We teased it earlier this week in looking at him as a possible spoiler. But the way Charlie Kimball made this Firestone Fast 6, his second of 2013, wasn’t nearly as straightforward as his first in Barber in April.
Kimball had an off in the morning practice, losing control through Turn 1 and backing into the tire barriers. Although his car temporarily got airborne upon impact, it was a soft landing and he emerged unhurt.
From there, a full team effort from the Novo Nordisk and Target Chip Ganassi Racing crews helped prep Kimball’s backup car, so he could go out and drive it in qualifying. As soon as he did, he was right on pace.
“It was a great effort by all the Chip Ganassi Racing guys. There were as many red shirts from the Target side in the garage as there were orange shirts,” said the third-year driver. “They gave me the easy job of driving the racecar. They kept kicking me out of the garage, telling me to get out of the way. All I had to do while they changed the backup was get the car ready for me and all I had to do was go out and drive it.
“The boys deserved it,” he added. “We had a really good car all week, both starting at the test and yesterday’s practice. This morning we just got caught out by the track conditions, a little dampness under the bridge. That was unfortunate, but it was great to bounce back and get a top-five starting spot.”
Kimball’s orange-and-blue No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda split the Target twins; Scott Dixon lines up fourth as he seeks his fourth consecutive win this season and fifth in seven years at Mid-Ohio, and Dario Franchitti, in a blue-and-purple GE Reveal livery this weekend, starts sixth.
You can see the IZOD IndyCar Series’ 14th round of 2013 Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.