Saturday, March 29, 2014

Live from Trackside – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Saturday, March 29
3:40 p.m.
IndyCar just sent out an update... if the weather cooperates, we'll qualify at 5 p.m. Eastern. Thanks to all of the fans here in St. Pete for sticking it out with us! And thanks to those at home for following along. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car will be ready to go!

Post-weather delay prep.
2:10 p.m.
Well, we are definitely on a weather delay here in St. Pete. We've had some severe weather alerts in the area so fans and teams have taken cover while we wait it out. Firestone tires are the best in the business, but I'm not sure even their rain tires would help us out too much right now! Assuming we don't get to qualify today, tomorrow's race will be set by the 2013 entrant points. So, we'd start 10th. For now, the delay gives us more time with the engineers and team.

If you haven't done so already, be sure to read this piece from today's Tampa Bay Times on the relationship between drivers and engineers.  Thanks to Jim for talking to me and my engineer Brad!

11:45 a.m.
Unfortunately we didn't quite have the right setup for morning practice but I think with Ryan topping the chart, we'll have some good data to look at and learn from before qualifying. The weather is a big unknown at the moment--the forecast is showing rain and storms for this afternoon, so we'll have to adjust as the time comes.

Check out live timing and scoring HERE for qualifying at 2 p.m. Eastern. I'm in Group 2 for Round 1.

Where'd the sun go?
8:30 a.m.
Starting out day two well-rested and ready to go for qualifying! We'll be in group two along with Dixon, so we'll be able to work together there a bit. Hopefully with the rain the track comes back grip-wise. As we get closer to qualifying later today, we'll be paying close attention to the weather forecast and see how that plays out. For qualifying we'll work to max the alternate tires and make the most of what we have.

Follow along all day via Race Control at!

Friday, March 28
4:00 p.m.
We had a really good first day. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car made a lot of progress and we got some great data from our teammates. I have full confidence that we’ll come back tomorrow strong.

For now, I have a pretty open afternoon which means more time in the engineering office!

Waiting on pit lane before the green flag.
Heading back out on track!
12:45 p.m.
Grabbing a quick lunch before we head back out!

We didn't quite get everything accomplished that we wanted to in practice 1, but I'm confident moving forward that we'll be making gains in practice 2. We came back and looked at the data for the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car, as well as the 8, 9 and 10 cars, so we have some good information to go on. We'll go out for this next session looking to move up the time sheet and learn for qualifying tomorrow.

Be sure to follow @racewithinsulin on Twitter--my Pit Lane Reporter (PLR) is updating for me while I'm on the track!

Getting set for practice.

Coming in after a run.

All done--ready to debrief.

Chatting with engineers Brad and Kate.
9:20 a.m.
Good morning! Just about to get going here in St. Pete. After a few interviews yesterday afternoon, my engineer and I took a walk around the track to get some visuals for this weekend. We had a good meeting this morning, going over procedures and protocols for this season. All in all, I think we're in good shape!

Live timing and scoring for both practice sessions (10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Eastern) is available at Enjoy!

No. 83 car on the setup pad.
Thursday, March 27
1:00 p.m.
Good afternoon from St. Petersburg! I made a visit to WTSP-TV Studio 10 this morning to chat with host Jerome Ritchey. He closely follows IndyCar racing so he’s always a lot of fun to talk to before we get the race weekend started. To check out the segment, click here.

After a quick breakfast, I’ve been spending time at the track with my engineers before the track walk later today. We always say it's a long off-season, but with it being such a tough winter in Indy, I'm more than ready to be back at a race track. That said, the whole Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team worked really hard throughout the off-season at the shop, in the gym, in the engineering office, to get us ready. With the additions of Ryan and Tony, we have just that much more experience and data to draw from, along with Scott's championship-winning team. It's been great working with Team Chevy in just the few tests we've had so far, and I think we can only build from here. I've had my ups and downs here at St. Pete, but we've always had the speed. We'll work on getting the right setup for qualifying from the start, and I know the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car will be fast during the race.

Thanks for the support throughout the off-season! Can’t wait to meet you at the track this season. Don’t forget to follow @racewithinsulin on Twitter… my Pit Lane Reporter (PLR) is back for updates during on-track sessions!

Here’s our race weekend schedule (all times Eastern):
Friday, March 28
10-10:45 a.m. Practice
2-2:45 p.m. Practice
Saturday, March 29
10-10:45 a.m. Practice
2-3:10 p.m. Qualifying
4:30-5:30 p.m. Autograph session (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
Sunday, March 30
9:45-10:15 a.m. Warm-up
3 p.m. Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race (live on ABC)

All sessions and the race are broadcast by IMS Radio Network in conjunction with live timing and scoring HERE and via the INDYCAR 14 app. The IMS Radio Network race broadcast also is on member stations, Sirius 209 and XM 209.

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