Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Race Report

Circuit: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2.258-mile road course) Lexington, OH
2012 Winner: Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 115.279 mph average speed
Weather:
Mostly sunny, mild, 71 degrees F

Top 10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver     

Team

Engine - Chassis

Laps

Average Speed/Notes

1.

5.

Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda Dallara

90

117.825 avg.; led 46 laps

2.

8.

Simon Pagenaud

Schmidt Hamilton

Honda Dallara

90

+5.5334 seconds; led 14 laps

3.

6.

Dario Franchitti

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

90

 

4.

2.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet Dallara

90

 

5.

1.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

90

Led 30 laps

6.

14.

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske

Chevrolet Dallara

90

 

7.

3.

Scott Dixon

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

90

 

8.

7.

Justin Wilson

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

90

 

9.

4.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

90

 

10.

12.

James Hinchcliffe

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

90

 

Other Honda-powered Results:

13.

10.

James Jakes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

90

 

15.

16.

James Davison-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

90

 

16.

24.

Luca Filippi-R

Barracuda Racing/BHA

Honda Dallara

90

 

18.

22.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

89

Running

21.

21.

Tristan Vautier-R

Schmidt Peterson

Honda Dallara

89

Running

22.

15.

Takuma Sato

A.J. Foyt Racing

Honda Dallara

89

Running

23.

18.

Josef Newgarden

Sarah Fisher Hartman

Honda Dallara

88

Running

Kimball Continues Honda Winning Streak at Mid-Ohio

Taking advantage of a multi-car team's ability to run different race strategies, Chip Ganassi Racing's Charlie Kimball played the role of "hare" to perfection Sunday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, leading a race-high 46 laps between three pit stops to score his first IZOD IndyCar Series race victory in the Honda Indy 200.

Many other front-running efforts, including those of teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, Team Penske's Will Power and pole qualifier Ryan Hunter-Reay, went into fuel-conservation mode early in the race, attempting to run the 90-lap distance on just two pit stops. But Kimball and eventual second-place finisher Simon Pagenaud elected to run flat-out from the green flag to the checkers, and that proved to be the winning strategy for Honda's seventh race win of 2013, tying it with Chevrolet in the season-long battle for the Manufacturers' Championship.

Kimball's win was the fourth in a row for Honda this season, and the fifth consecutive victory at Mid-Ohio for both Honda and the Chip Ganassi Racing organization. Honda has been undefeated at its mid-western "home" circuit since Indy car racing returned to Mid-Ohio in 2007 after a four-year absence. Kimball also made history as the first driver with diabetes to win an Indy car race. The 28-year-old Californian was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes six years ago while racing in Europe.

Kimball's strongest competition came from Detroit race winner Pagenaud, who ran an identical strategy and led 14 laps in another exceptional effort from the Schmidt Hamilton HP Racing team. The move of the race came on Lap 73, as Pagenaud exited the pits after his final stop with a narrow advantage over his rival. But Kimball used his "push-to-pass" button to regain the lead, executing the decisive pass of Pagenaud as the pair entered Turn 5, at the end of the long Mid-Ohio back straight. Once in front, Kimball gradually extended his advantage to just over five seconds at the checkers.

Behind the lead pair, four-time series champion Franchitti was the first to recognize the need for a strategy change, and shifting to a three-stop program at mid-race enabled the 2010 Mid-Ohio race winner to finish third and complete a sweep of the victory podium for Honda. Teammate Dixon also changed strategy a few laps later to keep his driver's championship hopes high with a seventh-place finish, just in front of Justin Wilson, who had another strong race for Dale Coyne Racing with an eighth-place result.

Honda Fastest Seat in Sports winner Ross Ellison from Ocala, Florida, led the field prior to the green flag in the two-seat Honda IndyCar driven by racing legend and Indianapolis 500 champion Mario Andretti. For more information on how you can receive the ride of a lifetime in the Fastest Seat in Sports sweepstakes, go to www.shophonda.com.

The IZOD IndyCar Series concludes its late-summer swing of road course events in three weeks time with the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, August 26 at the Raceway at Sonoma, located just north of San Francisco, California.

IZOD IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship (after 14 of 19 rounds):

1. Helio Castroneves 453 points (1 win) 6. Dario Franchitti 342
2. Scott Dixon 422 (3 wins) 7. James Hinchcliffe 325 (3 wins)
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay 388 (2 wins)    8. Charlie Kimball 325 (1 win)
4. Marco Andretti 377 9. Justin Wilson 320
5. Simon Pagenaud 350 (1 win) 10. Tony Kanaan 313 (1 win)
 
Manufacturers' Championship:
1. Honda 105 (7 wins)
Chevrolet 105 (7 wins)

Charlie Kimball (#83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara) started 5th, finished 1st, 1st career Indy car victory; 7th win for Honda in 2013, 5th different Honda-powered driver to win this season; continues Honda's undefeated streak at Mid-Ohio 2007-2013: "It's pretty fantastic, and this weekend was a total team effort. I crashed in practice yesterday morning, and the entire team pitched in to prepare my backup car so that we could qualify near the front [fifth]. Then, it was a team call to split our race strategies, to hedge our bets among the three [Chip Ganassi Racing] cars. The team made the call [to run flat out from the green flag and commit to three pit stops] and then all I had to do was 'drop the hammer'. Once out in front after the last stop, I just had to run clean to the finish. The car handled great and the Honda engine was strong all day long. What a fantastic day."

Simon Pagenaud (#77 Target Schmidt Hamilton HP Racing Honda Dallara) started 8th, finished 2nd: "I've got to say, Charlie [Kimball] did a fantastic job today. I gave it my all, but he and the Ganassi team were stronger. Charlie was bold to stick it inside [in the final pass for the lead] and I didn't think he would make it, so congratulations to him. And congratulations to Honda for another 1-2-3 finish. This is a Honda track, so it's important for us to bring a 1-2-3 home!."

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today's race and Honda's seventh race win of 2013: "We have a dead-even Manufacturers' Championship battle with five races to go. It's a whole new ballgame now! It's great to have such a fantastic result in front of the thousands of supportive, hard-working Honda associates who came out this weekend. Congratulations to Charlie [Kimball] on his first Indy car victory; it was great to see the differing race strategies, and for ultimate speed to win out at the finish. Also, the Schmidt Motorsports team is becoming a force to reckon with, every race weekend, and that further improves our total effort. So congratulations to Simon [Pagenaud] for yet another strong performance today."

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