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.

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