Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio: Weekend Preview

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Stephen King/IndyCar (1); Joe Skibinski/IndyCar (2)

After visiting a street course in Toronto and an oval in Iowa, the NTT IndyCar Series wraps up a three-week stretch that touches on all of its circuit types on Sunday with the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The 2.258-mile permanent road course has hosted IndyCar events for the better part of four decades, and has remained a staple of the IndyCar schedule every year since 2007, the final season of the open-wheel split.

Since then, Scott Dixon has been the dominant force at Mid-Ohio, scoring a record five victories for Chip Ganassi Racing; however, the five-time IndyCar champion and 2019 ESPY Best Driver nominee hasn’t won here since 2014. Instead, the top three drivers in current IndyCar points—Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi, and Simon Pagenaud—have taken a victory here apiece, as has Graham Rahal, who enters the weekend eighth in the IndyCar standings.

Newgarden also heads to Mid-Ohio coming off of a season-best fourth victory of the season at Iowa Speedway, which ran into early Sunday morning due to torrential rain on Saturday night. The Team Penske driver had seen his points lead over Andretti Autosport’s Rossi erode in previous weeks, but Newgarden’s victory after leading the most laps rebuilt the advantage to 29 points. Pagenaud, who won in Toronto and scored the pole in Iowa, is a further 29 points back of Rossi.

Another win for Dixon would go a long way toward helping him climb back into the title chase, as he currently sits 98 points behind Newgarden for the lead. But while the top four isn’t likely to change in the next week, fifth place is very much in jeopardy, as Will Power’s recent struggles have him only 11 points clear of Barber winner Takuma Sato for the spot. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Rahal, and James Hinchcliffe are also within a race’s worth of points of fifth.

Qualifying for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will air on Saturday at 2:30PM ET on NBCSN, with the race airing Sunday at 3:30PM ET on NBC. After Mid-Ohio, IndyCar takes two weekends off before returning on August 18 for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

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