Friday started pretty early for me. I went out at 7 a.m. to go for a run and tried to block everything that is going on from my mind. I am really enjoying everything around the Indianapolis 500 – the atmosphere, the fans – and I am learning a lot as driver, but sometimes it is good to take a break to clear your mind. So I just went out and enjoyed my run and was ready to start the day fresh – an important day for us with qualifying this weekend.
The forecast looked pretty bad for today and I was worried that we wouldn't have any track time, but Mother Nature was kind. Obviously, with qualifying coming up, we were looking for more speed. We made some changes to the car overnight and I had a few scary moments during our first runs.
Yesterday, I felt that we were at a good point in our learning curve but today, after the changes, we lost momentum on the progress that we were making in finding more speed. We located the problem and my engineer Chris [Finch] was able to get me comfortable again but, unfortunately, we lost some time in the garage and that made things a lot harder. When we went back to the track, everything was there. We started working again on our qualifying setup and our search for more speed. We were making improvements but, unfortunately, the day was at an end.
It was frustrating, but I am very much enjoying how Roberto Guerrero calms me down. He let me know that what I am going through is completely normal for the Indy 500. You have your good days and you have your bad days. This was a bad day but there is nothing negative about it because we did learn a lot. And now we know the right way to go.
Tonight I will go home and try to think what I need to do better. I am enjoying it. Tomorrow I see as a birthday party. You know it is there and you don't want to make a big deal about it. You want everyone else to make a big deal of it, but not you. I am very excited. I am also positive. The limited amount of track time with the weather has definitely not helped us and, as Bryan has said, we would have benefited from the old format and being here longer.
It is what it is and the good news is that we found our mistakes. We will go back to what we know has worked for us. I have a great team and a lot of experience behind me, and I will give it my best.