Sunday, August 25, 2013

Live from Trackside - Grand Prix of Sonoma

Sunday, Aug. 25
5:00 p.m.
Overall, it was a just a tough day for the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. The Novo Nordisk crew did a great job both in pit lane and in recovering from the incident at the beginning of the race. We fought our way through and gained a lap-back on a road course, so that’s pretty impressive. The car was that quick and we were able to make some passes. We felt strong on both primary and alternate tires, so we feel pretty good about the car, especially on a road course package. We’re looking forward to Baltimore and we’ll move forward from here.

Josh & the No. 83 ready to roll.
Pitting for reds.
11:00 a.m.
It's race day! Just finished up morning warm-up and am headed into engineering meetings before a couple of meet and greets. We had a pretty good session; worked on hot pit stops and got some good laps in, finishing in the top-10. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has been pretty strong on the other two permanent road courses this year (Barber and Mid-Ohio) so we'll be working hard to keep that momentum going here in Sonoma.

A cool note... yesterday marked the second consecutive time all three CGR cars have made it to the Firestone Fast Six at the same time. Hopefully we'll make it another 1-2-3 finish today!

Hot stops for the No. 83 crew.
Saturday, Aug. 24
4:15 p.m.
As one of the engineers said, it's nice to be in a position to be disappointed with a sixth-place qualifying spot--rather than completely satisfied. Always more to improve and learn! I'm really proud of the whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew because in the test we were not quite as quick as we wanted to be and even in practice yesterday, the speed wasn't quite there. I think one thing they have proved is, all year they really dig deep when we need to overcome a lot of issues. To see the progression and to end up inside the top-six is definitely good. The car was there, and I think it was there for another couple of tenths, which would have moved us up a couple of spots. Ending up in the Fast Six, when looking at my previous results here at Sonoma Raceway, is impressive, and I'm very proud of the guys for that. Coming off Mid-Ohio, it's nice to have that confidence and that momentum for sure. I think one of my favorite quotes from a team owner when asked about what his favorite race win was, he said, "the next one." I admit, Mid-Ohio was great, but now we are looking forward to trying to get a great result tomorrow.

Tonight I'll have a low-key night, just resting up for the race. Be sure to tune in (or set your DVR) to NBCSN at 4 p.m. Eastern tomorrow, and keep following along on Twitter @racewithinsulin for updates from my Pit Lane Reporter!

As if a trophy and a new Rolex watch weren't enough, Paul (IndyCar's starter) stopped by the transporter after qualifying today with the checkered flag from our win at Mid-Ohio! So cool--it means a lot to be able to keep the flag from my first-ever IndyCar win.

With the starter, Paul.
Changing to Firestone reds.
All set for the Firestone Fast Six.
Pre-qualifying quiet time.
10:15 a.m.
Good morning! Another beautiful day in Sonoma. We just finished up with the IndyCar autograph session... thanks to all of the fans who came out bright and early to see us! I'm headed into an engineering meeting then will be on track at 11 a.m. for practice.

I had a great time last night, just a casual get-together with friends and family at a local pizza place here in town. It's always nice to get a chance to thank them for supporting me through the ranks and continuing to come out to see me at the track.

If you're here at Sonoma Raceway, be sure to come see me at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel in the INDYCAR Fan Village at noon!

Friday, Aug. 23
3:15 p.m.
Overall, it was a pretty good practice day at Sonoma Raceway. It’s going to be tough here because you get a lot of tire degradation. The new Firestone tires were pretty impressive. You take a big step on new tires, but then afterwards it’s a lot of work. We’re trying to find some good grip with the car but it’s hard when you don’t get that good lap on new tires and the time sheets can be a little deceiving. We’ve got some time to find it, but fortunately our teammates are quick so we’ll be able to learn from the No. 9 and No. 10 car overnight. We’ll look at their set-up and hopefully be able to apply the gains they found to the No. 83. Overall, we’re feeling good about tomorrow.

Tonight I'm hosting some friends and family for dinner in Sonoma. Looking forward to seeing them all!
Getting set for practice 2.
Practice pit stop for the No. 83 team.
Honoring Floyd Ganassi this weekend. (Photo via
12:45 p.m.
Good afternoon from Sonoma Raceway! I had a great time yesterday with the JDRF Greater Bay Area chapter, and I think the kids really enjoyed karting. Maybe there were a few future IndyCar stars in the group...

We didn't have the best first practice session earlier today, but I think we have some changes set for this afternoon that will put us back up on the lap chart.

Just had some lunch and am now spending time with engineers before shooting a quick video for the track's jumbo-tron... keep an eye out for it if you're at the track! In the meantime, be sure to read this USA Today piece on the recent success of the No. 83 team. Thanks to Jeff Olson for chatting with me!

On pit lane before practice 1.
Leaving pit lane at Sonoma Raceway.
Making changes to the No. 83
Thursday, Aug. 22
12:05 p.m.
The test day yesterday went really well. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team accomplished a lot and ran a lot of laps. We focused on making the car better throughout the course of a stint with used tires, to simulate the race Sunday when it will really matter. The sun came out in the afternoon and the temperatures were up, which should be similar to race day. Overall, the test was really good. We did a few practice pit stops and the No. 83 guys were quick, and I focused on making gains into the pit box. Sonoma Raceway can be really challenging, but I think it's going to be a great race weekend--hopefully with a lot of on-track action!

Today I'm back at the track, spending some time with my engineers and the team looking at data from yesterday and seeing what we can take from what we learned to improve this weekend. This afternoon I'm headed down to Burlingame for a go kart event with the JDRF Greater Bay Area chapter and Novo Nordisk. Karting and meeting fellow Type 1s? Sounds like a fun time to me!

In case I haven't mentioned it lately, I truly have the best fans around! Thank you all for the support. I'm honored and humbled to read stories like this, from

Here's a quick run-down of the race weekend (all times Pacific):
Friday, Aug. 23
11-11:45 am Practice
2-2:45 pm Practice
Saturday, Aug. 24
9-10 am IndyCar autograph session (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
11-11:45 am Practice
12 pm Appearance at Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
2:30-3:40 pm Qualifying (on NBCSN at 9 p.m. Eastern)
Sunday, Aug. 25
10:05-10:35 am Warm Up
1:00 pm Race (live on NBCSN)
Timing and scoring for all on-track sessions available here.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

#AskInsider - You asked, I answered!

This morning I participated in @PaddockInsider's #AskInsider chat... so many great questions from fans! Below are the questions and answers from today's chat. Hope to do it again soon! In the meantime, be sure to follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin for behind-the-scenes pics and race updates from my Pit Lane Reporter (PLR)!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When I win, you win too!

Maybe I'm biased, but I'm pretty sure I have the best fans out there! I'm continually humbled and honored by the support I receive, from IndyCar fans and from within the diabetes community, at the race track and beyond. Whenever I can, I try to give back even in small ways. So, to celebrate my first IndyCar win I recently gave away a signed No. 83 hat to a fan on my race updates email list. Want to be the next one to win? Sign up for race updates today at!

Sign up to win:!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ask me (almost) anything!

I'm the featured guest on this week's #AskInsider chat with Paddock Insider! Have a question for me? Tweet to @PaddockInsider and use the #AskInsider hashtag, and then I'll answer your questions on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET! Bonus--those who ask questions that are used for the chat will receive a prize.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Read all about it!

There I was, having my morning coffee, flipping through the newspaper, and I came upon this:

Page 5A of USA Today
So cool! It's not every day you have a full-page ad in USA Today! Major thanks to my friends at Novo Nordisk... I'm stoked they are as excited for my first IndyCar win (especially while representing the diabetes community as a driver with type 1) as I am! I couldn't ask for better partners.

I'm honored to see so much media coverage on the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team's win, too.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Relive victory at Mid-Ohio!

Kimball Scores His First IndyCar Win at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 5, 2013) – Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing (NNCGR) driver Charlie Kimball took home the first win of his IZOD IndyCar Series career in Round 14 in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

In the final practice session for the Honda Indy 200 on Saturday, an incident involving the NovoLog FlexPen car with the Turn 1 barrier took a full team effort by both the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing crews to prepare the No. 83 back-up car for qualifying that afternoon.  Following the transition, Kimball made it to the Firestone Fast Six for the second time in his IZOD IndyCar career and tied his career-best qualifying effort of fifth (Barber, 2013).

For the start of the 90-lap race, the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team lined up from the inside of row three in fifth position.   Kimball immediately showed strength on the 2.258-mile road course and battled around the No. 25 car to nab the fourth spot by the second lap.  While other frontrunners chose a two-stop pit strategy focused on fuel-conservation for the 90-lap race, the No. 83 team strategized for a three-stop approach.  Kimball spent the initial stages of the race holding fourth position until called to pit lane for his first stop on lap 19 to take another set of alternate tires and fuel.  With a quick pit stop, the No. 83 car exited pit lane in sixth and worked its way up to fourth before the leading cars went to pit lane for their initial stops where Kimball rotated to first position.  Shortly after taking the lead, the No. 83 team reported to Kimball that he was posting good lap times as he produced his fastest run of the race on lap 34.

Nearing the halfway mark of the caution-free race, the team called Kimball to pit lane for his second of three stops from first position to take its only set of primary tires.  Exiting pit lane in second, the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car would spend only six laps out of the lead before retaining it following a pit stop from the No. 77, in first position.

Kimball made his third and final pit stop on lap 65 and took his final set of alternate tires.  With 18-laps remaining, the race-leading No. 77 car, working a similar race-strategy as the No. 83, made its final pit stop and resumed in first position.  As the two cars made their way to the end of the Mid-Ohio back straight, Kimball used push-to-pass to get around the No. 77 in the entry of turn five for the lead.  Kimball held on to the lead for the remaining 17 laps until crossing the finish line with a 5.533-second lead for the first win of his IZOD IndyCar Series career.

With the win, Kimball moved from 11th into a tie for seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 325 markers, -128 points behind leader Helio Castroneves.

With Honda teams posting a one-two-three finish at Mid-Ohio, they are now tied with Chevrolet in the manufacturer point standings (105 points).

Up next, Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing will compete in Round 15 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in Sonoma, California, on Sunday, August 25 (4:00pm ET on NBC Sports Network).

- Saturday’s qualifying session marked the first time all three Chip Ganassi Racing entries made it to the Firestone Fast Six at the same time (Scott Dixon – third, Dario Franchitti – sixth).
- The win marks Chip Ganassi Racing Teams 156th win overall.
- It was Chip Ganassi Racing Teams fourth win in a row in the series this season, and fifth consecutive victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
- Kimball led for just over half of the 90-lap race (46 laps in total).  Prior to this result, Kimball had led 15 laps in his entire IZOD IndyCar career.
- Kimball has now been in the top-10 of IZOD IndyCar Series point standings four times this season and has spent five of the 14 rounds there in 2013.
- This was Kimball’s first time returning to race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course since 2011, as he fractured the fifth metacarpal in his right hand in a testing incident prior to the race in 2012.

Via Kimball becomes fourth first-time winner of '13

Kimball becomes fourth first-time winner of '13
Aug. 4, 2013, via
Photo courtesy of
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Charlie Kimball sized up Simon Pagenaud's No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car on the backstretch, darted to the inside entering the Esses and easily completed the pass on Lap 73.

It proved to be the decisive move of the 90-lap Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio and of the Camarillo, Calif., native's IZOD IndyCar Series career.

Kimball, driving the Honda-powered No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chip Ganassi Racing car, earned his first victory in the series and gave Chip Ganassi Racing its fifth consecutive win at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course.

Kimball is the ninth different winner in 14 races this season and the fourth first-time winner. In the previous five seasons, there were five total first-time winners. Four different teams were represented in the top five.

“It’s nice when the team gives you such a great car," said Kimball, who started fifth. "All I needed to do was to hit the lap times they needed me to. For a while they were saying 67.5s (seconds per lap) and I threw down a couple 67.1s. They said, 'OK, see if you can do a 66.' We just kept pushing the limit."

Kimball led a field-high 46 laps in the caution-free race (the first since Mid-Ohio last year). Through his previous 44 starts, he lead a total of 15 laps (12 this season).

Kimball, who pitted for the third and final time on Lap 65, caught the front-running Pagenaud on the long backstretch on Lap 73 seconds after Pagenaud exited pit lane for his final service stop. On cold tires, he couldn't hold off the charging Kimball.

"Simon was on a similar strategy," added Kimball, the only licensed IndyCar driver with type 1 diabetes. "I caught traffic at just some of the wrong times, so that meant that he came out of pit lane ahead of us. But we had the momentum to take the lead and make the pass for what turned out to be the win.”

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Live from Trackside - Honda Indy 200

Sunday, August 4
8:30 p.m.
Wow. It's hard to even describe the race today and my first IndyCar win with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. I'm just so happy for the team, so thankful for all of the support, and so glad to have that first win under my belt!

This weekend was a total team effort. I crashed in practice yesterday morning, and the entire team pitched in to prepare my backup car so that we could qualify near the front. Then, it was a team call to split our race strategies, to hedge our bets among the three CGR cars.  It’s nice when the team gives you such a great car. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car was quick! All I needed to do was to hit the lap times they needed me to. For a while they were saying 67.5s, and I threw down a couple 67.1-second lap times. They said, “Okay, see if you can do a 66.” We just kept pushing the limit. Simon was on a similar strategy. I caught traffic at some of the wrong times, so that meant that he came out of pit lane ahead of us. But, we had the momentum to take the lead and make the pass for what turned out to be the win. The team made the call and then all I had to do was drop the hammer. Once out in front after the last stop, I just had to run clean to the finish. The car handled great and the Honda engine was strong all day long. What a fantastic day!

More later... After the podium ceremony, it was straight off to a press conference and satellite media tour. I'm ready for some food and hopefully some rest! Thanks again for all of the support!

Time to celebrate! Photo courtesy of LAT Photography.
Nice piece of hardware! Photo courtesy of LAT Photography.
10:15 a.m.
Good morning... it's race day! The weather is beautiful today, so I'm sure we'll get a great crowd here for the race. I had a relaxing evening here at the track and am feeling good for today's race.

I'm heading out to warm-up soon, then I'll be over at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel at 12:30 p.m. in the INDYCAR Fan Village. Hope to see you there.

Tune in to the Honda Indy 200 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin for updates from my Pit Lane Reporter!

Saturday, August 3
4:10 p.m.
Unfortunately this morning we just got caught out by the track conditions, and had a little dampness under the bridge. But it was great to bounce back and get a top-five starting spot. Today was a great effort by all the Chip Ganassi Racing guys! There were as many red shirts from the Target side in the garage, as there were orange shirts. They gave me the easy job of driving the racecar. While they changed the backup, all I had to do was go out and drive it. The boys deserved it. We had a really good car all week, starting at the test and during yesterday's practice.

I'm looking forward to starting from P5 tomorrow! For now, I'm headed to the IndyCar autograph session then it will be a pretty laid-back night, just dinner and lots of rest for the race. Thanks for the support everyone!

Qualifying at Mid-Ohio
9:30 a.m.
Good morning! I enjoyed my time with the Team USA Scholarship candidates last night. An impressive bunch of young drivers for sure!

We have one more practice session before qualifying later today. I think we're just going to keep working on improving the changes we've made so far this week and focus on preparing for a good qualifying run. It rained overnight, but it looks like we're in the clear until this evening. We'll see if weather plays a factor at all today.

Be sure to check out INDYCAR Race Control for live timing and scoring during qualifying at 2 p.m. ET, and watch the broadcast on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET.

Friday, August 2
5:30 p.m.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with today's practice sessions. The car is really good. We focused on making improvements from the open test on Wednesday to today and we’ve seen some positive changes. The No. 83 guys have been really good and quick on the changes, so even though we had a few red flags today, we were able to run as many laps as we wanted to. We’re taking care of sets of tires for the race weekend, as its looking like it’s going to be a three-stop, four-set race on Sunday so we have to keep that in mind all the way through practice.

12:30 p.m.
Just grabbing lunch and debriefing with engineers before our next practice session at 3:30. We're pretty happy with the car, so we've just been making small changes here and there. We'll keep watching the weather to see how it changes the track later today.

After an install lap.
Leaving pit lane.
Practice pit stop for the No. 83 crew.
9:40 a.m.
Good morning from Mid-Ohio! It's a slightly overcast, almost chilly morning here at the track, but it looks like the rain will stay away until later this evening. Since we had a good deal of running time on Wednesday, we'll just continue to make improvements on the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car as the track and weather conditions change. It's definitely a balance versus grip issue here so we'll use today's practice sessions to hopefully get that where we want it.

Later this evening, I'll be one of the judges for the 2013 Team USA Scholarship, which provides opportunities for young American drivers to compete internationally and gain valuable experience along the way. It's always great to meet the up-and-coming talent... keeps me on my toes, too!

Thursday, August 1
9:00 a.m.
I had a pretty good test session in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car here at Mid-Ohio yesterday. We finished in the top-10 on the chart, got in a lot of laps but most importantly got a good feel for the track. It's been great to recharge these past couple of weekends, but the team and I were more than ready to get back to work. With my injury last year and having to sit out, it was nice to have the extra day in the car for the test to sort out what works best as far as my driving style and getting the most out of the car through the course. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team gave me a great car at Toronto and I have no doubt we'll be quick again this weekend. We're just one point out of the top-10 in championship standings, so I think with a good result we can get back to where we want to be.

Today I'm headed to Honda R&D's center in Ohio. I always look forward to appearances with Honda because we always get to learn about all of the technology, engineering and science behind the engines that power our IndyCars. Even if we're not at an IndyCar engine-specific factory, I know the research taken from every part of Honda's many divisions comes together to benefit the product that shows up at the track. And of course, what Honda learns at the race track goes back to develop consumer vehicles, performance models and more. So cool!

Here's a schedule for those at the track and those watching from home (all times Eastern):
Friday, Aug. 2
11-11:45 a.m. Practice
3:30-4:15 p.m. Practice
Saturday, Aug. 3
10:30-11:15 a.m. Practice
2-3:10 p.m. Qualifying (delayed broadcast at 5 p.m. on NBC Sports Network)
4:30-5:30 p.m. Autograph session (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
Sunday, Aug. 4
11-11:30 a.m. Warm Up
12:30 p.m. Appearance at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
3 p.m. Honda Indy 200 (live on NBC Sports Network)
Check INDYCAR Race Control for live timing and scoring during on-track sessions. Follow @RaceWithInsulin on Twitter for updates from my "Pit Lane Reporter" all weekend!