With the win, Kimball moved from 11th into a tie for seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 325 markers.
LEXINGTON, Ohio – Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing (NNCGR) driver Charlie Kimball took home the first win of his IZOD IndyCar Series career in Round 14 in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Following the transition, Kimball made it to the Firestone Fast Six for the second time in his IZOD IndyCar career and tied his career-best qualifying effort of fifth (Barber, 2013).
For the start of the 90-lap race, the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team lined up from the inside of row three in fifth position. Kimball immediately showed strength on the 2.258-mile road course and battled around the No. 25 car to nab the fourth spot by the second lap.
While other frontrunners chose a two-stop pit strategy focused on fuel-conservation for the 90-lap race, the No. 83 team strategized for a three-stop approach. Kimball spent the initial stages of the race holding fourth position until called to pit lane for his first stop on lap 19 to take another set of alternate tires and fuel.
With a quick pit stop, the No. 83 car exited pit lane in sixth and worked its way up to fourth before the leading cars went to pit lane for their initial stops where Kimball rotated to first position. Shortly after taking the lead, the No. 83 team reported to Kimball that he was posting good lap times as he produced his fastest run of the race on lap 34.
Nearing the halfway mark of the caution-free race, the team called Kimball to pit lane for his second of three stops from first position to take its only set of primary tires. Exiting pit lane in second, the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car would spend only six laps out of the lead before retaining it following a pit stop from the No. 77, in first position.
Kimball made his third and final pit stop on lap 65 and took his final set of alternate tires. With 18-laps remaining, the race-leading No. 77 car, working a similar race-strategy as the No. 83, made its final pit stop and resumed in first position.
As the two cars made their way to the end of the Mid-Ohio back straight, Kimball used push-to-pass to get around the No. 77 in the entry of turn five for the lead. Kimball held on to the lead for the remaining 17 laps until crossing the finish line with a 5.533-second lead for the first win of his IZOD IndyCar Series career.
With the win, Kimball moved from 11th into a tie for seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 325 markers, -128 points behind leader Helio Castroneves.
With Honda teams posting a one-two-three finish at Mid-Ohio, they are now tied with Chevrolet in the manufacturer point standings (105 points).
Up next, Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing will compete in Round 15 of the IZOD IndyCar Series with the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma in Sonoma, California, on Sunday, August 25 (4:00pm ET on NBC Sports Network).
Charlie Kimball: “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 67.5 second lap times, and I threw down a couple 67.1 second laps.
They said, ‘Okay, see if you can do a 66.’ We just kept pushing the limit. The No. 77 was on a similar strategy. I caught traffic at 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.”
Chip Ganassi Racing