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IndyCar Season Preview: Charlie Kimball

Photo credit: Ned Leone

#83 Novo Nordisk Dallara-Honda, Chip Ganassi Racing

Born: February 20, 1985

Home: Camarillo, California

2011 HIGHLIGHTS: The main highlight of Kimball’s season was converting a fourth place finish in the 2010 Indy Lights championship to a contract with Chip Ganassi, after bringing a decent sponsorship contract from Novo Nordisk. Kimball’s best finish was a ninth place run at Loudon.

2011 LOWLIGHTS: Kimball had six DNFs, including crashes at St. Petersburg, the first Texas race, and Toronto, and running off course at the very end of the Motegi race. He only finished 19th in points, which is not what you’d expect from anybody driving for Chip Ganassi.

SEASON OUTLOOK: Kimball is a long-term project for Chip Ganassi. Not only was the team new last season (one of the two Ganassi teams that operated in a satellite shop), Kimball was not experienced in cars as big as the Dallara IR07. That being said, Ganassi is more than willing to be patient, signing both Kimball and his sponsor to long-term deals.

For now, though, Kimball’s most notable contribution to the sport will remain his pioneering as a diabetic racer whose car requires special extra gadgets to monitor his blood sugar. Kimball is an excellent brand ambassador, a trait that a big-budget team like Ganassi’s clearly reveres, and it’s not as if he didn’t earn his way into the series. But with Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, and Graham Rahal also on the team, he’s the clear-cut number four driver.

– Chris Leone

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