interview with ABC/ESPN.
Post-race press conference with teammate Dario.
8:10 a.m.
Good morning... It's race day! I had a relaxing evening last night, just grilled out and enjoyed time with friends at the motorcoach before an early bedtime. I'm headed over to the IndyCar autograph session then a meet and greet with the Novo Nordisk group before team pre-race meetings. With Novo Nordisk's main office located in New Jersey, this is somewhat of a "home race" for them... A lot of support (and orange shirts) here today! Can't thank them enough for coming out and seeing me race. 

Be sure to tune in to the Pocono INDYCAR 400 at noon Eastern on ABC! 

Saturday, July 6
3:10 p.m.
The car was pretty good today in morning practice. We spent a lot of time working on the race car and getting enough miles in so we could mileage-out the engine and put a fresh one in for warm-up tonight and the race tomorrow. Overall, I think we’re reasonably happy with our qualifying effort. The car slid a little bit in Turn 3 on my first timed-lap, so I think that cost us a little speed heading into the second lap. We’ll see where we end up in the starting line-up and have a good 400-mile race tomorrow.

First practice session... ready to go!
Evening practice... hot stops for the No. 83 team.
8:30 a.m.
Good morning! Hope you all had a great Independence Day. It's been a good couple of days here at Pocono so far. We were pretty pleased with the test on Thursday. We ran a lot of laps, finished in the top half of the speed chart but still have a bit of work to do.

Yesterday we took some downtime before heading to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders baseball game for a media advance. It was pretty cool to watch them warm up and then throw the first pitch. I also met some new IndyCar fans... Even a family that came out here from Ohio for the race weekend!
Hanging with the RailRider's mascot!
I'm looking forward to getting back on track this morning for the start of the actual race weekend. It's such a fun (and yes, tricky) track... We're just about flat out the whole way. It'll be a great race for the fans on Sunday for sure!

Here's a quick rundown of the race weekend schedule (all times Eastern). Timing for all sessions is available at http://racecontrol.indycar.com.

Saturday, July 6
10-11 a.m. Practice
1:15-2:45 p.m. Qualifying
4:15 p.m. Appearance at Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
5:30-6 p.m. Practice
Sunday, July 7
8:30-9:30 a.m. IndyCar autograph session (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
12 p.m. Pocono INDYCAR 400 on ABC

Wednesday, July 3
10:30 a.m.
Hello from Pennsylvania! We arrived this morning on the team charter and are heading to the track now. We have an open test here tomorrow before the race weekend officially begins on Saturday. If you're in the area for the 4th of July, be sure to come out and watch! It's free, and you can bring your own picnic (as long as you bring enough goodies for all of us...)! Check out all of the details here.

I'm really excited to race at Pocono. Everyone says it will be a great challenge for the IndyCars. I think the speeds will be close to Indianapolis which is always a lot of fun. It's great to be going back to another superspeedway. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has been building some momentum through the middle of the summer, having just hit the halfway point of the season. We're really starting to find our feet and regain some of the early success we've had this season with the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. It was really nice to having a test day to work with the Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates last week at Sebring and I think we've found some things that will help us as we move toward Toronto, Mid-Ohio and Sonoma.

Today I have a few media phone interviews then a full day of engineering meetings. Off to work!