Photo: Chip Ganassi Racing

Kimball’s Novo Nordisk Honda joins blue, white liveries in Toronto

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The bevy of blue and white liveries in the Verizon IndyCar Series grows by one – again – with Charlie Kimball’s No. 83 Novo Nordisk Canada Honda at Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.

With a Diabetes Canada primary message, the ordinarily black and green Tresiba Honda goes to a blue and white scheme this weekend.

The car ran without Tresiba signage in Toronto last year as well, with generic Race With Insulin signage on the car. But a great opportunity presents itself for Novo Nordisk Canada this weekend with this revised livery.

“As a global leader in diabetes care, Novo Nordisk has a responsibility to invest in initiatives that support the diabetes community,” said Brian Hilberdink, President at Novo Nordisk Canada, Inc. “Our partnership with Diabetes Canada and Charlie Kimball reinforces this commitment and we’re proud to support Charlie live his dream of driving professionally while managing his diabetes.

“Diabetes literally doesn’t slow him down and we hope his story will inspire others. The new car livery in Toronto leverages our strong corporate brand and reputation in the diabetes community in Canada, it also allows for a unique opportunity to partner with Diabetes Canada.”

Rick Blickstead, President and CEO, Diabetes Canada, added: “Diabetes is a serious disease that can have devastating health impacts. We’re proud to partner with Novo Nordisk to tell Charlie’s story, which shows that with the technology, medication and the right team – you can live well with diabetes.”

Kimball’s blue and white car means all four Ganassi cars have blue and white liveries this weekend. Tony Kanaan’s is the only primarily blue car, the No. 10 NTT Data Honda, while Scott Dixon’s No. 9 NTT Data Honda and Max Chilton’s No. 8 Gallagher Honda have different shades of blue with their white.

Others running some shade of blue on their cars this weekend include the AJ Foyt Racing pair of Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz, Dale Coyne Racing pair of Esteban Gutierrez and Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing’s JR Hildebrand back in Preferred Freezer colors, and Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti and Takuma Sato at Andretti Autosport, to make 12 of the 21 cars with some shade of blue in them.

The full Toronto spotter guide is linked here.

Top Fuel driver Austin Prock earns 2019 NHRA top rookie honors

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Having just completed a promising first year in NHRA Top Fuel competition, Austin Prock is on the road to even greater drag racing success in his career.

That’s why it’s not surprising that Prock was named the winner of the 2019 Auto Club Road to the Future Award during Monday night’s annual NHRA Awards dinner at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

The Road to the Future Award is NHRA’s version of Rookie of the Year, and Prock was among the brightest young stars on the circuit this past season, including winning his first national event at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle, the 16th race on the 24-race schedule.

What made that first win all the more sweeter is it came at the same event that his boss, legendary 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, captured his milestone 150th career win.

One month ago, Prock set a personal best run of 3.688 seconds at 334.40 mph over veteran driver Doug Kalitta in the first round of eliminations at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals three weeks ago in Ennis, Texas (suburban Dallas).

“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together,” Prock said in a media release. “My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight (president of John Force Racing). They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”

Prock became only the 10th rookie in the history of the NHRA pro ranks to both win a race in their first season and also go on to win the Road to the Future award. He also was the 13th rookie in the sport’s history to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six race playoffs.

Prock becomes the sixth John Force Racing driver to earn the Road to the Future Award, joining Tony Pedregon (1996), Hight (2005), Ashley Force-Hood (2007), Mike Neff (2008), Courtney Force (2012) and Brittany Force (2013).

Austin Prock is the son of veteran crew chief Jimmy Prock, who tuned Hight to his third career NHRA Funny Car championship this past Sunday.

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