By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
After spending last year as a part-time driver, Charlie Kimball will be on the INDYCAR grid for the entire 17 rounds this coming season as he joins AJ Foyt Racing.
Wednesday’s announcement confirmed Kimball will replace Matheus Leist in the No. 4 Chevrolet with his long-time sponsor Novo Nordisk backing his efforts after Foyt’s long-time sponsor ABC Supply announced last September they’ll be leaving the team.
The last time Novo Nordisk was Kimball’s primary sponsor was at Toronto in 2018 where he finished fifth, his last top-five result to date.
Going into 2020, the global healthcare company will be on the No. 4 Chevrolet for six races, beginning at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The other five will be at Long Beach, GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis, Texas, Gateway and the finale at Laguna Seca.
For the remaining 11 races, Novo Nordisk will be an associate marketing partner with Foyt’s camp expecting to announce additional primary sponsors in the future.
Kimball said he’s thankful of having the opportunity to drive for Foyt and have backing that’s allowed him to compete in his 10th straight NTT IndyCar Series campaign.
“I’m excited and honored to join AJ Foyt Racing and be a part of a team that has such deep roots in history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar,” Kimball said. “Continuing the partnership with Novo Nordisk is also special since they have been an integral part of my career since I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I’m more motivated than ever to work with the team to succeed at every IndyCar race in 2020. Thank you to AJ Foyt Racing, Novo Nordisk and our other partners for this opportunity.”
The 34-year-old Californian drove for Carlin the past two seasons but only ran seven races in 2019, including being the only driver of that team to make the Indianapolis 500 where he finished 25th. Kimball’s best 2019 results were a pair of 10th place finishes at Pocono and Portland.
Larry Foyt, Team President of AJ Foyt Racing, commented that having both a new driver and sponsor on the No. 4 Chevrolet does bring expectations, something he’ll look forward seeing throughout the season.
“Charlie brings a great deal of experience and skill to the team,” Foyt said. “He is motivated to show what he can do behind the wheel, and his recent experience of helping develop cars will be beneficial as we work to get the 4 car moving up the grid. Novo Nordisk has been a long-time supporter of Charlie and IndyCar. We want to welcome them to AJ Foyt Racing and we look forward to joining them in their effort to increase the awareness of diabetes.”
Brian Hilberdink, Senior Vice President of Commercial Diabetes at Novo Nordisk, said Kimball has been an incredible ambassador as it’ll be his 12th season partnering with the global healthcare company.
“We are proud to continue our long-term partnership with Charlie Kimball and look forward to an exciting 2020 IndyCar season with the legendary AJ Foyt Racing,” Hilberdink said. “For more than a decade, we’ve utilized our involvement in IndyCar to share Charlie’s inspiring journey living with diabetes through the Race with Insulin initiative. Charlie is one of the most active ambassadors in the diabetes community and his passion and commitment to making a difference in the lives of those who are living with diabetes is unwavering. We look forward to continuing this tradition with AJ Foyt Racing, Charlie and the diabetes community throughout the IndyCar season.”
In 141 INDYCAR starts, Kimball has his lone win at Mid-Ohio back in 2013 along with five more podium finishes with the last being at Sonoma in 2015.
As for the No. 4 team, it’ll be entering its fourth straight season with Kimball being Foyt’s third driver. It’s yet to reach the podium as only a fourth by Leist at last year’s rainy Indy GP being their best in 51 starts.