Kimball received a post-race time penalty in lieu of the drive-thru he would have received otherwise for causing a collision. He had been lucky to escape censure earlier on the race after tangling with Marco Andretti on lap 21, at one point seemingly jinking right and forcing Marco across the forbidden pit lane blend line in order to complete his own pass on the #26 into turn 1.
Sebastien Bourdais did have a drive-thru penalty on lap 29 for blocking, and Josef Newgarden was similarly penalised on lap 52 for speeding on pit lane, but the most controversial call came after Will Power appeared to chop in front of Ryan Hunter-Reay as he emerged from the pit lane and cut across the blend line into the apex of turn 1. Hunter-Reay was furious about the move over the team radio and still fuming after the race about race control's decision not to levy a penalty on Power.
"I expected it to be called, I expected him to be thrown off, but it didn't happen," he said afterwards.
But more crucially, Hunter-Reay had been unable to match Power's ability at working his way through the field over the course of the entire race: where Power made up 14 places over the 75 laps, Hunter-Reay managed to climb only four places from where he started.
"We just needed a yellow. We needed something ... anything," he admitted. "To take an engine penalty on a day like today - at a track with long straights - we expected yellows. Maybe lots of them, but we just didn't get 'em.
"It's strange, with all of the marbles we have out there, you'd expect someone to go off or spin or something," he added. "I was praying for a caution and it didn't come. Had we had a yellow, I think I could have gained spots on the restart."
His seventh place finish has a significant impact in the points standings: while he is still out in front his lead has been pared back: Hunter-Reay has only 23pts over Helio Castroneves who has edged in front of his Penske team mate Will Power by just three points. Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe are still just about hanging on, but are at risk of losing touch with the leaders with only four races remaining in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season which concludes at Fontana in mid-September.
"It's going to be nail-biting until the end," agreed Hunter-Reay. "It'll be a heckuva shootout at Fontana, and I'll bet it'll come down to a fight between three cars."
Everyone further back - including reigning champion Dario Franchitti - might not be mathematically out of the running just yet, but they will know that their prospects are very much dimmed as the season enters its final leg.
Full Edmonton Indy race results