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article imageINDYCAR: First career IndyCar win is 'special' for Kimball

By John Duarte     Aug 5, 2013 in Sports
Lexington, OH- Charlie Kimball became the ninth different winner in 14 IndyCar events this season when he raced to victory at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday afternoon.
“Today is pretty bright,” Kimball said, referring to the “pretty dark day” in 2007, when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. “To come five years later and get a race win in what I think is the most competitive open-wheel series probably in the world at the minute is pretty fantastic.”
It was the first win for Kimball, now racing in his fourth season and with 45 races on his resume in the IZOD IndyCar Series. His best previous finish was a second-place in Toronto in 2012 and at Pocono earlier this year.
“I said, at the beginning of the year, that the last couple of years we got the experience, we built the foundation and, as a team, we are ready to win. Now, we just need to do it,” an elated Kimball said after the race. “It's really special. It's special for me, but it's more importantly special for everyone that's helped me get here.”
On this Sunday afternoon, Kimball sped past Simon Pagenaud on Lap 73 of the race total 90, and went on to become the fourth first-time winner in the IZOD IndyCar Series this season.
“It's nice when the team gives you such a great car,” the race winner said. “All I needed to do was hit the lap times they needed me to. We just kept pushing the limit.”
Pagenaud, who finished second in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, praised the winner of the race.
“I gave it my all. Just him and (the) Ganassi (team) were stronger,” said the race runner-up. “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.”
Adversity and disappointment is nothing new for Kimball, who besides dealing with diabetes didn't race at Mid-Ohio last year due to a fractured metacarpal bone, suffered during testing one week prior to the race. Kimball's improvement in a race car driver has not gone unnoticed by other IndyCar drivers, including teammate Dario Franchitti, who finished third at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
“Bit by bit, you see him get rid of his weaknesses,” Franchitti said. “He's smart and he's taken full advantage of the fact that he's a member of the team, the Ganassi team. He's taking full advantage of it.”
Helio Castroneves leads the IndyCar drivers' standings with 453 points. Scott Dixon is second, with 422 points, and defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, with 388 points. Drivers earn a maximum 25 points per race. The normally talkative Castroneves was nearly at a loss for words after another Top-10 finish.
“If you had told me we would finish in the Top 10, I would have said you were crazy,” said the season points' leader who started well back in the 14th spot on the grid. As it was, Castroneves beat his nearest challenger in the overall classification by three-tenths of a second to gain a few valuable points in the standings.
The next race on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule is the Go-Pro Grand Prix at Sonoma Raceway, in California, on Aug. 25, 2013.
More about IZOD Indycar series, charlie kimball, simon pagenaud, Dario Franchitti, Helio castroneves
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