INDIANAPOLIS (May 23, 2021)—The measure of a man and a team is not when things are going well, rather it is when things have gone wrong. Charlie Kimball proved to be a champion today and not because he won, but because of how well he handled his loss.

Long hours worked by the AJ Foyt Racing team, mechanics and engineers, pouring over the No. 11 Tresiba Chevrolet and the data gleaned from all four of Foyt’s cars, culminated in four laps of Kimball driving his heart out and putting it on the line—all for the chance to make the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

This year it was not to be. His four lap speed average of 227.584 mph wasn’t fast enough to make the field of 33.

Kimball emerged from the cockpit and hugged every crew member to thank them for their effort. The pain was evident once Kimball removed his helmet but he quickly put on his game face and answered the questions from multiple media outlets.

“How am I feeling? The overriding emotion is pain,” Kimball revealed. “It hurts so much to miss this race that means so much, knowing that my next chance to try and race in the Indianapolis 500 isn’t until next May. A year’s a long time and it feels like forever right now.

“At the same time, there is a solid amount of pride for the No. 11 crew, the Tresiba car, Chevrolet, A.J. Foyt Racing,” Kimball continued. “The amount of different colored crew shirts working on that car in the last 36 hours to try and get it to where it needed to be and be in the show, I will never fault the effort. Those guys worked so hard and put so much into it, and they are feeling the exact same pain I am.”

“This last year has been hard on a lot of people and the world has been very different, but the one great thing in the last week has been seeing all of the fans here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I said it on the radio and I’ll say it again, the race cars may be the heart of the Indianapolis Motor speedway but the fans are the soul.

“The race in August last year just felt soulless and I’m glad to have people back in the stands because this place comes alive when they’re here.”

Champions don’t always win but they always rise to the top even at the lowest of lows. Charlie Kimball is a champion and he proved it once again today.