Michigan should have been a good race for us because the team has been working very hard on putting together a package that should have put us in the hunt. It had been awhile since I was at MIS (2003 I think), but I had big expectations.
I ran up front at Michigan back in 2002 and it was a lot of fun -- leading a few laps at the end before finishing eighth. This time would be different. My teammate Buddy Rice and I both ran midpack and never seemed to get the speed we were looking for.
I came to Michigan last year in the hopes of putting the deal together to run Kentucky and Chicago in 2006; so that was the first thing I thought of when I arrived at the track. After we did a Racing for Kids visit at the children's hospital in Ann Arbor, we grabbed some lunch and it was on to the track for engineering time with Chris.
It was a pretty short weekend, which was a nice way to get back in the swing of things after our off weekend. The AAMCO crew worked really hard on the off weekend on a number of changes that we really thought would give us the speed we were looking for.
We beat four people in qualifying, but nothing to write home about; I was still disappointed. It was really amazing that we qualified better than what we turned in practice because the speed we had in practice was from a toe. We've all been working so hard at it and the engineers are doing a great job trying to match the tires wherever we go. It's just hard work.
For the race, just before the start my radio was not working -- I think I freaked out a bit (who wouldn't?). I didn't have a radio I think in 2003 at the Indy 500, and it was not a lot of fun.
Buddy and I traded positions left and right but I think I had the faster car. We still couldn't seem to beat the No. 15 Roll Coater car out of the pits. We were so close, but we'll get them in Kentucky!
I was fighting a lot of push and then after a few turns of front wing we were way too loose. Back and forth fighting the same problem. On Lap 83 something broke on my back right and it sent me sailing into the wall in Turn 2. Buddy said he saw something break back there; we will probably never know from all the damage from the crash. When something like that happens, you let go of the steering wheel and you are just a passenger.
I strained my neck, but ice and aspirin from the care center made it all better. Boy was I sore on Monday! That was a heck of a hit … but thankfully, I didn't taste copper.
On Lap 83 something broke on my back right and it sent me sailing into the wall in Turn 2. Buddy said he saw something break back there; we will probably never know from all the damage from the crash.
So Kentucky is where it all began last year on my return to the IndyCar Series. It was a dream come true that I could return to the sport I had grown to miss.
I'm headed to Louisville on Wednesday for my final PR advance for the season to help promote the race on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.
Kentucky should be a good race for us. With only two more ovals to go, we need to have a good showing there. Being one of my favorite places, I just hope we can still have side-by-side racing there that has made the IndyCar Series the best open-wheel entertainment for fans. I'm also relieved to be returning to another track that I have had many laps at. There have been several new places this year and I will be happy to go back to one I know by heart.
The pole, the podium, the fans … let's hope Kentucky is good to me this year. Check us out on Saturday night on ESPN2 at 6:30 ET.
IndyCar Series driver Sarah Fisher drives the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing No. 5 Dallara/Honda. She is providing a diary to ESPN.com. For more on Sarah, go to www.sarahfisher.com.