Sunday, October 20, 2013

Live from Trackside - MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships

Saturday, Oct. 19
10:00 p.m.
First of all, major congratulations to Scott and the No. 9 team for winning the championship, and to the Chip Ganassi Racing organization as a whole. The goal tonight was for Scott to clinch the title in the No. 9 car and we were able to do that. We were able to run up front and prove that the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car was quick. It was unfortunate to have a mechanical failure that close to the end. We had a good restart, the car was just getting better and better and we were in good shape for the end of the race. Overall, we’re looking forward to the 2014 season and what the future holds.

Thanks to all of you for the support this season--much appreciated.

First stop by the No. 83 crew.
Another quick stop under the lights.
3:30 p.m.
It's race day! But of course it's a little bittersweet, with it being our last race of the season. We feel pretty good about the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car today... I really have to thank the guys for giving me such a great car for these 500 miles. We'll start P4 today, after a couple of cars took the 10-grid spot penalty for an engine change.

It's been a busy day already, starting with a TV interview before a photo opp, drivers meeting, an autograph session and sponsor appearances. And that's all before we even get on track! I'm headed to a team engineering meeting then hopefully a few moments of quiet time before the green flag. Tune in to NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET for the finale and cheer for the No. 83!

Morning interview for COX-TV (photo via @CGRTeams).
Met with Stella, a fellow cool-kid with type 1 diabetes! (photo via @CGRTeams).
Friday, Oct. 18
6:50 p.m.
Not a bad day at the office... our highest qualifying on an oval, and finished evening practice in the top 10. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing guys have been working really hard and it's definitely showing! I'm spending some time with my engineers tonight before getting rest before the big day tomorrow. Thanks for watching and for the support!

A few changes during evening practice.
3:45 p.m.
I’m pretty happy with finishing top-five in qualifying. Being the top Honda on the charts feels pretty good. Overall it was a little surprising to be that good because we had focused on the race car so much during practice. But it’s nice to have a good car. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car has been good since we unloaded here and I think we’ll be in good shape come 500-miles tomorrow night. We’ll work on the car a little bit more tonight as it cools off and the sun goes down, but overall I think the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi guys are happy with that.

Post-qualifying interview with Jake Query.
1:30 p.m.
We had a pretty good practice session with the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. We did a lot of work on the car as far as getting it race-ready. Our qualifying spot is 23rd today, so be sure to tune in at 2:15 pm Pacific via Race Control or catch the delayed broadcast on NBCSN at 4 p.m.

Post-install lap.
Leaving pit lane [video here].
Pit stop practice.
"Get Well Dario" decal on the No. 83!
Making changes during practice.
9:15 a.m.
It's a beautiful morning here in Fontana, and it looks like the good weather will stick around all day.

Yesterday afternoon I spent a lot of time with my engineers, watching (and dissected) last year's race and going over data. I also refitted my belts in the No. 83 car and made sure everything is set for today's first on-track session. We'll spend a little bit of practice on qualifying setups, but mainly we're focused on the car for the race. With it being a 500-mile race, it's most important to have the race car at its best for the green flag.

In case you missed it, the IndyCar Series released its 2014 season schedule last night. Click here to see the full schedule. Hope to see you all at the track next year!

Thursday, Oct. 17
12:30 p.m.
Hello from Auto Club Speedway! Always great to be back on the Best Coast. I can't wait to get back into the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car for the season finale this weekend. We had a strong car at Fontana last year, and I think we can only improve from there. During testing last month, we were able to do a lot of long runs and really get the car prepped for the 500-mile race. Going into the finale, our focus is to finish strong and leave the track still sitting inside the top-10 of the championship points standings. I know Scott and the No. 9 team will be fighting hard for a well-deserved Championship. It's a long race and you have to be prepared for it all, but the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team will give it everything.

Here's our race weekend schedule for those coming to the race and those following along at home (all times Pacific).
Friday, Oct. 18:
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Practice
2:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Qualifying (on NBCSN at 4 p.m.)
6:05 p.m.-6:35 p.m. Practice
Saturday, Oct. 19:
1-2 p.m. IndyCar Autograph Session (at INDYCAR Fan Village)
2 p.m. Appearance at Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel (at INDYCAR Fan Village)
5 p.m. MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships (live on NBCSN)
Sunday, Oct. 20:
5:30 p.m. INDYCAR Championship Celebration (streamed live at & via INDYCAR 13 mobile app)
Live timing and scoring for all on-track sessions available here.

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