So that weird lull after Long Beach is over and we've started a sequence of three races in four weekends - Houston, Monterrey, Milwaukee. After what happened in the season-opener, it was important - crucial, really, with the way Champ Car points system works - to get a good score on the board last weekend, and that's what we did. Houston mission accomplished.
For me, though, the good news started before we even hit the track. You'll remember in my last column I mentioned I was negotiating with Jerry Forsythe for an extension to my contract, but last Thursday in Houston we were able to announce that I have signed with Jerry until the end of 2011, which I think surprised a lot of people in the media. Well, I can tell you, the five-year offer caught me on the bounce too.
Before the season started, Jerry had mentioned he wanted to extend my contract with him for a year or two years, and my manager and I had expressed what my other interests were - like maybe NASCAR. Nothing concrete, but I laid out a plan we'd been thinking about and said 'Okay, we'll sign but I want to do what I've been doing this year, getting some occasional races in other types of car too.'
And Jerry just said to my manager: 'well, how about this? I'll let Paul go and do NASCAR races before the season starts and on off weekends but I want him to stay in this team in this series for five years.'