DETROIT, Mich. – Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing (NNCGR) driver Charlie Kimball finished 14th in Round 6 and seventh in Round 7 of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit on the Raceway At Belle Isle Park.
The Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit marked the first of three doubleheaders on the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule, where entrants raced in a pair of 70-lap races Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 on the 2.36-mile temporary street circuit, posing a unique challenge for drivers and teams.
Dual 1 – Saturday, June 1
With contact in Turn 10 by the No. 2 car, the race would experience its first caution in its initial lap, where Kimball would pit for a splash of fuel. Over the course of three cautions in first 35 laps of the 70-lap race, the No. 83 team would take advantage of double-file restarts and continue to gain positions through the field to work its way to 16th by the half-way mark.
On lap 49 of 70, after contact with the No. 25, the No. 83 would come in for its fourth and final pit stop from 11th for fuel, tires and a new front wing, exiting pit lane from 19th position. The No. 83 would produce its fastest lap on lap 61 and consistently gained spots up through the field. With five laps remaining, Kimball would make a final pass on the No.78 for 14th position, where he would ultimately finish.
With the result in Round 6, Kimball moved from 11th to 10th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 122 markers, -60 points behind leader Helio Castroneves.
Dual 2 – Sunday, June 2
Starting the 70-lap race from 14th position, the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi team would take what they had learned from the first Dual and put strategy to work in the second leg. Similar to Dual 1, an incident with the No. 2 car caused the race to experience its first caution on the opening lap.
Kimball would avoid traffic from the incident but dropped to 19th. Two additional cautions on the 13-turn street circuit would allow Kimball to work his way up the field to sixth position by lap 20 through double-file restarts and a two-stop pit strategy.
With a fourth caution on lap 20, Kimball and the No. 83 team had gained 11 positions to third, where they would hold off the No. 19 car while saving fuel. Coming out of the caution, another caution was displayed on lap 24, where once pits were open, the NovoLog FlexPen car would come in for its first pit stop of the race for alternate tires and fuel, exiting pit lane in 18th.
On lap 27, a multi-car incident, involving a total of 10 cars occurred in Turn in front of the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car. A team-effort of communication from Kimball’s crew and spotter took him to the inside of the large collection of cars. Following the nine-lap caution period, Kimball would lineup sixth for the restart and battled around two cars to move up to fourth.
As cars ahead of him began to cycle through the pit, Kimball moved to second position until making a pass on the No. 18 (winner of Dual 1 the day previous) to take the lead.
With 24 laps remaining, Kimball led a total of three laps which marked the second time he has led laps on a street/road course and the third-time he has led laps in his IZOD IndyCar Series career (Indianapolis 500, 2012, Grand Prix of Alabama, 2013).
With 21-laps remaining, the No. 83 would come in for its second and final stop from first position to take primary tires and fuel, where Kimball would exit seventh and eventually cross the finish line in that spot to score his fourth top-10 of the season (fourth- Barber Motorsports Park, fifth-Streets of Sao Paulo, ninth-Indianapolis Motor Speedway).
With the result, Kimball holds 10th in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 149 markers, -57 points behind co-leaders Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti.
Honda is second in the manufacturer point standings with 51 points, trailing Chevrolet with 54.
Up next, Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing will compete in Round 8 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the Firestone 550 from Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, June 8th (8:30pm ET ABC).
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams