Saturday, August 30
I have to give a lot of credit to the entire Chip Ganassi Racing team, especially Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing. They were able to really come together and rebound from our incident last night. I knew from the first lap that the car was going to be really good. I got caught out in the dirty air and hit the wall lightly in the middle of the race. That put us behind a little, but we were able to fight back as a team and finish in 12th. After the night we had last night, Id say thats pretty good. Congratulations to Tony and Scott on the 1-2 finish!
Last but definitely not least, thanks to the fans for all of the support this season! I truly appreciate it.
[caption id="attachment_1500" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Sun is setting and it's time for the green flag![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1501" align="aligncenter" width="626"] IndyCars under the lights![/caption]
I just finished up the systems check lap. Going to the backup car was seamless, all thanks to the No. 83 crew and everyone from the Chip Ganassi Racing team who helped out last night. I always know they will give me a quick car, no matter what the circumstances. The incident during the last practice session was just really unfortunate. I just had no place to go, and the guys had a long night rebuilding the car. I'm a bit sore today but otherwise totally fine. I'm definitely thinking of Mikhail and wishing him a quick recovery!
Next up on the agenda is an USA Today interview, the IndyCar autograph session, a team strategy meeting, and dinner. Then it's time to go racing for the last time this year! Thanks for the support, as always. Tune in to the MAVTV500 at 6 p.m. Pacific on NBC Sports Network, and be sure to follow my Pit Lane Reporter on Twitter @racewithinsulin for updates during the race.
Friday, August 29
The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet has been really good both in qualifying in the heat and sun, and then also when it cools down in race trim. The Team Chevy power has been really good here all week and I'm excited to see what we can do in the 500-mile race. I'm really happy with the sixth place qualifying result, but we still have a little work to do before tomorrow night to make sure we have the best race car possible.
Luckily we have a half hour session this evening with a race-like setting to get a few things sorted. Check it out at 7:15 p.m. PT!
[caption id="attachment_1495" align="aligncenter" width="569"] TK giving me some insight after his qualifying run.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1496" align="aligncenter" width="569"] On deck and ready to go![/caption]
Hello from Auto Club Speedway! We had a pretty good first practice session this morning, mainly working on our setup for qualifying. We finished P6 on the charts, but more importantly I got a really good feel for the car and felt pretty comfortable. If we can start in the first few rows, I think we can definitely go racing from there.
I'm 20th in the qualifying line, and our times will be the average of two laps. Qualifying starts in a half hour at 2:15 p.m. Pacific, so check it out live via INDYCAR Race Control or the broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m.
[caption id="attachment_1492" align="aligncenter" width="569"] All set for practice 1.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1493" align="aligncenter" width="626"] Making changes to the No. 83.[/caption]
Thursday, August 28
I'm looking forward to closing out the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. It's been an up and down year, but I know the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team can end it on a strong note. There's a lot that can happen during those 500 miles, but we showed last year that we can be a contender here in Fontana. With the testing time yesterday ahead of the race weekend, it gives us just that extra bit of data and opportunity to improve the car before the green flag. It was pretty warm during the first test session so we worked on qualifying setups and general car balance. Once the sun went down, the track cooled off a bit and changed to conditions similar to how it will be on Saturday evening so we were able to work on race setups. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet will be quick, going for the win!
Here's a race weekend schedule (all times Pacific):
Friday, August 29
10-11:15 a.m. Practice
2:15-3:30 p.m. Qualifying (broadcast on NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. PT)
5:30-6 p.m. Practice
Saturday, August 30
3 p.m. Systems check (1 lap)
4-5 p.m. Autograph session (in the INDYCAR Fan Village)
6 p.m. Driver intros and live broadcast on NBC Sports Network begins
7:20 p.m. Green flag for the MAVTV 5oo!
Check INDYCAR Race Control for live timing and video, and follow my Pit Lane Reporter (PLR) on Twitter @racewithinsulin for updates while I'm on track! Thanks for the support.
[caption id="attachment_1465" align="aligncenter" width="609"] Setting up on test day.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1467" align="aligncenter" width="569"] Ready to go for testing![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1486" align="aligncenter" width="569"] Under the lights![/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1487" align="aligncenter" width="569"] Our pit setup in Fontana.[/caption]