Q: What does it mean for IndyCar and its fan base to have Ryan Hunter-Reay be on this roll and to have Americans finish 1-2 here?
CHARLIE KIMBALL: I think it's fantastic. I think I've always been a proponent that, yeah, being an American will help me in my younger career to get a drive.
Sure, I'll use it. At the end of the day I want to be beating the best if they're from Mars or America. At the end of the day it's about winning against the best. I think you're seeing that.
Ryan is on quite the roll. The fact that Graham finished second at Texas earlier this year, the American drivers are starting to show well. I think that's more an indication of us as drivers and less an indication of our nationality.
Having said that, I think it's great for the fan base. It's very much a North American championship. I'm going to enjoy rubbing it in Mr. Hinchcliffe's face that I finished second in his hometown, because we're pretty good friends and train together. I might point out that my blue shoes worked really well for me today.
Q: Can you talk about the pass from fourth to second there.
CHARLIE KIMBALL: It wasn't simple, no. I'd gotten a really good run out of Turn 1. I knew that (Simon) Pagenaud and (Tony) Kanaan were backing up to me. They were having to save more fuel than me. We were taking better care of the red tires. Both of them had been – Pagenaud for sure had been in Q2 in qualifying and had run a set of reds. He was on used reds. Kanaan was sort of slowing pace-wise saving fuel.
I got a really good run out of turn one. Thought of going to the overtake button. I only had 23 seconds left. I have to save it. If we have a shootout at the end of the race, I'm going to need it. We'll just settle in, let him burn his tires off, and run here and see what happens.
I could see him when he took the button. He's going for T.K. he got a really good run on Tony through the inside. Tony is king of the late breakers. The fact that Simon wasn't alongside when they went to the brakes means that Simon had to brake really late.
I braked as late as I could, and I thought that neither of them were going to make the corner. I turned in, hit the concrete patch, put my foot down, and my Honda drove past them. They were both locking wheels, knocking off each other trying to stay out of the wall. I just kind of ran it clean and got the thing spooled up.
Once I had clear air, the understeer I was fighting went away and my lap times could drop and I could hit a better fuel mileage. My engineer was telling me, You're getting what you need fuel mileage. You're catching Hunter-Reay. You don't have enough laps to go after him. You're four seconds ahead of the 77. Take care of the tires in case we got a restart. That proved to be the case.
Q: How much has your public awareness level gone up since your sponsor started doing the commercials?
CHARLIE KIMBALL: It's been significant this year, I think. That's as much a growth of the partnership with the prime-time commercials, the sort of traditional media work that I do, as well as just momentum building from last year. It's more significant now than it ever has been. I'm very fortunate that I'm able to reach a broader audience with my message. That's important to me.
Tuesday I was in Orlando, Fla., doing a defensive driving course for young people with diabetes. The fact that I could get in a car and teach them how a professional driver with diabetes races with diabetes, teach them some tips and tricks for the road as far as avoiding incidents, being heads up, it's fortunate for me – and very fulfilling at the same time.