Charlie Kimball became the ninth different winner in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2013, and his first-ever win. He joins three others who earned their first victory this year. Gabby Chaves dominated the Indy Lights race.
LEXINGTON, Ohio - Charlie Kimball overtook Simon Pagenaud at the end of the long backstretch on Lap 73 of 90 and went on to win the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio for his first IZOD IndyCar Series victory.
The Camarillo, Calif., native 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 in the Honda-powered No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chip Ganassi Racing car on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. "All I needed to do was to hit the lap times they needed me to."
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 led 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 backstretch on Lap 73 seconds after Pagenaud exited pit lane for his final service stop. On cold tires, Pagenaud 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. Dario Franchitti finished third in the No. 10 GE car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing to provide Honda a podium sweep. Will Power finished fourth and pole sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay was fifth.
Helio Castroneves finished sixth - three-tenths of a second ahead of Scott Dixon - to increase his championship points lead over the two-time series champion to 31 with five races remaining. Hunter-Reay is third (65 points back) heading to the Aug. 25 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Indy Lights race
At Mid-Ohio, pole sitter Gabby Chaves led all 40 laps to win the Firestone Indy Lights Mid-Ohio 100 for his first victory in the series.
Chaves, driving the No. 7 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car, had three second-place finishes and three third-place finishes in the eight previous races. Peter Dempsey finished second in the No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing car.
Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio post-race quotes
Charlie Kimball (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda): "It's nice when the team gives you such a great car. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car was quick. All I needed to do was to hit the lap times they needed me to. For a while they were saying 67.5s, and I threw down a couple 67.1s. They said OK, see if you can do a 66. We just kept pushing the limit. Simon (Pagenaud) was on a similar strategy. 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."
Tony Kanaan (No. 11 Sunoco "Turbo" KVRT-SH Racing Chevrolet): "It wasn't our weekend. Nothing seemed to go our way. We just have to put this behind us and move on to Sonoma."
Simon Pagenaud (No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Honda): "I've got to say, Charlie (Kimball) did a fantastic job today. I gave it all. Just him and Ganassi were stronger. 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. Congrats to Honda. It's 1-2-3. It's a Honda track so it's important for us to bring a 1-2-3 home. But I've got to say, congrats to Charlie because I gave him hell (laughter)."
Ed Carpenter (No. 22 Fuzzy's Vodka/Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet): "We were better than a 20th place finish today. But from a pace standpoint and throwing out the first stint on black tires, it was one of our better road course performances. We used some Firestone red tires in the warm-up and we probably should have used those at the start of the race instead of the blacks. I think we would have picked up more positions in the race with the reds. With the ground that we lost on the first stint and the race going green for so long, it made it too hard to make up that lost ground. It's pretty crazy for two years in a row that the Mid-Ohio race would go green for so long. I 'm really proud of our pace in the middle and end of the race. We just need to keep working on it for the Sonoma race in a couple of weeks. I need to be better at the start of the race next time too. But overall, the Fuzzy's Vodka crew did a great job today."
Justin Wilson (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "The car was pretty good - maybe not perfect but there are always things you want to be better. It was just frustrating we got caught in the middle of the strategies there - the three stop and the two stop - and we had to decide what to do and try to do something different. It was a hard-fought race, pushing like crazy the entire race. Just slipping around out there. There wasn't a lot of grip today so we were slipping all over the place. It was tough. I was hoping we could do a little bit better but we'll just keep pushing away. It's hard to get close enough to make something happen here. It's just tough - nobody's getting even close enough to crash into each other! For a while there we were just trying to do what the leaders were doing. We were saving fuel like they were but it just didn't work for us. We weren't quite good enough today but we'll keep working on it. We're doing the right things and I think we'll have another podium pretty soon."
Helio Castroneves (No. 3 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): "If you would have told me we would have finished in the top-10 today, I would have said you were crazy. We made great strategy calls throughout the race. Working with Mr. Penske is awesome, he relays great information over the radio. It was a great day for our PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet. I know that it was only a sixth place finish but it could win the Championship at the end of the year. I have said all along that we will continue to do our thing and not change a thing and it will pay off at the end of the day."
Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "I guess you could say we won the two stopper (pit stop) race today at Mid-Ohio. It was a disappointing day for the Verizon team, we had great pit stops during the race and at the end of the day we did our best. We got stuck on a two pit stop strategy for the race and it was too late by then to make it up. It would have been great to get a win but I'm happy for the top-10 finish and we'll move on to Sonoma in a few weeks.
Simona de Silvestro (No. 78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KVRT Chevrolet): "It was an ok result. I wish we could have finished a little bit further up, but we didn't quite have the pace we should have during the second stint. We were in a bit of traffic in the beginning which didn't help either. But, I think there are a lot of positive things that we can take away from this race and hopefully we do learn from it. It was good that we were running with the fast guys this weekend; the whole weekend. Now we can just look at the books again and hopefully we'll do better next one."
Graham Rahal (No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Honda): "It was a struggle all day. The car was loose from the get-go, really loose. Here, where you have these high commitment corners when you are loose it's a struggle and unfortunately we never really came to grips with that. Obviously I'm disappointed. We wanted to show better at my home race but unfortunately this is all we had today. We've just got to keep soldiering on. Nothing is coming easy to us right now. We're just not competitive so we have to just keep working hard. We are looking forward to the test day in Sonoma, without a doubt. Hopefully we can get out there and get a lot done."
James Jakes (No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Honda): "It was a pretty frustrating race really. We started tenth, lost a spot on the start. Everyone else was on red tires and the three guys that were on blacks in front of us Marco, Pagenaud and ourselves all caught up to each other and I thought we were in a good position. We had pretty good laps going and I was quite happy with the balance of the car but then we just got stuck behind the guys that were doing the two stop race and that just killed us. It was difficult to overtake and we struggled from then on."
Josef Newgarden (No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda): "We just didn't have what we wanted today. I think we worked really hard and we had good stops. We just had an unfortunate incident with the rear of the car. We got it sorted pretty quickly and we were able to run all the laps out. It's just tough when you have days like these, but I think we have a great bunch of guys. We'll sort it out and move on to the next race."
Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 1 DHL Chevrolet): "We picked the wrong strategy today, we went with what we thought. If we had one yellow in there it would have been our race - it would have been between Will (Power) and I, I think. Will and I were on the same strategy and we both worked really hard to save fuel, I know I worked my tail off. It is some of the hardest work in a race car to save that much fuel and to have nothing to show for it, that sucks. But we'll pick up and head to the next one. It's frustrating; things just aren't falling into place right now... we can't be finishing fifth."
Takuma Sato (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing Honda): "Tough weekend, tough race. It was a struggle for speed the whole day. I appreciated all the hard work the boys did to overcome the issues we had this weekend. We finished the race but we're not satisfied at all. We have two tests at Sonoma before the race weekend there to figure out this road course tire. Hopefully we'll find the speed we need in the ABC Supply car."
James Hinchcliffe (No. 27 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet): "I definitely like doing the three-stopper better than the two-stopper, but with where we started, and it was my mistake in qualifying who put us in the back, we knew we had to be the first guy to do something on the three-stopper. So, we went for that early stop, and it was looking like it was going to work out well... if I had managed to get Helio (Castroneves) on his outlap there on the last stint, it would have made our race look a whole lot different for us. But ultimately, we were a bit off from some of these guys, no doubt. If we had gotten ahead of them, we might have been able to stay ahead of them, but we weren't great in traffic. Huge effort from the GoDaddy guys - really great in the pits all day. We had one little bobble on one stop but other than that it was fun. It's fun running around Mid-Ohio flat out. But yeah, from where we were at the start of that last stint, it would have been nice to finish fifth or sixth instead of 10th. With the season we've had, anytime you get a top-10 finish in this series is good. If you look at the guys in front of us - guys like Scott Dixon, Justin Wilson and Marco Andretti - it's not like we're slumming it; it's just that competitive right now. We missed it by the smallest amount today, but the team did such a great job all weekend. Big congrats to Charlie - that's awesome. I know what that feels like. We'll take this and move on to the next one. I feel good, the team's working well and we just gotta put our heads down and fight."
E.J. Viso (No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet): "Well, definitely finishing 17th is not at all what we were looking for. I think many factors during the race didn't play in our favor. I believe the direction that we went when we made the decision on how much downforce we were going to put on the car didn't help. We just trimmed a lot to be faster in the straights, but definitely cost us some time in the corners. At the same time, we were asking a bit too much from the tires that we wanted them a little bit sooner than expected. The second to last pit stop really cost us time as well. Losing those three or four seconds allowed the group of cars behind me to cycle out in front of me in the next pit stop. Anyways, these things happen and all we have to do now is stay strong and head into the next one."
Marco Andretti (No. 25 RC Cola Chevrolet): "For whatever reason we just didn't have the same car we had in warm up. I didn't have the car for a three-stop race; we were just hanging on. We're going to have to make something happen (in Sonoma). I definitely want another Firestone Fast Six and to build on that. We need to find points for the RC (Cola) car wherever we can."
Sebastien Bourdais (No. 7 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "Very disappointed for the guys because we had it going on in the first part of the race. We felt really strong but when the track gripped up. We lost the balance and lost pretty much everything and never were able to get back at it. It wasn't a bad day starting 14th, but there was really nothing great about today. I was able to gain a couple of positions early in the race but fell back after our first pit stop and never had time to get caught up."
Sebastian Saavedra (No. 6 Dragon Racing Chevrolet): "A bit bummed with today's result for the #6 TrueCar Dragon Racing crew. It looked like we were going to have a solid run gaining a bunch of positions early in the race making it up to 13th. Unfortunately my second stint of blacks gave the car bad balance and we couldn't hold a solid pace. We kept fighting all day with a good car and tried to get back into the rhythm, but couldn't gain back the positions we had early in the race. We have made a lot of progress in the last few races but have not been able to show it in our results. Step by step we are getting where we want to be and need to keep moving forward."
Oriol Servia (No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet): "During the parade lap I was thinking about what I would do on the first lap in a perfect world, and that's exactly how it played out; I passed five or six cars in one lap and it was great. But I was pushing really hard and in Turn Nine I pushed a little too hard and honestly almost lost it. I was lucky to save it and lost four or five positions. It was just a little mistake and we were pushing hard but with no yellows and not much of a chance to do anything with the strategy there weren't really many miracles to pull out. We ended up 14th and I'm a little disappointed, because we were really hoping for a lot better, and the National Guard Chevy was really good, but when it's this competitive and you start at the back, it's really hard to make a miracle happen."
Tristan Vautier (No. 55 Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "It started off as a great weekend with the Angie's List car and we had high hopes after qualifying 11th. It was just very positive after having a rough stretch of races before Mid-Ohio. Unfortunately the engine let go this morning in warm-up which set us 10 spots back on the starting grid. We tried to go with an alternative fuel strategy but it didn't end up working out so we had to conserve fuel for the whole second half of the race. It's frustrating because I wanted to do better for our first weekend with Angie's List but I think we have something to build on for the future." -