Growing up in Southern California, Charlie Kimball wasn’t much of an ice hockey fan, but that changed when he attended his first NHL game.
“When I was 11 or 12 years old, I went with my dad to my first LA Kings and first NHL game,” the Verizon IndyCar Series driver said. “From that day on, I was hooked! Of course it’s fun to watch these games on TV, but to see it in person, it’s such a fast-paced sport and it pulls you in. In that way, it’s similar to Indy car (racing).
Kimball, who drives the No. 83 Novo Nordisk backed Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, is still a fan of the Kings and even attended a game at Staples Center earlier this season as a guest of Kings captain Anze Kopitar.
Kimball will be back at Staples this weekend as a guest of Honda at the NHL All-Star Game. He’ll attend several events during the weekend. In addition to the 3-on-3 tournament that highlights the All-Star weekend, Kimball and his wife Kathleen will attend event including tonight’s NHL 100 Gala, which honors the league’s 100 greatest players, alongside celebrity hockey fans such as Michael J. Fox, Keanu Reeves and “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek.
“I think it’s going to be fun rubbing elbows with hockey’s stars, past and present, at the NHL 100 event on (tonight),” said Kimball, whose hoping for a chance to meet Wayne Gretzky at the event. “I know my wife is looking forward to seeing Jon Hamm host the event.
“We’re also definitely looking forward to the Honda NHL All-Star game on Sunday. A three-on-three tournament with the NHL’s best players in each division… I’m stoked! I may be a Hoosier now, but I’ll have to root for the Pacific Division while out on the West Coast.
Kimball will also bring race fans along for the ride as he takes over INDYCAR’s Instagram and snapchat feeds during the weekend.
“I can’t wait to share the entire experience with INDYCAR fans—hopefully a bit of a behind-the-scenes account to the Honda NHL All-Star weekend,” he said. “I’ll also be checking in with my Chip Ganassi Racing teammates in Daytona while out in LA, so expect to see some updates on the Rolex 24, too.”