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Aug 21, 2013 - 04:59 PM
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2013 Sonoma: Charlie Kimball IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 21, 2013 - 04:57 PM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Sonoma: Charlie Kimball IndyCar Race Preview


Race: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, August 25
Driver: Charlie Kimball @racewithinsulin
Car: No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda
Track: Sonoma Raceway (2.385-mile road course)
TV: 4:00 PM ET on NBC Sports Network
Social: @CGRTeams #TeamGanassi
Location: Sonoma, Calif.


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Remembering Floyd Ganassi: The racing industry lost a beloved figure this week in the passing of Chip Ganassi’s father, Floyd Ganassi Sr. Floyd, 87 years of age, was a great supporter of his son’s racing teams for decades, often accompanying Chip to INDYCAR, NASCAR and GRAND-AM races. Floyd was a self-made man who started his career driving his own cement truck and went on to become one of Pittsburgh’s most successful businessmen. He created the FRG Group, a vast holding company engaged in everything from manufacturing to telecommunications. When his son Chip decided to go racing, Floyd supported him the whole way. Amid all this success Chip enjoyed unwavering support from his father Floyd who was renowned as a tough businessman with a kind heart. Floyd loved to take photos at the races and the following week an envelope would arrive in many mailboxes marked ‘Photos from Floyd’. He did this every week, sending his photos to hundreds of his friends. This weekend, all Chip Ganassi Racing Teams entries will run a special decal to honor Floyd.

We Meet Again, Top-10: Following his first-place finish in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Kimball moved from 11th into a tie for seventh in the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings with 325 markers, -128 points behind leader Helio Castroneves. Kimball has now been in the top-10 of the IZOD IndyCar Series point standings four times this season and has spent five of the 14 rounds there in 2013. In all of 2012, Kimball made one appearance in the top-10, following the first round at St. Petersburg in ninth.

Race Leader: Kimball is tied for third with fellow drivers Castroneves and Marco Andretti for total races led in 2013, at five rounds led. Will Power sits in first with 10 total races led and defending Series Champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in second with eight. He has also led the 10th most laps this season out of all drivers in the series (58 total laps).

Making History: Following his recent win at Mid-Ohio, Charlie became the first and only licensed Indy car driver with diabetes to win a race at the highest level of open-wheel racing in the United States.

The Californians: Before Camarillo, Calif., native Kimball claimed his victory at Mid-Ohio, the last Californian to win an Indy car race was AJ Allmendinger, from Los Gatos, Calif., who won five Champ Car races in 2006.

Most Innovative: Kimball’s primary sponsor on the No. 83, Novo Nordisk, recently made the Forbes' list of ‘The World's Most Innovative Companies.’ The company moved from 87th position out of 100 on the list in 2012, to 70th this year.

Rookie Class: In Kimball’s rookie year of 2011, he was one of six drivers to have full-time rides including James Hinchcliffe, JR Hildebrand, Ana Beatriz, James Jakes and Sebastian Saavedra. Of the six rookies to enter the series that season, Kimball and Hinchcliffe are the only two drivers to have claimed their first career win, both doing so this season.

First-Timers: Of the nine drivers to win races in the IZOD IndyCar Series this year, four have been first-time winners. With Kimball’s recent win at Mid-Ohio, he joins fellow drivers James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud in taking their first career victory in 2013. Kimball also became the 210th driver to win an Indy car race.

Lap Leader: At Mid-Ohio, Kimball led for just over half of the 90-lap race (46 laps in total) which marked the fourth time he has led laps on a street/road course and the sixth time he has led laps in his IZOD IndyCar Series career. Of the five times he has led laps this season, Kimball has accumulated a total of 58 laps led, while he only led laps in one race in 2012 for a total of three laps.

Teamwork: Kimball’s win at Mid-Ohio marked Chip Ganassi Racing Teams 156th win overall, fourth win in a row in the series this season and fifth consecutive victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

All in Top-10: Mid-Ohio marked the first time all three Chip Ganassi Racing Teams drivers ended a round in the top-10 in points this season. Dixon in second (-31), Franchitti in sixth (-111) and Kimball tied for seventh (-128). Helio Castroneves leads with 453.

Honda Power: With seven race victories and 105 points apiece, Honda and Chevrolet now are tied in the battle for the 2013 INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, with five races remaining.

Honda Sweeps: Of Honda’s seven wins this year, four have included podium sweeps. These four races included, Long Beach, Race 2 of the Dual in Detroit and Pocono with the latest being Kimball’s win at Mid-Ohio with Pagenaud and Franchitti completing the sweep.


Follow Team Novo Nordisk on Twitter: Continue to follow Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing on their official team Twitter page. Find in-race updates and weekly news on the No.83 crew throughout the 2013 season by following ���œ@CGRTeams”.

CGRT Mobile App: Download the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams mobile app for the latest driver news, event information, social media updates and exclusive content. Head to the iTunes store and check it out: http://bit.ly/YGJQxf.


@racewithinsulin: “Floyd Ganassi will be very missed in the paddock. No matter what, he always brought a smile to everyone's faces. A great man.”


Charlie Kimball and No. 83 Novo Nordisk Team

Post-Win Callings: After scoring the first win of his career at Mid-Ohio, Charlie called home to his parents in Camarillo, Calif., and went to dinner with close friends. In the days following his victory, he picked up the Wednesday edition of USA Today to catch a full-page congratulatory ad from his sponsor, Novo Nordisk, and celebrated with fellow individuals living with diabetes at a JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) camp in Madison, Wis.

Road-Course Warrior: The IZOD IndyCar Series has visited two road courses so far this season, Barber Motorsports Park and Mid-Ohio. Of the two races at these tracks, Kimball has paired and average start of 5.0 with an average finish of 2.5, led 49 total laps, posted two Firestone Fast Six finishes and two top-fives and one win.

Mid-Ohio Race Rewind: Kimball took home the first win of his IZOD IndyCar Series career in Round 14 in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. In the final practice session for the Honda Indy 200 on Saturday, an incident involving the NovoLog FlexPen car with the Turn 1 barrier took a full team effort by both the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing crews to prepare the No. 83 back-up car for qualifying that afternoon. Following the transition, Kimball made it to the Firestone Fast Six for the second time in his IZOD IndyCar career and tied his career-best qualifying effort of fifth (Barber, 2013). For the start of the 90-lap race, the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team lined up from the inside of row three in fifth position. Kimball immediately showed strength on the 2.258-mile road course and battled around the No. 25 car to nab the fourth spot by the second lap. While other frontrunners chose a two-stop pit strategy focused on fuel-conservation for the 90-lap race, the No. 83 team strategized for a three-stop approach. Kimball spent the initial stages of the race holding fourth position until called to pit lane for his first stop on lap 19 to take another set of alternate tires and fuel. With a quick pit stop, the No. 83 car exited pit lane in sixth and worked its way up to fourth before the leading cars went to pit lane for their initial stops where Kimball rotated to first position. Shortly after taking the lead, the No. 83 team reported to Kimball that he was posting good lap times as he produced his fastest run of the race on lap 34. Nearing the halfway mark of the caution-free race, the team called Kimball to pit lane for his second of three stops from first position to take its only set of primary tires. Exiting pit lane in second, the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car would spend only six laps out of the lead before retaining it following a pit stop from the No. 77, in first position. Kimball made his third and final pit stop on lap 65 and took his final set of alternate tires. With 18-laps remaining, the race-leading No. 77 car, working a similar race-strategy as the No. 83, made its final pit stop and resumed in first position. As the two cars made their way to the end of the Mid-Ohio back straight, Kimball used push-to-pass to get around the No. 77 in the entry of turn five for the lead. Kimball held on to the lead for the remaining 17 laps until crossing the finish line with a 5.533-second lead for the first win of his IZOD IndyCar Series career.

Last Time at Sonoma: Last season, Kimball finished 21st in the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Raceway. The finish came in Kimball’s 29th career IZOD IndyCar Series start. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team started from 21st position and withstood incidents that caused two cautions totaling 11 laps on the 2.31-mile, 12-turn road course. The No. 83 would find its way from 21st position to 11th by lap 65 of the 85-lap race. As the No. 83 climbed its way up the charts, the car lost fourth-gear during the first caution period. Due to the late-technical issue, Kimball was forced to pit to fix the gearbox on lap 69. As a result, the No.83 NovoLog FlexPen Honda dropped 10 positions and went three laps down to spend the remainder of the race in 21st position.

Kimball on Sonoma: "I'm definitely looking forward to Sonoma this weekend. The No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen car had the pace for a better result last year, and I think with the extra test time we'll be able to figure out what we can do with the car to keep it in the top-10 until the checkered flag. We're working hard on sorting out qualifying speed at this track; we can always use a better starting position to our advantage at Sonoma. We had the chance to celebrate our win at Mid-Ohio, so now the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team is focused on the next challenge: our second win."

Penny for your Thoughts: Ever wonder what Charlie and his team were up to during a typical race weekend? Check out Charlie’s live blog at www.CharlieKimball.com for race weekend schedules, post-practice thoughts, race day preparations, and behind-the-scenes photos.

Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include three cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and one Daytona Prototype in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Overall his teams have 15 championships and over 150 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and five Rolex 24 At Daytonas. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Brownsburg, Ind. and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.

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