Charlie Kimball won the first pole of his career Friday night in Texas, and he has only person to thank: a man named Rick.

Rick isn’t a teammate, an engineer or crew member. Rick is just a friend with a beard. And Rick knew the past six weeks had been a horror show for Kimball. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver’s May started with a blown engine at the IndyCar Grand Prix and ended with a blown engine at the Indianapolis 500.

Then the seven-year veteran made the trek up to Detroit only to have an engine blow in the car in front of him, forcing him to swerve out of the way, hit the wall and eventually settle for a disappointing 16th-place finish.

That was the end of the line for Rick — and more important, Rick’s bushy beard.

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Photo courtesy of LAT Photo USA.

Photo courtesy of LAT Photo USA.

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