Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Kimball earns first IndyCar victory at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio — Until Sunday, Charlie Kimball was perhaps most notable as IndyCar's first diabetic driver. He manages the condition with vigilance, discipline and perspective.

Kind of like he handles the horsepower at his fingertips.

Six years after the diagnosis that changed his life and two-plus seasons into his IndyCar career, Kimball earned his first series victory Sunday, passing Simon Pagenaud with 18 laps left to take the Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The triumph validated the plan team owner Chip Ganassi put in place when he hired Kimball for his powerful team.

"The last couple years, we got the experience, we built the foundation," Kimball said. "As a team we're ready to win."

Kimball's team ditched its initial strategy of saving fuel and pitting only twice instead of three times. Stepping on it worked better than imagined for the 28-year-old English-born Californian.

Pagenaud led coming out of his final pit stop but, on cold tires, couldn't hold off Kimball, who made a move he called "50 percent momentum and 75 percent commitment."

Kimball keeps an eye on his diet and monitors his glucose levels every 10-15 laps during a race. The numbers Sunday told Kimball he was "right on line" as he navigated the physically demanding 2.258-mile road course.

"All I had to do was keep an eye on it," he said.

NHRA: Matt Hagan earned his fourth Funny Car victory this year, extending his points lead at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle by defeating Bob Tasca in the final. Morgan Lucas won in Top Fuel, defeating David Grubnic in the final, and Vincent Nobile topped Jeg Coughlin in Pro Stock.

East Bay Raceway: Matt Miller won the Open Wheel Modified feature Saturday in Gibsonton.

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