Qualifying 20th in the second round of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans on June 1, strategy for the 70-lap race on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn Belle Isle street circuit by the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team was altered.
“It gave us some options because we didn’t have anything to lose,” said driver Charlie Kimball, who went on to record his first podium finish of the season. My engineers and strategist, Brad (Goldberg) and Tom (Wurtz), were able to roll the dice in a couple places. The nice thing is when we had clean air, the car was really quick. All I had to do was put the lap times in to move forward.
“A lot of credit has to go to the Chip Ganassi Racing guys because not only did they do good work in pit lane, but before we got to the race they did a great job with the set-up, just working through and keeping their heads up, coming into the race fighting rather than giving up starting 20th.”
Teammate Scott Dixon advanced the most positions in Dual 2 – 22nd to fourth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car. Rookie Mikhail Aleshin gained nine positions to finish seventh in the No. 7 SMP Racing car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Kimball also was a big mover in the opening 70-lap race May 31, gaining 11 positions to finish ninth. He’s 14th in the championship standings heading into the Firestone 600 on June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Will Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, started 16th but won the race. Justin Wilson advanced 15 positions to finish a season-best fourth.