Monday, April 30, 2012

Race Results - Sao Paulo 2012

Sao Paulo Indy 300
Finishing position: 8th
Starting position: 15th
Championship standings: 15th
Click here to read the full race report.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Sao Paulo

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Live from Trackside - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sunday, April 29
3:50 p.m.
It was a really interesting race—a lot happened for sure! It was a ton of fun, especially in the end. We had a great racecar, so I have to thank the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew for everything. All I had to do was drive the wheels off the car!

Strategy-wise, they worked really hard on the pit stand to give me the opportunity, and when I had clear track they gave me the best tires so I was quick and could push. We got caught up in a couple of reds; I have to thank the Holmatro Safety Team for working hard to keep me on the lead lap there.

We made the most of it today. To come through reasonably clean and with a career-best eighth, it feels really good. I’m looking forward to taking this momentum into the whole month of May and from there, building on it for the rest of the season.

9:41 a.m.
Just finished up our warm-up here in Brazil. It rained overnight and it started to rain right as we started our session. All of those days racing in the wet in England just might be helpful today!

The biggest challenge in the wet is always going to be vision. The vision’s really tough with the spray. When it stopped raining there and we moved some of the water off, instead of a sheen of wet race track, it was sort of semi-matte so there was a little bit of grip. The brake was pretty good; this car’s always pretty impressive on the brakes. Firestone brought a pretty good rain tire for us.  It looks like the clouds are breaking up now. If it thunderstorms again, it could be standing water out there. It will be really interesting. It sound like INDYCAR might start the race a half hour earlier to try to get as much in before the storms come in this afternoon. I don’t think I’ll be able to see anything going into turn one at the start, but we’ll make the most of it and see where we shake out come the checkered flag.

Be sure to tune in at 11 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network!

Saturday, April 28
3:48 p.m.
We had a pretty good qualifying session and I think our best on a road course so far this year. Our lap time was so close to the top 12 and that was our goal. When you’re a tenth and a half off of that and hundredths from seventh, it’s frustrating. If it rains, the vision back there from 16th is going to be pretty tough. But that also means if it goes wrong up front, I’ll hopefully have enough time to avoid everything. The weather’s the big question, but I think we have a really good car if it stays dry and a really good car if it rains. We are making good progress and getting there. Looking forward to tomorrow with the Novo Nordisk team here in Brazil!

12:31 p.m.
It was a better second practice session. The track stayed dry and the sun even tried to come out a bit. We got a little caught out there at the end with the red flags—a lot of people going off, just really trying hard. I think with a clean lap, we would have been higher up on the charts, maybe 10th. We’re in really good shape come qualifying. The car’s pretty good, so thanks to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team. I’m still figuring out the track a little bit. We’ll get it better. There’s every chance we’ll be in the top-15, shooting for the top-10, for qualifying. 

Time for lunch!

9:58 a.m.
Woke up to a cloudy and humid, but dry, day here in Sao Paolo. It didn’t rain overnight so the track was pretty dry before we got out there for our first session.

It was a good first practice. The track was really, really dirty to start with. By the end it started to rubber up. Now I remember how fun this place is in the dry! I hope the weather holds up and stays dry so the fans get to see a great qualifying session this afternoon. In general, I think we’re in pretty good shape. We have a few optimizations for the car but the engineers are working hard for the next practice in a couple of hours.

Friday, April 27
12:30 p.m.
Hello from Sao Paulo! I just arrived and got to the hotel. Guess what?! It's raining! Yes, it looks like it'll be another wet weekend here in Brazil. No matter the forecast, we'll be ready to give it a shot for another top-10 result.

I'm headed to the garage soon, but here's a quick run-down of the weekend schedule (all times local; that's one hour ahead of Eastern). Live timing & scoring all weekend here.

Saturday, April 28:
8-9:20 a.m. Practice
11:05 a.m.-12:05 p.m. Practice
2:05-3:20 p.m. Qualifying (also on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. ET)

Sunday, April 29:
8:30-9 am. Warm-up
12 p.m. Race (Live on NBC Sports Network!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm on a boat!

As some of you may know, I love being out on the water almost as much as I like being in a race car. On Friday, I got to see my new Axis Wake A22 boat for the first time! It was love at first sight. I was able to take it out for a bit, and the great guys at Axis and Mid-Indiana Marine showed me everything it can do. Growing up, I always enjoyed surfing in California as a way to relax and still be active. Hard to find good waves in the Midwest, but now at least I can wake surf behind the boat. I’m super pumped for the summer here in Indy… relaxing on the boat after a good race weekend sounds like the perfect plan to me!

Isn't she pretty?!
On Thursday evening, I head down to Sao Paolo for IndyCar’s third annual event in Brazil. I felt really good after Long Beach, despite our bad luck late in the race. I'm excited to head to Brazil and see what I do there with all of the experience I gained running in the top six in Long Beach. Last year Sao Paulo definitely gave us a wild race and honestly some of the most difficult driving conditions I've ever experienced. That said, the NovoNordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team did a great job keeping me in the race and we had a decent finish under the circumstances. This year I'm going to Brazil with more experience, more confidence and even more drive to get a top-10 finish.

Keep your eye on this blog for updates during the race weekend! I might be a bit delayed with not knowing my connectivity abilities down there, but I’ll do my best! My PLR (Pit Lane Reporter from @racewithinsulin) won't be making the trip so there won't be as many live, 'behind the scenes' tweets, but you can always stay clued in here on my blog!

P.S. Check out this blog post by Brett, a race fan living with diabetes since age 9. I’m honored to be included in your blog, Brett!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday greetings, congrats and updates!

Happy Friday!

The big news of the day... congrats to Ambre Morley on her promotion at Novo Nordisk--extremely well-deserved! Ambre has been a major leader and advocate for our partnership program from day one, and I can't thank her enough for lending her expertise, time and support!

After a busy week out on the West coast (you know, the Best coast), I'm laying low for a few days and resting up for Brazil. I stopped by the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing shop on Wednesday to pack up all of my gear for the shipment to Sao Paulo--triple-checked the list, don't worry. Yesterday I spent the afternoon with some elementary school kids at IMS for the 500 Festival Education Program. Hopefully they learned a bit about IndyCar and will come back to see us in May!

The always-popular question: What if you need to go to the bathroom while in the car?!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Race Results - Long Beach 2012

Grand Prix of Long Beach
Finishing position: 18th
Starting position: 9th
Championship standings: 20th
Click here to read the full race report.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Live from Trackside – Grand Prix of Long Beach

Sunday, April 15
4:20 p.m.
I think it was an encouraging race even though the result didn’t show it. We had a gearbox problem at the end of the race and just couldn’t get a finish out of it. I’m encouraged by the fact that we ran up front all day, in the top six consistently. Strategy maybe played out a little differently than we had hoped, but the car was easily quick enough for a top six. All credit goes to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew all weekend; they made my job easy. We probably had a better car than all of the guys I was racing around me. It’s a shame not to get the result but we’ll learn from it, make it even better, go to Brazil, and hopefully head into May with a great result!

10:11 a.m.
It was a really good warm-up session. The track is still a little cold. The sun's out, so it's warming up now. With the temperature, it took a litte while for the tires to come in. Obviously this place is biting people, especially in turn five. The No. 83 team has a really good race car, so I'm looking forward to starting inside the top 10 and hopefully converting that into a top-10 result. It's going to be interesting to see what people do for tire and fuel strategy--I think it will be different for a lot of guys, but we'll be in good shape. I got a couple of extra laps on blacks; between red flags, we didn't even run the red tires so we'll see what it does at the green flag!

I'm about to do a quick meet-and-greet with all of my friends and family that came out this weekend--I can't thank them enough for their support!

Tune in to the Grand Prix of Long Beach at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC Sports Network!

Ready for race day warm-up!
Saturday, April 14
3:34 p.m.
I think that was a good qualifying session. We made some progress. I'm a little disappointed to not be inside the top six; a few tenths would have put me right there. But we did make progress, and we were a lot closer in lap times to my teammates which is big. It looks like, with the others' penalties, I'll start 9th. I'm really excited for tomorrow's race. I think we have a great race car in the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. We're in shape for a good race and hopefully a top-10 finish tomorrow.

On another note, here's a great pic of me and the other Charlie (from Friday at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel)!
11:55 a.m.
The No. 83 team had a pretty good practice session. After watching it rain yesterday, it was nice to get on track to get some laps in. We made a few changes to the car. It was kind of a scrap session with all of the yellows, but in the end we kept it clean and made some progress. We got quicker yet there's still a little bit more to go. We know what we need to do, and we can look at our teammates' data and we've got some good information ourselves. I'm excited for qualifying on this beautiful California afternoon!

8:59 a.m.
It's a beautiful day at the track! I have a somewhat straight-forward day, with practice at 10:25 a.m. Pacific then qualifying at 2 p.m. Because of the rain yesterday, we only have this morning's practice to focus on our qualifying setup, but I have confidence that the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team will get it done!

Be sure to track live timing and scoring here, or watch qualifying on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Friday, April 13
5:30 p.m.
It's just about been a wash-out with the weather today unfortunately. But that's racing. We'll just have to maximize the time we get on track tomorrow morning for practice. It looks like it should be sunny, so we'll make the most of it before qualifying. We'll focus on getting a good spot and then get the car ready to go during warm-up before Sunday afternoon.

Despite the rain, we have quite a productive and fun day off the track. I got to meet a ton of awesome fans at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel this afternoon, including a four-year-old fellow Type 1 named Charlie (a mini-me!). Charlie is a big racing fan, and he said his bedroom is covered in racing memorabilia. He even has a life-size poster of me on his wall! Later on, his dad Jason was talking to one of my team members and said that Charlie told him he wants to be like me--not because I'm a race car driver, but because he wants to make other kids with Type 1 happy too. So cool (and extremely humbling). It's fans like Charlie that totally make the long days worth it! I can't thank everyone enough for the support!

9:01 a.m. 
Well, Cali is obviously getting back at me for moving to Indy... Nothing like a walk to the track in the rain!

I got an early start today for a live shot on KTLA. Depending on the weather, we'll be on track for practice at 10 a.m. Hopefully it will dry out for the afternoon practice so we get some good time in before tomorrow.

Here's a quick story and photos from my hospital visit with Novo Nordisk on Tuesday: IndyCar Driver Charlie Kimball Visits Miller Children's Memorial Hospital in Long Beach

Live on KTLA!
Thursday, April 12
5:16 p.m.
Talking with the folks from ABILITY Magazine
Just finished up with the track walk. Even if you've driven here a few times, it's always good to refresh your memory and check out any changes. For example, they've moved a couple of walls and repaved the hairpin since last year. That will change how we approach the hairpin, which we'll work on figuring out tomorrow. It looks like rain is in the forecast for tomorrow's practice, so we'll just have to play it by ear.

One thing that struck me this morning when talking to the local radio stations was their excitement for the grand prix. It's always one of my favorites so it's great to hear that the fans and media in SoCal share that excitement when we come to town.

I'm going to have a chat with my engineers, then head to dinner with the family. More tomorrow!

12:01 p.m.
Hello from a (relatively) chilly Long Beach! Yeah, it was only in the low 50's earlier today... which is practically freezing for this part of the world.

This morning I talked to KLAA Anaheim, KTLK 1150 AM and COX TV. I'm just getting some lunch now and then I have an interview with ABILITY Magazine. The fun begins at 2 for the track walk. We didn't have a whole lot of luck here last year, but I think we're starting to get a better feel for the new car. We'll see what we can do on Friday for the first practice!

Here's a quick run-down of the Grand Prix of Long Beach race weekend schedule (all times Pacific):
Friday 10-11 a.m. and 2:15-3:15 p.m. -- Practice
Friday 12:30-1:15 p.m. -- Appearance at the Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel (Fan Zone)
Friday 4-5 p.m. -- IndyCar autograph session (Paddock)
Saturday 10:25-11:25 a.m. -- Practice
Saturday 2-3:20 p.m. -- Qualifying
Sunday 9:15-9:45 a.m. -- Warm-up
Sunday 12:30 p.m. -- Grand Prix of Long Beach, live on NBC Sports Network
Live timing and scoring at

P.S. Don't forget to follow @RaceWithInsulin on Twitter -- my new Pit Lane Reporter (PLR) is back and will take cover my feed during practices, qualifying and the race!

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Long Beach

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An afternoon off in Long Beach

After a bit of media this morning, I found myself with some free time--not common during race weeks! So I took advantage of the down time and went to the aquarium right outside the circuit. It must be spring break time because it was packed! But it was still fun and gave me a couple of hours to unwind. 

Tonight I'm heading out to the Dodgers game with my friend Tyler. I've been waiting all winter for baseball season and I'm pretty stoked to get to the stadium!

I have a good feeling about this weekend so after tonight's ball game, it's back to business for me. Tomorrow I'll start off with a couple of interviews and then we have a track walk in the afternoon.

Hope to see you SoCal IndyCar fans at the track this weekend!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Back to Cali

Good morning from Long Beach!

Yes, I know I'm here early. I flew out from Indy on Sunday for a test at Sonoma yesterday, and I'm happy to say it went really well. I ended up P2 on the charts, just behind my teammate Dario. A good start to my stint here in California!

Later today I'm heading out to two appearances with Novo Nordisk, in Newport Beach and Long Beach. Always fun to interact with the (usually very entertaining and enthusiastic) children at these events and relax a bit before the race weekend hits.

Come Thursday, it's back to business! I always look forward to going to Long Beach because it's my hometown race, and I have tons of family and supporters who come out (almost 70 total this weekend!). We didn't have the best of luck there last year, but I think with a little hard work we'll have a good result on Sunday. The top-ten at the season opener really gave me and the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team a lot of confidence for this season, and hopefully that translates to the street course here in Long Beach as well!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Race Results - Birmingham 2012

Hey everyone--I'm starting something new after each race. I'll post a few quick stats here, with a link to a full race report. Make sure you sign up for my email list so you get "Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie" in your inbox!

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Finishing position: 25th
Starting position: 22nd
Championship standings: 15th
Click here to read the full race report.

Keeping Up to Speed with Charlie - Birmingham

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Live from Trackside – Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Sunday, April 1:
4:13 p.m.
That was a little disappointing. We had a decent car there for a while. The tires definitely made a big difference to the lap times and how the car handled. It’s kind of a shame. We had a small problem with the car, which put us out of the race. We learned a lot… learned about how to go racing with these cars and engines. We’ll be in good shape come Long Beach.

9:53 a.m.
Guess what today is?! Race day!

Good morning from Barber Motorsports Park. Looks like it’ll be a beautiful day. Just finished up warm-up and heading into a team meeting soon.

I thought it was a good warm-up. We made some changes even during the session. I think we’re making the car better… still have a little room to go for the race. The thing around here is that it’s so hard to pass. We’ll have to stay patient for the whole 90 laps. We’ll see how it works out today. I have a lot of confidence in the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew in the pits, so we’ll use that to our advantage as much as possible today.

Morning warm-up... it'll be a warm, beautiful race day!

Saturday, March 31:
11:10 a.m.
It wasn’t the best qualifying session but the best we could do under these circumstances. We changed the car overnight, hoping to run it in practice this morning, but with the wet track it wasn’t ideal. We missed it a couple of places but we still have a lot to go find. We’ve got a good race car—pretty consistent—so it should be good for 90 laps tomorrow. We’ll take really good care of the tires, go find some things in the car and get some grip out of it.

I’ll grab some lunch, then I’ve got a busy afternoon…. Meeting some guests from JDRF, a Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel appearance at 1:15, then the IndyCar autograph session at 2:15. Hope to see you guys there at the INDYCAR Fan Village.

Hanging out with JDRF guests
8:50 a.m.
Well, because of the fog we were only able to take one lap this morning, just enough to make sure the car works before qualifying. The track’s dried out, the fog is clearing and we should have a beautiful day, so hopefully it’ll be a good qualifying session. We made some changes overnight, but with little practice time, it’s always a bit unknown. We’re still figuring the car out—everyone is. We definitely worked toward where we want to be overnight. We can’t learn much running on rain tires for one installation lap, so we’ll just see how it goes during qualifying.

Tune into qualifying on NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. ET, or follow along live here at 9:40 a.m. (Central). Make sure you’re following @racewithinsulin to get live tweets during qualifying from my new Pit Lane Reporter! 
Yep, it's a little foggy...

Friday, March 30:
4:40 p.m.
It was puddling up, so we were hydroplaning everywhere. The car is actually a lot of fun to drive out in the wet. There’s a good amount of downforce, which you can see by the amount of rain we were sucking in the air down in the straights. It takes a while to figure out the brakes. We figured out the brakes in the dry; now we just have to figure out the brakes in the wet. We still have a little bit of work to do. I love racing in the rain!

Debriefing with my engineers, then heading back for the evening. If you're here at Barber, be sure to come out to the INDYCAR Fan Village tomorrow! I'll be there, too:
1:15-2 p.m. Novo Nordisk FlexPen Tunnel
2:15-3:15 p.m. IndyCar autograph session

P.S. Check out this photo gallery of my visit to the Honda plant yesterday. See?! I told you it was cool!

Getting set on pitlane for
the first practice.
2 p.m.
It was a good first practice. Obviously we only had 30 minutes on one set of tires, so the other guys got a bit more time. I don’t like the short practice, but I’ll take a 9th-place finish in St. Pete over extra track time today for sure. We still need to do a little work; we’re not quite there yet. Each of the four Ganassi cars have strengths in different places, so we just need to put it all together. I’m not sure if it’ll rain for the second session, but we’ll have to make the most of it and see what we can do.

11 a.m.
It's the first day of practice here at Barber Motorsports Park! I just finished up a meet-and-greet and about to head to the drivers' meeting in a bit.

For those of you on Twitter, I have exciting news! Starting here at Barber and throughout the whole season, I am introducing a Pit Lane Reporter (PLR)! You'll be able to receive live update tweets while I'm in the car for practices, qualifying and of course the races. Follow @racewithinsulin and keep up to speed even when I'm on track! The updates will be signed "PLR" so you know I'm not tweeting and driving. Safety first! :)

Thursday, March 29:
6:46 p.m.
Let me just say... The Honda plant was SO cool! I was totally impressed by the whole process. The plant I visited in Lincoln, AL produces all of the Honda Odysseys sold throughout the world... Yes, ALL of them! They can get out 1500 vehicles per day, and every single one goes through a complete test before it's sold. Amazing!

I'm about to start my Novo Nordisk presentation then head off to dinner. Looking forward to getting on track tomorrow!

11 a.m. (Central)
Welcome to Alabama! I just got to the track and checked out the No. 83 car a bit. We'll be working hard for a good qualifying spot this weekend, and hopefully we can duplicate what we did in last week's race for another top-10 finish.

Check out the transporter... sweet!
I'm about to head off to a Honda plant visit with my teammate Scott Dixon... a quick lunch, tour and meet-and-greet with the Honda employees. It's always cool to go "behind the scenes" like that! After that, I'll come back here to the track for a quick interview before making a sponsor dinner appearance.

Here's a run-down of the Barber track schedule (all times local):
Friday - 12:30-1:30 p.m. practice and 3:30-4:30 p.m. practice
Saturday - 8-8:20 a.m. practice and 9:40-10:55 a.m. qualifying
Sunday - 8:40-9:10 a.m. warm-up and 1 p.m. race!
Follow INDYCAR timing and scoring here, and tune into the race at 1 p.m. Central on NBC Sports.