Jul 30, 2013, 6:15 PM EST
I’m calling it now: Charlie Kimball is a top sleeper pick for this IZOD IndyCar Series race weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing driver will be primed for a big weekend at the track after missing the race last year, due to a fractured right hand from a testing accident.
In his rookie year in 2011, Mid-Ohio was one of a handful of tracks where the personable Californian made an impact. He started 10th, ran in the top five all day and ended an unrepresentative 11th.
Earlier this year, Kimball led the three-car Ganassi contingent on pace and performance all weekend on the only other permanent road course raced thus far in 2013: Barber Motorsports Park. Kimball made his first Firestone Fast Six, ran in the top three all day after starting fifth and finished fourth after a gutsy pass on Will Power.
His teammate Scott Dixon, in the No. 9 Target Honda, is the odds-on favorite after winning four of the last six races at Mid-Ohio.
But given Kimball’s road course prowess, the improved Honda spec engines that have come to life the last few races and the gains made by the entire CGR team after its test at Sebring this summer, this could be a weekend where Kimball repeats his Barber efforts, and perhaps scores his second podium of the season.
A solid result could propel him into the top 10 in points, as he currently sits 11th, just one point behind Power.
Video from NASCAR America
- Danica Patrick enters final year of contract but wants to stay at Stewart-Haas 0
- Start times for 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races 2
- Bowyer on Gordon: “You’re never good with somebody when it got that ugly” 14
- NASCAR considers unveiling 2016 rules at Sprint All-Star Race in May 2
- Kyle Busch says Toyota teams are “idiots” by not working close together 19
- Brian France: State of NASCAR is in a good place and getting better 5
- NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett to join NASCAR coverage on NBC, NBCSN 4