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Kimball wins IndyCar race in Ohio

The SportsXchange

Lexington, Ohio -- Charlie Kimball finally got to victory lane.

He had not won a race since 2006, and that was a career ago for the native of Camarillo, Calif.

Kimball's last win was in Europe's Formula Three Euroseries seven years ago.

Before becoming a first-time winner in the Izod IndyCar Series on Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Kimball became a shining example of living with diabetes.

Kimball was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2007, and he was forced to temporarily abandon his racing activities midseason. He returned to his sport the next year.

Since then, Kimball, now 28, has been a leading spokesman for Racing with Insulin, showing he is able to compete in a demanding sport despite his medical condition.

Sunday's win made him the ninth different IndyCar Series winner this year. He even had a memorable pass.

On Lap 73 of 90, Kimball dropped the right-side tires of his Ganassi Racing car into the dirt trying to pass Simon Pagenaud, who was coming out of his final pit stop with the lead. Kimball recovered three corners to pass Pagenaud under braking. Then he did the rest.

The final margin of victory was 5.5 seconds. Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti finished third.

Pagenaud complained that EJ Viso was in the middle of the track as he fought to keep Kimball back.

"I didn't think he was going to make it," Pagenaud said of Kimball. "I thought I was going to keep it."

Franchitti said Kimball has been remarkably quick at several tracks this season, especially here and at Barber Motorsports Park in April.

"And he really executed the strategy today," the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said.

Franchitti said he was impressed that after Kimball went off track, slid through the gravel pit and hit a tire barrier in Saturday morning's session, he got back on the throttle and qualified fifth.

"Got straight back on it as if he never had one," Franchitti said.

Sunday's race was lengthened by five laps to keep teams from going from start to finish on just two stops, making it a fuel conservation affair.

Most of the field went with a three-stop pit strategy. The fastest few qualifiers, including pole sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay, tried to make it a three-stop run. That didn't work as the lap times dropped as the tires wore out.

The top-finishing driver on such a strategy was Will Power, who finished fourth.

This has been a memorable year Kimball. He was part of Chip Ganassi's winning sports car team in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, with Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas as teammates.

Kimball was born in Chertsey, England, while his father, Gordon, was working in Formula One as an engineer. Gordon now accompanies his son to IndyCar races, although he wasn't at the track Sunday.

Order of finish:

1. Charlie Kimball, Ganassi Racing

2. Simon Pagenaud, Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports

3. Dario Franchitti, Ganassi Racing

4. Will Power, Team Penske

5. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport

6. Helio Castroneves, Team Penske

7. Scott Dixon, Ganassi Racing

8. Justin Wilson, Dale Coyne Racing

9. Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport

10. James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport

11. Simona De Silvestro, KV Racing Technology

12. Sebastien Bourdais, Dragon Racing

13. James Jakes, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

14. Oriol Servia, Panther Racing

15. James Davison, Dale Coyne Racing

16. Luca Filippi, Barracuda Racing

17. EJ Viso, Andretti Autosport

18. Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

19. Sebastian Saavedra, Dragon Racing

20. Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing

21. Tristan Vautier, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

22. Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Racing

23. Josef Newgarden, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing

24. Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology
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