Sunday, October 6, 2013

Live from Trackside - Grand Prix of Houston

Sunday, Oct. 6
3:20 p.m.
Obviously, we’re thinking about all the guys involved in that last corner accident. Not just the drivers, but the fans and the safety team too. Hopefully everyone is okay. Overall, it was a pretty good race for the No. 83 car. We had clean stops, a good race pace and we just tried to be smart with it. To come out with an 8th place finish is pretty good. Now we’re going to focus as much as we can heading into Fontana and another 500-mile race to end the season strong.

10:00 a.m.
Well, it definitely didn't dry up for qualifying! We went out and waited on pit lane but due to the wet track, IndyCar race control decided to grid race 2 by entrant points. We'll start in P10. I think we have a good shot from there, especially with the changes made overnight and with the experience gained on this course during yesterday's race. Tune in to NBCSN at noon Central for race 2!

Headed out for qualifying... umbrellas necessary (photo via @CGRteams).
8:15 a.m.
Deja vu... it's race day! But unlike yesterday, it looks like we've got a bit of rain coming soon. It should be clear by noon, so we'll hopefully have a dry track for the race.

As it stands now, we'll qualify at 8:45 a.m. I feel pretty good about our car today; I think we've sorted out the issues from yesterday's race and with a good start, we'll have the chance for a top-10 to finish out the weekend. Keep following via Twitter @racewithinsulin and we'll keep you updated!

Saturday, Oct. 5
5:30 p.m.
It was another fighting run for the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. I don’t think anyone can say that the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew doesn’t dig deep and fight hard, so a lot of credit to them. They gave me the information I needed to overcome the problems we had on the starts. To come back and end up nearly in the top-10 like we did, I’m pretty happy with that. We have a pretty fast race car so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race. Congrats to Scott and the 9 team for their win today!

Pit stop for the No. 83 crew.
8:15 a.m.
Good morning... it's race day! We have an adjusted schedule this morning, as the track was modified last night in order to fix some of the issues from yesterday.

9:45-9:55 a.m. Warm up
10:50-11:20 a.m. Qualifying #1

You can catch live timing and scoring here for both sessions. We'll qualify for race 2 on Sunday at 8:45 a.m. Follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin for more at-track updates from my Pit Lane Reporter!

In case you missed the news yesterday, I'll have a new teammate in 2014... Tony Kanaan! I'm looking forward to working with him and hopefully learning a bit from his experience, too. Chevrolet will join Chip Ganassi Racing as our engine manufacturer so we have lots to look forward to next season. Click here to learn more. I have to thank Honda for their support throughout my career; they've been a great partner. For now, I'm off to a drivers meeting.

Friday, Oct. 4
7:00 p.m.
Overall, it was a pretty good day for the NovoLog FlexPen car. When you come to a track you haven’t been to in six years as a series, it’s always a challenge but the guys did a great job on getting us some laps on most of the track. I know they’ll make the repairs, as needed, to Turn 1 so we can have a full straight, which will change the entry into Turn 2. Overall, we’re pretty happy with the car. We’ve made some good progress and now we just have to get ready for heading into qualifying tomorrow morning.

Practice pit stop during practice 1.
Making changes during practice 2.
11:05 a.m.
Yes, I should be on track right now. However, we're on a slight delay due to a course issue in turn 1. The No. 83 team is ready to go, so hopefully we're on track soon! In the meantime, check out this piece from Culture Map Houston.

Don't forget--as long as things get going on track soon, I'll be at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel in the Fan Village at 1 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, Oct. 3
9:00 a.m.
Hello from H-Town! I'm excited to get back into the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car for the Grand Prix of Houston. I think it will be technical, rough, probably hot, maybe wet... all in all, the perfect storm for a great IndyCar race weekend. As a team we've looked over past footage and tried to duplicate Houston's corners from others I've raced before, so we'll be as prepared as possible before we hit the track for practice Friday. Double-headers are always tough physically for us drivers, but a good time for the fans.

Check out the race weekend schedule below for those at the track or following along at home (all times local/Central).
Friday, Oct. 4:
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. IndyCar practice
1 p.m. Appearance at Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel (in INDYCAR Fan Village)
3:05-4:15 p.m. IndyCar qualifying #1
5:45-6:45 p.m. IndyCar driver autograph session (in INDYCAR Fan Village)
Saturday, Oct. 5:
10:45-11:15 a.m. IndyCar qualifying #2
12:15 p.m. #RoboRivalry competition (in INDYCAR Fan Village)
2 p.m. IndyCar race #1 (live on NBCSN)
Sunday, Oct. 6:
8:45-9:15 a.m. IndyCar warm up
12 p.m. IndyCar race #2 (live on NBCSN)
Timing and scoring for all on-track sessions available here.

Here's a cool virtual lap of the Grand Prix of Houston track... I'll keep it on repeat until our first practice tomorrow!

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