A.J. Foyt Racing has announced today that Charlie Kimball will race for them full-time in the upcoming 2020 NTT IndyCar Series. The American driver will make his return to the championship in a full-time capacity and will drive the #4 Chevrolet previously occupied by Matheus Leist.
Kimball will contest all seventeen rounds of the 2020 season with A.J. Foyt Enterprises, with his #4 Chevrolet being adorned with his long-term sponsor: Novo Nordisk. In today’s announcement, Kimball shared his excitement at joining such a well-known team such as A.J. Foyt Racing:
“I’m excited and honoured 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,” said Kimball. “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.”
After two years racing in Indy Lights, Kimball made the step up to the IndyCar Series in 2011 with Chip Ganassi Racing. He would remain with Ganassi for the next seven seasons – scoring a maiden victory at Mid-Ohio in 2013 as well as five additional podiums – until being dropped when Ganassi scaled back from four full-time entries to two ahead of the 2018 season.
For 2018, Kimball would move to IndyCar newcomers, Carlin, and would routinely outclass his team-mate, Max Chilton. Despite the team’s inexperience in IndyCar racing, Kimball would take six top-ten finishes during the season, including a superb fifth place on the streets of Toronto. Despite this, Kimball would not be retained on a full-time contract for 2019, with Carlin instead placing him on a part-time contract that would see the second seat shared between himself as well as Sage Karam, Patricio O’Ward and RC Enerson. Again, despite this, Kimball would take two top-ten finishes at Pocono Raceway at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Kimball’s near-decade-long experience in IndyCar racing played a factor in his signing to A.J. Foyt Racing according to the team’s president, A.J. Foyt. The IndyCar veteran commented today that he was looking forward to seeing what a “motivated” Kimball could bring to the team over the next few months.
“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.”
A.J. Foyt Racing has yet to announce their plans for their second full-time entry, the #14 Chevrolet. The seat previously belonged to the series veteran, Tony Kanaan, however – it is becoming increasingly unlikely that we will see Tony return to the team in a full-time capacity.
Rumours seem to be suggesting that Kanaan will embark on a “farewell tour” of IndyCar on a part-time schedule this season and that the #14 car will be shared between him and another driver; potentially being Indy Lights driver, Dalton Kellett. An announcement is expected within the next few weeks.
The 2020 NTT IndyCar Series will kick-off with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 15.