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We’ve been pretty consistent over the last month and kept the Target car between second and third in the points over the last four races. In Toronto we ran a really cool paint scheme representing Jurassic World. The movie actually broke about every box office record worldwide, but I’m not sure if it was as popular as my teammate’ TK’s Taylor Swift paint scheme in Detroit earlier in the year!
In terms of the race, it wasn’t the day we wanted to have unfortunately. The start of the race was really strung out and there seemed to be big gaps everywhere. We managed the transition well between the rain and dry weather tires early on, but then got shuffled back. The car wasn’t bad, we just ended up back there with the flow of the race.
We ran a Degree car in Fontana, and honestly you needed Degree to keep up with the heat in California that weekend. I know a lot of people were divided on the racing there, but from a driver’s perspective it was really wild. You had almost five racing lanes and people were taking a lot of chances and going for gaps they usually wouldn’t try for. I think there were around 80 lead changes during the MAVTV 500, which set an INDYCAR record, so the fans definitely got a show. I’m not sure that we need to be racing that close, but I think there is likely a medium we can get to in order to satisfy the fans and also be safe on track.
Milwaukee was my 250th start. Has it really been 15 seasons already??? Another race, another paint scheme for Target with the Cottonelle car. They had a #GoCommando promotion that weekend so you can only imagine what question I got all weekend at the track. We had a decent car and went off sequence and led for a while. The race kind of came to us later on with the way the yellows fell. But in the end we got shuffled back a bit and lost some valuable points which is tough to swallow with just a few races to go.
Iowa was back to the red and white in the Target car and the team unloaded fast. TK and I were top-two in both practice sessions and we had all four cars in the top-10 for the second time this season. The car had speed and we had a big chance to take advantage of Juan crashing out early on in the race. We were running very strong but had an unfortunate mechanical issue late in the race. We had to go to the garage and my Target guys made quick work repairing the right rear axle to get us back out on track for maximum points. We gained some ground in the championship but not as much as we had hoped for.
This week we had a great visit at Target in Minneapolis which Emma was able to join me for. I got to hang with all the Target athletes and run a 5k among other things, which was really fun to do. It was especially nice being able to congratulate Ryan Dungey in person on his ESPY for Best Male Action Sports Athlete. Well deserved! Hopefully we can complement that achievement with a strong run to the championship in Sonoma next month!