Happy December, everyone! Since we are wrapping up the year and racing toward 2014 (pun intended!), I figured it’s a good time to take a look back at the 2013 IndyCar season.
Firstly, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January… as I often say, the racing drivers’ motto might as well be, “Have helmet; will travel.” I’m always happy to be inside a race car, and it was such a honor to race with the No. 01 team and drivers Scott, Memos, and Juan. And to win on my first Daytona outing? What an amazing experience!
As always, the IndyCar season really starts with prep during the off-season. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Team had about four test days at the track before St. Pete in March, but there were countless more hours at the shop and in the engineering office.
From the first lap out in March to our last in October, I’d have to say it was definitely a good season. Top-10 in points, 10 top-10 finishes, our first race win, a lot of other strong results (Pocono, Barber, Indy, Baltimore, Houston, Detroit, Sao Paulo), and improved qualifying sessions all contributed to a good season. What would have made it great? Probably a win at Fontana to close out the season top-eight in points. There will always be highs and lows during a race season, like coming down with a 24-hour bug the weekend of the Indy 500, then fighting back to finish ninth. Or crashing during practice at Mid-Ohio, then having the entire CGR team come together for a win. But all in all, I have no complaints and I think we were right where we wanted and needed to be in 2013.
Looking forward to the 2014 season, I know it’s not going to be any easier than this year. I’m excited about the new engine package. It’s going to be great to be a part of the Team Chevy program. We’ll have our first test with a Chevy engine on Wednesday, and we’ve been working since the checkered flag at Fontana to make the most of our time away from the track. We want to be fighting for the championship from the green flag in St. Pete.
I have to thank the whole No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen team for their efforts year-round. It makes my job easier knowing I’m stepping into the best car possible, so I can get out there and race. Getting the win at Mid-Ohio was not only huge for me, but also for the team as it was the first win for a lot of the guys, too. It meant a lot to me to be part of that experience for them. I also have to thank my partners at Novo Nordisk for their support every day, both on and off the track, as well as my friends at Honda Performance Development. Sure, we’ll be competitors next season but they’ve done so much for me over the years and I can’t thank them enough.
Lastly, a big thanks to you: the fans! I appreciate your support, and I hope you’ve had as much watching as I’ve had racing this year. Onward and upward to 2014!