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Kimball picks up first Indycar victory

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ARTICLE PROVIDED BY INDYCAR PUBLIC RELATIONS

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.