A Chip Ganassi car celebrated in victory lane at Mid-Ohio today. It just wasn’t the one everyone expected it to be. Charlie Kimball won his first career IndyCar race on Sunday, with a thrilling pass for the lead on Simon Pagenaud with 19 laps remaining. Before today’s race at Mid-Ohio, Kimball had only led 15 total laps in his career.
Charlie won the race by 5.5 seconds over Pagenaud. Dario Franchitti joined them on the podium, with Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out the top five.
Kimball had a hard crash in Saturday morning’s practice session, and the team used a backup car to qualify in the Firestone Fast Six. The well-liked 25-year old is the 4th driver to get his first career win this yera. It was a popular win throughout the IndyCar community.
Despite having so many slide offs and accidents in practice and qualifying, today’s race went caution-free for the second consecutive year. This race was all about strategy. Many drivers opted to stretch the race into 2 stops, while others went full throttle and stopped 3 times.
After not getting a win in the first 10 races, Chip Ganassi has now won the last 4 events. The interesting part about that statistic is that Franchitti didn’t win any of them. Speaking of not winning, Power’s winless streak continues. His next chance to snap it is at Sonoma on August 25, where his winless streak will be at 484 days.
Heading into Sonoma, Helio Castroneves is still the points leader by 31 over Dixon. He finished in 6th today, just ahead of Dixon. Justin Wilson finished 8th, Marco Andretti in 9th, and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top 10.
The series now has another 3 weeks off until the next race. There are only 4 race weekends left on the 2013 schedule. Up next is the Sonoma race on August 25. The Baltimore race is September 1, and Houston will feature double-header races on October 5 & 6. Following that is the season finale on October 19 in Fontana. The night race is the final leg of the Triple Crown, which offers a bonus to either Tony Kanaan or Scott Dixon if they can win it.