INDIANAPOLIS – As in 2014, Charlie Kimball wasn’t really on the radar heading into the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, but emerged at the end of the race with his first top-five finish of the season.
Last year it was a 23rd to fifth, and this year it was a 14th to fifth run aboard the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
The result today is not only his first top-five but also his first top-10 result of the year.
Kimball had to take the escape road to avoid the first corner chaos and wound up one of several drivers who pitted on Lap 2. He was back to the top-10 – in 10th – by Lap 34 and made it to the lead by Lap 62 before making his final pit stop of the race.
The gained track position over those 60 laps put him in position to not lose too much when he made his final stop. He reemerged in sixth, which became his final finishing position of fifth once James Hinchcliffe pitted for the final time on an off-sequence strategy on Lap 75.
“A lot of it came to the car just being that good,” Kimball told ABC’s Jon Beekhuis post-race. “A lot of credit goes to the Team Chevy guys. The aero kits are competitive in the corners, and had the horsepower down the straights.
“A lot of it happened in pit lane and so much has to go to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi guys in the pits. Good stops, good in and out laps, they gave me a fuel mileage number and car was quick and able to hit that number.”
How good would he have been if he qualified better?
“That’s always gotta be the comment right?” he added. “I’d like to keep racing like I am and qualify a lot better. That’s our goal heading into the rest of the month, and go have a good race like that one.”
It was nice for Kimball, who has been the target of various other cars this year, to have a trouble-free race and end P5.
He also ended best of the quartet of Chip Ganassi Racing cars. Teammates Tony Kanaan (seventh) and Scott Dixon (10th) at least made it three CGR cars in the top-10, while Sebastian Saavedra ended 17th in his second start of the season.