IndyCar: Charlie Kimball Becomes First Time Winner at Mid-Ohio!

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Midwest, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

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.

Also on Aug. 4 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.

PHOTO CREDIT:  Chris Jones

News and Notes:

Johnny Rutherford won the first Indy car race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 1980 – a fact that is etched in the auto racing record book.

“I was driving for Jim Hall with the Chaparral team and Jim had a string of victories here. He had never lost a race with the Cam-Ams or the Trans-Ams or whatever he raced here,” said Rutherford, who drives the Honda Civic si Safety Car for the IZOD IndyCar Series. “When I won in ’80, he told about it. I said, ‘Thanks, boss.’ Thank goodness I didn’t know until after the race.”

Rutherford’s victory in the Red Roof Inn 150 on Aug. 13 followed the last of his three Indianapolis 500 victories 10 weeks earlier. In fact, the Mid-Ohio race was the last under USAC sanction and Rutherford won three of the five that season. The remainder of the season was run under CART sanction, and he went on to earn the championship.

Austin Cindric, who competes in Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda for Andretti Autosport, is adding to his family’s memories at Mid-Ohio.

The 14-year-old resident of Mooresville, N.C., finished ninth in the third USF2000 race on the racetrack owned for four decades by his grandfather, Jim Trueman, and the Trueman family after his death in 1986.

Cindric’s father is Penske Racing president Tim Cindric.

Animal expert Jack Hanna rode in the INDYCAR Experience 2-Seater this morning with racing legend Mario Andretti.

JACK HANNA (Honda Indy 200 Grand Marshal): (About riding in the INDYCAR Experience 2-Seater): “Having worked with the animal world for 40 years and the shows all over the world, diving with Great Whites, Tiger Sharks, going to the Himalayans, all this stuff, and this is the epitome. I learned to race here at Mid-Ohio in the 1980s. I was in the Columbus 500 in the Firehawk Series. Jimmy Gurney, Dan’s son, was one of my partners. I swung around and it got to be serious because the car caught on fire. My Dad, who was 6 (feet) 6 (inches) said, “Jack, that’s it, buddy. You’re out of the will if you do this ever again,” and he was dead serious. I never got back in a race car until just now. I didn’t know what happened. How fast did I go around that track? Three-quarters (pace)? I can’t take anymore. It makes you appreciate what this is all about. You can sit there and watch it on TV and Graham Rahal is my godson. I’ve known Bobby (Rahal) since he first started and you hear about it from them but getting in that car and doing this, you didn’t even have time to think. What would have happened if something had happened? You wouldn’t even know it. That must be what a bullet feels like.” (About meeting Mario Andretti): “If I knew how old he was, I wouldn’t have gotten in the car. It was amazing to be with someone you grew up with and watched. He’s the world’s greatest. It’s like when I met John Glenn. You’re meeting someone who is history. He’s a legend. He’s history. I’m very proud to meet someone like that.”

Garrett Grist won the third race of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda this morning at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Grist beat points leader Scott Hargrove for his first victory in the series. Grist, who is from Canada, drives for Andretti Autosport.

Matthew Brabham won the 25-lap Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires race this morning, completing a sweep of both events for the series this weekend at Mid-Ohio.

Brabham beat Diego Ferreira to the checkered flag for his ninth victory this season in an Andretti Autosport car. Brabham is the son of Le Mans 24 Hours winner Geoff Brabham and the grandson of three-time Formula One World Champion Sir Jack Brabham.

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