Win validation for Kimball and Novo Nordisk Ganassi crew (VIDEO)

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Occasionally derided or just known as “that driver with diabetes,” it’s been a long road for Charlie Kimball to get to victory lane in the IZOD IndyCar Series, as he finally did Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The third-year driver from Camarillo, Calif. was the less heralded member of IndyCar’s trio of young North American rookie class in 2011. JR Hildebrand had the championship pedigree from Firestone Indy Lights and the deferral to MIT, while James Hinchcliffe was the self-made brand as the “Mayor of Hinchtown.” Kimball was there, deservedly so, but didn’t earn near the hype or accolades as his fellow Californian or that quirky Canadian.

At the time, honestly, he’d probably tell you he didn’t deserve any. Hildebrand was famously one corner away from a win in his first Indianapolis 500 start while Hinchcliffe took to IndyCar like a duck to water and earned Rookie-of-the-Year honors. Kimball, meanwhile, struggled with only five starts better than 16th and just two top-10 finishes; he finished 19th in points.

But come year two, Kimball was closer to the finished product and adapted quite well to the new Dallara DW12 chassis. As he and engineer Brad Goldberg found their comfort zone, they started qualifying better – he improved his qualifying position at every track except Barber – and had at least moved into the upper midfield with six top-10 finishes. Toronto, his first podium, proved the highlight with an unforgettable pass of Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud at Turn 3, en route to second.

In year three, Kimball is nearly the finished article. The qualifying’s gotten better still, his road course prowess has increased, and the addition of new team manager Tom Wurtz just prior to Detroit has provided another level of leadership and experience with which to draw on.

Add in the one-year drop of a fourth car and the cohesive work between the Novo Nordisk and Target crews, and you see why Kimball is now tied for seventh in points in one of the deeper IndyCar fields in the last 20 years.

To hear him tell it, as he did after his win on Sunday at Mid-Ohio, it’s not as much about him as it is the effort of his team. It has been a methodical, step-by-step developmental process not unlike a baseball player who comes in raw as a rookie and improves with seasoning.

“It’s special for me, but it’s more importantly special for everyone that’s helped me get here,” said Kimball. “Chip taking the risk on me three years ago as a young rookie; Novo Nordisk, their commitment to my program and the commitment to motorsports to reach their audience over the last five years is fantastic.”

“It’s so fulfilling for me and for a lot of people,” he added. “I think that when you’re in the meetings with Chip and your first year, he’s telling you to go out and just finish the races and learn as much as possible. And you get a lot of flak for not getting the results that you might expect or want to, but you’re following the boss’s orders.

“Now to be able to repay that in my third 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. So to be able to get that win today and this weekend was definite validation for Chip, for the Novo Nordisk Group, my engineer, Brad, and all of the crew.”

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.