Charlie Kimball 2013 Preview

Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing

The cast: Driver – Charlie Kimball. Engineer – Brad Goldberg. Race strategist – Mitch Davis.

Twitter: @racewithinsulin, @CGRTeams

The car: Honda-powered No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen

Snapshot: An avid boater, Kimball, a native of Camarillo, Calif., now living in Indianapolis, has an Axis Wake to help him unwind.

The stats: Kimball tripled the number of top-10 finishes in 2012 (six) over his first IZOD IndyCar Series season, with a high of second at Toronto after starting 13th. … His highest qualifying effort came at Baltimore (seventh). … He was running in 11 of the 14 races he competed in (out by contact at Texas; two mechanicals).  He was out by contact in three races in 2011. … Led three laps at Indianapolis, where he finished eighth. … He did not compete at Mid-Ohio because of hand injury suffered in testing at the venue a week earlier. He’s 100 percent now.

The gist: The core enters its third year working together, which as team manager/race strategist Mitch Davis says “in racing, synergy is everything and keeping the same people in place and just making small changes and building your team over the years everyone grows at the same pace.”

Fine-tuning the car and pit stops, which the team wasn’t able to do much last year as it was developing the new chassis/engine package on the fly, has led to the goal of winning races this season.

They said it: “We all have high expectations going into this year,” Kimball said. “Last year was a good year, and our plan is to make 2013 a great year. Increase the results, increase the commitment, just raise everybody’s game across the board. Everyone is here for the same reason and we expect to hit the ground running Friday morning in St. Pete. Those questions aren’t how, it’s what’s next? Achieving our goals, not trying to overachieve when it’s not available, but making sure we check every box and we will be successful and will over-perform.”

Added Davis: “We know already how we’re going to go racing. We’ve been fine-tuning on the car and practicing pit stops, which is one of the things we weren’t able to do much last year as we were developing the race car. Our goal is set that we’re going to win races this year, and we have two years with Charlie and our current sponsor to win the championship. Scott (Dixon) and Dario (Franchitti) and Chip (Ganassi) are all behind us to help us build this team. I think you’ll see some 1-2-3 finishes.”

Watch the "INDYCAR 36" featuring Charlie Kimball