Redemption game: Charlie Kimball earns first IndyCar win at Mid-Ohio

Kevin C. Cox

Charlie Kimball became the latest IndyCar Series driver to earn his first-career win, joining James Hinchcliffe and Simon Pagenaud who have achieved that feat in 2013.

Make that nine different winners in 14 races for the IZOD IndyCar Series after Charlie Kimball scored his first career victory on Sunday in the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Kimball made the final pass for the lead on lap 73 after Simon Pagenaud assumed the lead after all the leaders had completed their final pit stops. Pagenaud exited pit road in front of Kimball but was unable to hold back the Ganassi driver on cold tires. Kimball easily surged by on the long backstretch and never looked back.

The victory served as a redemption scenario of sorts as the Californian missed the race last year after he broke his wrist testing before the race at Mid-Ohio. Now he's won at the track located just outside of Lexington.

"I feel like maybe Mid-Ohio and I have come to terms," Kimball said. "She broke my hand last year and I got a win out of her this year. I think we are just about square now.

Overall, the team made a great call strategy wise early. We talked about it in the meetings this morning with Scott (Dixon) and Dario (Franchitti), and we kind of talked about going to an alternate strategy as much as possible to hedge the bets for Chip so that we had the opportunity for a race win."

The team was able to do that because they were feeling confident about their chances. Ganassi had won three straight races with Dixon entering the weekend and Dixon had also won the previous two Mid-Ohio races. The pit strategy was just a matter of stacking the deck.

"We knew we had the car to do it. We knew that we had the pace, consistency," Kimball said. "I made that gap in that second stint to be able to come out ahead of Hunter Reay, and at that point then, we just had to modulate the gap to Simon."

Kimball led the most laps (46) in a race that did not see a single caution, the first time that has happened since the Mid-Ohio race last season.

Pagenaud held on to second to score his second-career podium and first since winning race 2 of the Duel in Detroit in early June. Franchitti completed the podium for Ganassi Racing with Will Power and pole-sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay completing the top-five.

Championship leaders Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon finished sixth and seventh respectively allowing Helio to pad his championship lead to 31 markers with five races remaining.

First-time starters James Davison and Luca Filippi finished 15th and 16th respectively.

The next race on the IndyCar Series schedule will take place on Aug. 25 at Raceway Sonoma in the Grand Prix of Sonoma. The complete results from Mid-Ohio can be found below.

  1. Charlie Kimball
  2. Simon Pagenaud
  3. Dario Franchitti
  4. Will Power
  5. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  6. Helio Castroneves
  7. Scott Dixon
  8. Justin Wilson
  9. Marco Andretti
  10. James Hinchcliffe
  11. Simona De Silvestro
  12. Sebastien Bourdais
  13. James Jakes
  14. Oriol Servia
  15. James Davison
  16. Luca Filippi
  17. E.J. Viso
  18. Graham Rahal
  19. Sebastian Saavedra
  20. Ed Carpenter
  21. Tristan Vautier
  22. Takuma Sato
  23. Josef Newgarden
  24. Tony Kanaan

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