LONG BEACH, Calif – Carlin Racing saw the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season as potential. With 10 different organizations competing in the series this season, they were the only ones with zero past experience. With a new car this year, they felt they just needed to get their feet wet. Improvement each race would be the key for future success.
Well, after three races, they already have a top 10 finish.
Charlie Kimball brought his No. 23 Chevrolet home 10th in Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, giving Carlin their first career top 10 finish in the series. In the first race of the year, a street course in St. Pete at that, Kimball finished 20th.
Two races later, he’s doubled his improvement coming in 10th. Last weekend, he was 17th in Phoenix. Now, he finished seven spots better in a span of seven days.
Also, Kimball did so from the last starting spot. He struggled in qualifying and rolled off last in 24th. That didn’t phase him as the California native got his 50th career INDYCAR top 10 finish in his 120th start.
“I’ve always said there’s no quit in this team,” said Kimball. “We just keep making progress and it’s nice to finally be able to have a result to show for it. It was awesome to see how hard the team worked to put together a good race car and I can honestly say that the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet was the best car I’d had around here. We got a little lucky with yellows, but we’ll take some luck with a new team building our foundation in INDYCAR. A lot of credit to the guys though – they’ve worked so hard since October to make this happen. A top-10 finish is a start and hopefully moving forward we can qualify better so we don’t have to work so hard to get back into the top 10 moving forward.”
While it’s not a win, it sure feels like one for Kimball and his team. To get the organization’s first top 10 finish in his home state has to feel good for the American.