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From Texas heartbreak to Dancing with the Stars and Watkins Glen

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Folks. Hinch here, writing from the lovely Finger Lakes region. They don’t lack for great scenery up here. The feature you’re gonna want to check out first is IndyCar’s Grand Prix at The Glen—a 60-lap screamer around an 11-turn, 3.37-mile course that’s as iconic as they come. The green flag waves Sunday, at 2:37 p.m. Eastern. You of course can catch all the action here in the flesh, or plug into NBCSN. Either way, you will be entertained.

Before I get into why, let’s backtrack a few weeks. Let me catch you up on what’s happened since the last time I touched base with you, right before our race at Pocono—which turned out to be a solid weekend for the overall Schmidt Peterson crew. My teammate, Mikhail Aleshin ended up P1 and P2 in the first practice; Mikhail held his position through qualifying while I dropped to sixth—a reasonable starting spot. We didn’t have the pace in our No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda machine that Mikhail had in No. 7 car. (He did a great job. Everybody on his crew deserved that pole.)

As we settled into the race, I didn’t have the best balance to start. But if there’s an upside to the streak of rough starts we endured earlier this season, it’s that you can tune a car that doesn’t start awesome on pit lane. So we did and were able to maintain fifth, sixth place. But then at about lap 125, 130, somewhere in there, one of the screws on the right side engine cover came loose and created not only drag, but—because of the way it disturbed the air flow—made my car incredibly loose.

Read the rest of my blog here