Tuesday, January 29, 2013

24 hours of new experiences and victory!

I just keep shaking my head and thinking, wow--did that really happen this weekend?! And of course,  I keep checking the time on my new Rolex!

For the Ganassi group to be able get together with different cars, different drivers, all different walks of life and yet all from one team... We do our job in the car and in the pits, and to come away with a win is just overwhelming. Having Scott, Memos and Juan as teammates took a lot of pressure off my shoulders because I knew that I could settle in, and as long as I was smart and didn't make too many big mistakes and kept us in the race they'd put us in a position to win at the end. Overall what an incredible race! With about four hours to go, I looked up and thought, we have the whole Indy 500 left to run as far as time. It's hard on everybody--mechanics, team, drivers--but it's such an awesome event and such a great race, and just to be a part of it with these guys and learn from these guys was really special. I think it'll help me not only in this side with the roof but also without a roof later this year.

I have to thank Chip and the whole Ganassi Racing team for the opportunity to participate this weekend. A big congrats to CGR for their fifth Rolex 24 win, Scott for his record-tying fifth win at Daytona, and Memos and Juan for their third Rolex watches!

Now, it's time for me to put my focus back on the 2013 IndyCar season and work toward my first IndyCar win!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Live from Trackside - Daytona

Sunday, Jan. 27
6:30 p.m.
Wow! What an incredible day (and weekend, really)! Such a tremendous effort by the No. 01 crew, Scott, Memos and Juan. I'm still in shock--can't believe we just won the Rolex 24 at Daytona! Congrats to my teammates, Chip and the entire Ganassi Racing organization!

I just finished up the post-race press conference, so I'm headed out to have a nice dinner before getting a good nights sleep. Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes and support!

Rolex champs!

Sunday, Jan. 27
11:30 a.m.
We're about four hours until the checkered flag, and the real racing hasn't even started! But it's been an interesting 20 hours for sure. I'll do my best to catch you up. We had a few appearances yesterday morning before we prepped for driver introductions. Intros were a bit different than in IndyCar... the entire crew with all four drivers lined up with the car and pushed it to the grid, before being introduced on stage. Once we were back down on the grid, it was so crowded you could barely move around! Very cool experience.

I watched the beginning of the race from the pit stand before heading back to the coach for a bit of a rest and dinner. Around 11 p.m. I was called back out to do my first stint. It was more nerve-wracking waiting to drive than actually driving! My teammates put me in a great position so once I got in for my turn on track, I really just had to settle in and get my feel for the car. There's still a ton I can learn about these cars and this race, but overall I had a great first experience and I hope I get another chance out there!

After my stint, I tried to get some sleep in case I was called on again for another stint. Nothing like the hum of race cars to put you to sleep!

Jumping in the No. 01

Saturday, Jan. 26
10:30 a.m.
It's race day! And an extra long race day, at that. No complaints here!

I started the day with breakfast and a massage. I'm headed to a couple of appearances this morning before we have driver intros at around 2 p.m. ET. Remember to tune in to SPEED for 8 straight hours of live coverage beginning at 3 p.m. ET! And follow me on Twitter @racewithinsulin for more updates and pics. Thanks for the support!

Friday, Jan. 25
6:00 p.m.
Another good day at the race track! We only had one on-track session today, but we got some good time in for driver changes. We also spent quite a bit of time with the engineers, spotters and team members going over how we'll handle everything tomorrow so it goes smoothly. The weather looks like it should cooperate so we'll be all set there.

As we've said all week, we just have to race smart for the first 20-22 hours, keep the car on the track in one piece and then start really racing those last couple of hours. I think with that plan, we'll have a lot of success tomorrow!

Tonight I'm headed to the Rolex Grand Marshal dinner, celebrating Hurley Haywood. Looking forward to relaxing a bit and enjoying the company.

8:30 a.m.
Good morning! It's another beautiful day here in Daytona. Just one final 1-hour practice on the schedule today, plus driver change practice and race meetings. About to go grab some breakfast then head to the transporters.

Check out live timing and scoring at 10:30 a.m. at grand-am.com!

Thursday, Jan. 24
9 p.m.
What a day! Nice to have Ganassi on the pole and the P2 spot for the race this weekend! Great job by Scott and Dixie for the No. 01 and 02. Let me tell you... Scott just went out there and got it done! Really impressive.

I got some time in the car during afternoon practice and we had a chance to do a driver change as well. It's a lot of fun to be in a different environment and to be learning so much each day. Looking forward to more tomorrow!

Wednesday, Jan. 23
9 p.m.
Hello from Daytona! I just finished up a great meal with Chip and my teammates at the annual RRDC dinner. It's been quite a day--we started up in North Carolina for a media day and welcomed Cessna to the Ganassi team. It was almost like a family reunion, with all of the Ganassi drivers in attendance.

I've got a drivers meeting bright and early tomorrow morning before we hit the track for our first practice of the weekend, so I'm headed to bed. Click here for a full event schedule!

At the press conference this morning.
Talking to members of the media.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tune-in Reminder: Rolex 24 at Daytona

Catch me in my first-ever Rolex 24 at Daytona in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target entry in the Daytona Prototype class with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

Saturday, January 26, 3-11 pm ET on SPEED TV

Overnight coverage 11 pm-9 am ET on SPEED.com

Sunday, January 27, 9 am-4 pm ET on SPEED TV

Live timing & scoring and more information available here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

There's a first time for everything!

Well, it's almost time... time to go racing! It's not often that I get to say that in January, but I'm really thankful for the opportunity to compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target entry in the Daytona Prototype class with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. My teammates Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Juan Pablo Montoya have been extremely helpful to me while I'm getting used to a different style of racing, not only while testing earlier in January but also answering my questions here and there this month.

For more, check out this article on IndyCar.com! Make sure you're following me on Twitter @racewithinsulin as my "Pit Lane Reporter" (PLR) will be on-site with live updates. Thanks for the support!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Roar Before the 24

Happy New Year! Hope you've all had a great holiday season and enjoyed some time with family and friends.

I just finished up a couple of days at the "Roar Before the 24"--testing at Daytona for the Rolex 24 Hours. This has really been a great experience. Chip has put together a great group of individuals from four different series and I’m learning a lot from all of them. I’ve gotten quite a bit of time in the car and I’ve had to get use to a lot of things; like getting used to a roof, driving at a new track and even driving at night. I haven’t driven at night since my go-karting days. The guys (Memo, Scott and Juan) have been great in helping me and it’s a testament to the group of drivers Chip has put together. I’m really looking forward to being a part of and contributing to the Rolex 24 At Daytona!

Heading back to the Best Coast tomorrow morning for a couple of days. If you're not already, make sure you're following me on Twitter @RaceWithInsulin!