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IndyCar's Charlie Kimball carries first-win momentum to Sonoma

August 20, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • After his first IndyCar victory, Charlie Kimball is ready for Sonoma.
After his first IndyCar victory, Charlie Kimball is ready for Sonoma. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images )

Now that he's won his first IndyCar race, Charlie Kimball sees no reason that he can't do it again Sunday when the series visits Sonoma Raceway.

His victory at the Mid-Ohio track Aug. 4 "gives us a lot of confidence as a team that we can keep winning," Kimball, 28, said in an interview.

Born in Britain and raised in Camarillo, Kimball is in his third year in the Izod IndyCar Series driving for the powerhouse team of Chip Ganassi Racing, whose other drivers are four-time champion Dario Franchitti and two-time title winner Scott Dixon.

Kimball's victory also was notable because he has Type 1 diabetes, and there's a monitor on his race car's steering wheel that keeps track of his blood-sugar level.

But nearly as important for Kimball was that his win "definitely quieted a lot of voices, some externally but a lot internally" about whether he and his team have what it takes to reach Victory Lane, he said.

"The expectation is that every weekend in a Ganassi car you have the tools and capabilities to get a win," Kimball said. "By getting that win, we calmed a lot of those voices and validated the fact that the team has grown into the position that's capable of winning."

Now it's on to Sonoma Raceway, a 12-turn, 2.4-mile road course in the wine country nestled against the hills just north of San Francisco.

But Kimball also is keeping a close eye on his beloved Dodgers in Southern California. One of his thrills this year was throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium and meeting several of the players.

And he's hopeful that when IndyCar holds its season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on Oct. 19, there will be a Dodgers playoff game he can attend while he's in the neighborhood.


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