Kimball Gets First IndyCar Win
Charlie Kimball is no longer known just for being a race car driver who is competing at the top level of the sport while battling with diabetes. He now is known as a winner.
Kimball, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, won Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. His first victory was by 5.5 seconds over Simon Pagenaud.
“It was pretty fantastic,” Kimball said.
The victory came in a backup car as Kimball crashed his primary in practice.
Dario Franchitti finished third, Will Power fourth and pole-sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay was fifth.
Points leader Helio Castroneves was sixth.
Kimball is the ninth different winner in 14 races this season and the fourth first-time winner. In the previous five
seasons, there were five total first-time winners. Four different teams were represented in the top five.
“It’s nice when the team gives you such a great car,” said Kimball, who started fifth. “All I needed to do was to hit the lap times they needed me to. For a while they were saying 67.5s (seconds per lap) and I threw down a couple 67.1s. They said, ‘OK, see if you can do a 66.’ We just kept pushing the limit.”
Kimball led a field-high 46 laps in the caution-free race (the first since Mid-Ohio last year). Through his previous 44 starts, he lead a total of 15 laps (12 this season).
Kimball, who pitted for the third and final time on Lap 65, caught the front-running Pagenaud on the long backstretch on Lap 73 seconds after Pagenaud exited pit lane for his final service stop. On cold tires, he couldn’t hold off the charging Kimball.
“Simon was on a similar strategy,” added Kimball, the only licensed IndyCar driver with type 1 diabetes. “I caught traffic at just some of the wrong times, so that meant that he came out of pit lane ahead of us. But we had the momentum to take the lead and make the pass for what turned out to be the win.”
Pagenaud was 5.533 seconds behind Kimball to record his first podium finish since winning Race 2 of the Detroit doubleheader weekend in early June.
“I gave it my all. Just him and Ganassi were stronger,” Pagenaud said. “Charlie was bold enough to stick it on the inside and I didn’t think he would make it but he did so congrats to him.”No Comment