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Jun 01, 2014 - 08:44 PM
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2014 Detroit: Charlie Kimball IndyCar Post-Race Press Conference
Posted by: ASkyler on Jun 01, 2014 - 08:40 PM
IndyCar News
2014 Detroit: Charlie Kimball IndyCar Post-Race Press Conference


CHARLIE KIMBALL, NO. 83 NOVO NORDISK FLEXPEN CHIP GANASSI RACING CHEVROLETC

THE MODERATOR: We'll begin our Verizon IndyCar Series post race press conference. We're pleased job joined by Charlie Kimball.

Charlie, a grueling race out there on a doubleheader weekend. How rewarding is this for you?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: It feels really good. Obviously qualifying this morning didn't really go our way as a team, to have three of the four cars outside of the top 10 is not ideal. I didn't think I would have been able to end up on the podium having used reverse on lap one to get out of that melee in turn three.

The one thing is it set us up strategy-wise. It gave us some options because we didn't have anything to lose. My engineers and strategist, Tom and Brad, were able to roll the dice in a couple places.

The nice thing is when we had clean air, the car was really quick. All I had to do was put the lap times in to move forward.

 

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I didn't know how the strategies were going to play out. I didn't know if yellows were going to help or hurt us. All I know is the guys were telling us, When you have clean air, go hard, when you are stuck in traffic when, you save fuel, and it opens up some options. I was able to get really good lap times.

A lot of credit has to go to the Chip Ganassi Racing guys because not only did they do good work in pit lane, but before we got to the race today they did a great job with the setup, just working through and keeping their heads up, coming into the race fighting rather than giving up starting 20th.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Charlie.

Q. Typical answer when people are asked about team orders is: Don't wreck each other. When you make a late-race pass on a teammate, what goes through your mind?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: If this goes wrong, the boss is going to call (laughter).

In all honesty, when I went by Scott, he had gotten offline. I could see him struggling with the car a little bit. Talking to him after the race, it sounds like he had a couple of brake issues. Sounds like the brakes got too hot on the second-to-last yellow. When he went into three, he ran a little wide. He was gathering the car up all the way through.

Will was sideways through most of four, five and six. He had a run on Will into seven, but just slid past the corner.

It wasn't really an out-braking or traditional overtaking maneuver. I was just inside on the line and out-accelerate him up to turn eight.

It gets really tight in there. I didn't want to clear him too hard and knock his front wing off or ruin the end of the race there. So you're conscious of it, for sure. But at the end of the day you're still out there trying to get the best result possible.

Q. How about the battle with Hinchcliffe on the last lap?

CHARLIE KIMBALL: It was a lot of fun, yeah. I don't know if I was in James' shoes I would be saying it was quite as much fun.

But I knew I had one less overtake than he did. I learned yesterday about how and where to use overtakes to the best advantage.

My team was doing a pretty good job of telling me when James was using the overtake button. Those last couple yellows gave us the fuel to be able to use the overtake, and fuel wasn't a limiting factor.

I used my last one headed into turn three to send him on the button as well. He had one more in the tank as we got on the back straight. My team said he was on the button, so I descended to the inside knowing if I could hold the inside line up to the brake zone, it was a question of him trying to make a move around the outside. While the grip was good out there, it wasn't that good. So it was definitely a wheel-to-wheel battle.

A lot of credit to him for racing me clean. In those last 20 laps when I was running with Hinch, Dixon and Pagenaud, all those guys around me, I knew the racing would be clean and hard-fought, for sure.

Q. You referenced the poor qualifying results for the team. I thought I heard Dixon say that Chip had a little discussion with the team.

CHARLIE KIMBALL: It was a pretty good little pep talk. I think we're calling it that now (laughter).

It was just an affirmation of expectations, of what we're here to do. I think we all knew it, but sometimes it's nice for the boss to come in and tell us what we're here to do.

We knew that to be successful today we had to have a fighting race. I think maybe he lit a little fire under all of us, not just the drivers, but engineers and team managers, as well. We all knew we had to dig pretty deep, and we did.

So, you know, however it works, it works.

Q. (Question about how he feels after the doubleheader.)

CHARLIE KIMBALL: I feel pretty good. One of the things we focused on in training this year was knowing that the doubleheaders are tough physically. It was a little easier last year because the temperatures were down.

It's part of the job. You got to be ready to go for two races.

Mentally I think it was harder, especially because today there were times I didn't know if I was 10th or 20th, 5th or 15th, if my lap times were good enough. Every time I would ask, my team would tell me my lap times were good, I was quicker than the guys behind me, catching the guys in front, and making good fuel mileage.

Staying mentally focused was the biggest challenge. Physically I feel pretty good. After today's result, and we finished 9th yesterday, 3rd today, I'd like to go do it again tomorrow. Anyone else up for that (laughter)?

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Charlie.


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