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IndyCar: Kimball, Sato earn Top-5s after starting deep in field for Toronto Race 2

Jul 20, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

Honda Indy Toronto - Day 3 Getty Images

With today’s same-day doubleheader of 65-lap races at the Honda Indy Toronto, the grid for Race 2 was set on entrant points following Race 1. That meant Charlie Kimball and Takuma Sato would have to try and make their way up front from deep in the field.

Kimball started Race 2 in 16th place, while Sato started from 22nd. But both drivers were able to put on good drives and come away with Top-5 finishes – fourth for Kimball and fifth for Sato.

As the track started to dry out from mid-race showers, Kimball noted that things got a bit more difficult for him.

“The problem with a drying track like that is there’s such a narrow line, and the car had been really good all day – we were making our way through and holding our own in the rain,” he said to NBCSN.

“Then as it dried out – we like to go slicks early but we kind of waited and then we caught that yellow [at Lap 44], followed every one in, followed every one out, and picked our way through the guys on wet [tires]. But I just couldn’t get past the 12 car [Will Power] at the end for the podium.”

The result is still his fourth Top-5 finish of 2014, however, and it gives him confidence heading into the next race in two weeks’ time at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where he earned his first IndyCar win last summer.

“At one point, I thought, ‘It’s going to be a pretty good day for Chip here’ with third, fourth, fifth and sixth, all in a train in the wet conditions,” Kimball mused. “But it didn’t work out that way. We’ll reload, refocus, go testing, and go to Mid-Ohio.

“I’m looking forward to it for obvious reasons.”

Also happy after Race 2 was Sato, who brought his A.J. Foyt Racing team a much-needed result after having flat-out horrible luck over the preceding six races.

To try and turn their luck for the better, the team brought along a good ol’ horseshoe to Toronto:

But according to NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast, the traditional good luck charm ended up in the trash after Sato was knocked out of Race 1 in a first-lap incident.

But things finally went Sato’s way in Race 2, where he got his best finish of the year after climbing 17 spots.

“We’ve been unlucky but we bounced back strong and finishing as the highest Honda powered car makes me proud,” said Sato. “The race was really tricky, with the dry to wet to dry tires.

“The guys did a great job in the pits. We never lost motivation. I really enjoyed the race and hopefully we’ll be strong the rest of the season.”

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