“We went to the same high school,” was the simple answer from Charlie Kimball, on how he and wife Kathleen met.

It was Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, Calif., the Verizon IndyCar driver added. “We were friends.”

Although Charlie did have a bit of a crush on Kathleen, he knew, as he once told The New York Times, “she was just too cool and had too much going on to ever have the time to be interested in me.”

That changed in December 2008, more than five years after graduation, when Charlie and Kathleen reconnected during an outing with high school friends. By then, Kathleen had completed her degree at the University of Southern California and was working at the jewelry store owned by her father.

Charlie, who had started driving go-karts in high school and quickly developed a passion – and a talent – for the sport, was fresh off a four-year stint competing as an open-wheel racer in Europe. Charlie was, Kathleen recalled, “a completely different person. So confident and so himself.

“He wasn’t the same guy he was in high school,” she added and, soon, the two were dating. “It just felt like it fit.”

That’s not to say things were easy. Within weeks, Charlie was deep into the 2009 Indy Lights racing season.

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Photo courtesy of Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

Photo courtesy of Nathaniel Edmunds Photography

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