Aug. 4, 2013, via IndyCar.com
|Photo courtesy of IndyCar.com.|
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Charlie Kimball sized up Simon Pagenaud's No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car on the backstretch, darted to the inside entering the Esses and easily completed the pass on Lap 73.
It proved to be the decisive move of the 90-lap Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio and of the Camarillo, Calif., native's IZOD IndyCar Series career.
Kimball, driving the Honda-powered No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chip Ganassi Racing car, earned his first victory in the series and gave Chip Ganassi Racing its fifth consecutive win at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course.
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.”