Charlie Kimball sped to the first pole position of his Verizon IndyCar Series career, claiming the Verizon P1 Award in record time for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kimball, who will make his 109th start Saturday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network), set one- and two-lap INDYCAR qualifying records on the 1.5-mile oval to earn the first starting position for the 248-lap race.
Kimball averaged 222.556 mph over two laps in the No. 83 Tresiba Honda to beat the old record held since 2013 by Will Power by more than 3 mph. Kimball’s qualifying run was more than a full second faster than Power’s previous standard.
“I’m really excited to be on pole. The guys totally deserve it,” said Kimball, whose second qualifying lap of 23.2730 seconds also eclipsed the 14-year-old record of 23.5031 seconds held by Gil de Ferran.
“The No. 83 Tresiba Honda was really good right out of the box and Todd (Malloy, engineer) made a few adjustments that made it better during the course of practice. During qualifying, we just took a swing at it and went out and got the job done.”
Kimball credited the effort of teammate Scott Dixon at a Texas Motor Speedway test in April for helping all four Chip Ganassi Racing cars roll off the transporters fast today. Dixon, in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda, appeared bound for the pole until Kimball’s attempt.
“I knew we were going to have a good car. … I just had to go out and get the most out of it,” Kimball said. “I think it showed because I had to make some adjustments for the balance of the car, and I had the confidence to do that and take a fairly big swing at the car for that second lap because I think the first lap wasn’t fast enough to beat Scott, but the second lap was.”