Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Fast Facts

Date: Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015
Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio
Race distance: 90 laps / 203.22 miles
Entry List: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
Push-to-pass parameters: 10 activations for 20 seconds each
Firestone tire allotment: Eight sets primary and three sets alternate for use through the weekend
Twitter: @Mid_Ohio @IndyCar, #Honda200, #IndyCar

Event website: http://www.midohio.com/
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2014 race winner: Scott Dixon
2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: Sebastien Bourdais, 1 minute, 24.1610 seconds, 96.586 mph
One-lap qualifying record: Dario Franchitti and Gil de Ferran, 1:05.347, 124.394 mph, Aug. 13, 1999 (Franchitti) and Aug. 12, 2000 (de Ferran).
Television Broadcasts: Qualifying, 3 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 1 (live, NBCSN); Race,1:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 2 (live, CNBC). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and David Hobbs. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Paul Page is chief announcer with analyst Davey Hamilton. Pit reporters are Dave Furst, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young, with Mark Jaynes and Jake Query serving as the turn announcers. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying and races air live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app. Practice sessions are available on IndyCar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season are available live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.

INDYCAR 15 app: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers, including interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where drivers are positioned, a leaderboard with enhanced 2D “marching ants” and car telemetry, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter during the race.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, July 31
10:45 a.m.-Noon – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 1
3:15-4:30 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 2

Saturday, Aug. 1
10:45-11:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 3
3-4:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying (three rounds of knockout qualifying), NBCSN (live)

Sunday, Aug. 2
9:45-10:15 – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup
1:30 p.m. – CNBC on air
2:07 p.m. – Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (90 laps/203.22 miles), CNBC (live)

Championship facts:

• Juan Pablo Montoya leads the Indy car championship with three races to go for the second time in his career. He also led the CART point standings with three to go when he won the 1999 championship.

• Montoya leads Graham Rahal by 42 points. Montoya has led the championship since winning the opening race of the season at St. Petersburg.

• With 54 maximum points available at Mid-Ohio, the points lead could change for the first time in 2015.

• There are 13 drivers mathematically eligible for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Montoya, Rahal, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais, Marco Andretti, Josef Newgarden, Tony Kanaan, Simon Pagenaud, Carlos Munoz, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie Kimball.

• One driver was eliminated from championship contention at Iowa – Takuma Sato.

• Since the first Indy car race at Mid-Ohio in 1980, nine drivers have won at Mid-Ohio in their Indy car championship-winning seasons: Johnny Rutherford (1980), Mario Andretti (1984), Bobby Rahal (1986), Michael Andretti (1991), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Alex Zanardi (1997), Juan Montoya (1999), Paul Tracy (2003) and Dario Franchitti (2010).

Key championship points statistic: The driver who has led the championship with three races to go has failed to win the championship in four of the last six seasons. Only Dario Franchitti in 2011 and Will Power in 2014 have won the title when leading with three to go.

Championship-eligible drivers with strong results at Mid-Ohio: Scott Dixon is a five-time Mid-Ohio winner and has won three of the last four races at the track… Helio Castroneves won the CART races at the track in 2000-01. … Juan Pablo Montoya won the CART race in 1999…Will Power has five top-10 finishes in six starts at Mid-Ohio. … Sebastien Bourdais has three top-five finishes in five starts. … Simon Pagenaud has two podium finishes in four starts at Mid-Ohio.

Race notes:    

* There have been nine different winners in 13 Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500), James Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Long Beach and Texas Motor Speedway), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Toronto), Will Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Carlos Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1), Sebastien Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2 and Milwaukee), Graham Rahal (Auto Club Speedway) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Iowa Speedway). In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners. Dixon’s win at Long Beach on April 19 gave him sole possession of fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36. He is the active leader in wins with 37 after his victory at Texas on June 6.

* The Honda Indy 200 will be the ninth road/street course race of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule with a different driver winning seven of the previous eight races: Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg), Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Dixon (Streets of Long Beach), Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Toronto), Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Munoz (Raceway at Belle Isle-1) and Bourdais (Raceway at Belle Isle-2)

* The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be the 31st Indy car race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Dixon won the race in 2014. Johnny Rutherford won the first Indy car race at Mid-Ohio in 1980.

* Dixon is the winningest driver at Mid-Ohio with five victories (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014). Emerson Fittipaldi won at Mid-Ohio three times, while Michael Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Teo Fabi, Bobby Rahal and Al Unser Jr. have all won at Mid-Ohio twice. Past winners Dixon, Castroneves (2000 and 2001), Montoya (1999), Ryan Briscoe (2008) and Charlie Kimball (2013) are entered this year.

* There have been five different pole winners since Castroneves won back-to-back poles in 2007-08. Other Mid-Ohio pole winners entered in this year’s race are: Briscoe (2009), Power (2010 and 2012), Dixon (2011), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2013) and Bourdais (2014).

* Ten drivers have won the race from the pole – Mario Andretti (1984), Bobby Rahal (1985), Roberto Guerrero (1987), Fabi (1989), Michael Andretti (1990 and 1991), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Alex Zanardi (1996), Patrick Carpentier (2002), Paul Tracy (2003) and Dixon (2011).

* At least 20 drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Mid-Ohio. Tony Kanaan (13) has the most starts at Mid-Ohio among the entered drivers. Twelve of those drivers have led laps at the track (Dixon 201, Castroneves 141, Power 87, Briscoe 49, Kimball 46, Justin Wilson 39, Bourdais 38, Hunter-Reay 33, Montoya 28, Simon Pagenaud 14, Kanaan 13 and Newgarden 3).

* Chip Ganassi Racing has won 10 times at Mid-Ohio, including the last six races at the track. Ganassi’s winning drivers are: Zanardi (1996-97), Montoya (1999), Dixon (2007, 2009, 2011-12 and 2014), Dario Franchitti (2010) and Kimball (2013). With its next Verizon IndyCar Series victory, Chip Ganassi Racing will earn its 100th Indy car race win.

* Team Penske has seven wins at the track: Fittipaldi (1992-93), Unser Jr. (1994-95), Castroneves (2000-01) and Briscoe (2008).

* Dixon has finished in the top five in eight of his 10 races at Mid-Ohio, including five wins between 2007 and 2014. Power has finished in the top five in four of his six starts at Mid-Ohio. Pagenaud has finished on the podium twice in his previous four starts. Bourdais has three top-five finishes in five starts.

* Kanaan seeks to start his 247th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Dixon looks to make his 189th consecutive start this weekend.

* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda that attach to the Dallara IR-12 chassis used by all entrants. Cars are differentiated by their shape as the manufacturers have designed a separate aero kit specification for road and street course/short ovals and another for superspeedways. References to the cars incorporate the name of the corresponding kit manufacturer.

* The No. 1 Verizon Team Penske crew of Power claimed the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award at the Iowa Corn 300 on July 18 with a total pit-lane time of 2 minutes, 2.2099 seconds. The pit stop award win at Iowa Speedway was the first of the season for No. 1 crew and the third win in the last four races for Team Penske. The No. 1 Verizon Team Penske crew will receive its $10,000 award during pre-race festivities at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Pre-Race Quotes:

WILL POWER (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I really enjoy racing at Mid-Ohio. It’s another one of those beautiful road courses that uses the natural terrain really well. It’s a fast, technical circuit that requires a lot of attention to detail in terms of the setup. There has certainly been no lack for speed in the No. 1 Verizon Chevy this year, so I see no reason why we can’t be fighting for the win. We’ll have to put our heads down and push hard all weekend. I would really love to get a win at Mid-Ohio. It’s something I haven’t been able to do yet in my career and it would set us up well for the run to the end of the year at Sonoma. These final three tracks are all places where I know we can run well and allow us to make a championship push.”

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Hawk Performance Team Penske Chevrolet):“Unfortunately we are coming off a disappointing result in Iowa as we get ready for the final three races of the year. But to expect that we would be able to go through the season without a bad race was unreasonable. Now, having said that, our day wasn’t nearly as bad as it could’ve been at Iowa. We only lost 12 points to second place. We know we have our work cut out for us between now and Sonoma, but this Hawk Performance Chevy team has answered every challenge that we’ve been faced with this year. Mid-Ohio is a place where I’ve won before, so I know what it takes to be successful there. There are guys in the Verizon IndyCar Series that run really well at Mid-Ohio, so we need to bring our ‘A game’ this weekend.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Hitachi Chevy team has been very consistent this year and that has us in a decent position in the point standings. Juan Pablo (Montoya) is going to be tough to catch if he doesn’t have another bad race. So we need to really turn up our performance over these last three. Mid-Ohio was a place that was good to me early in my career, but we haven’t had those kind of results lately. I enjoy the challenge of the track. It’s a technical place that suits how I like to attack a road course circuit. We’ve run well at times this year on the road courses, so I’m confident in our ability to challenge for the win this weekend.”

STEFANO COLETTI (No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): “I am very excited to be going back to a road course after the three ovals we just had. I had a lot of fun on them and learned a lot, but I much prefer road courses. We have shown that we have a lot of pace, but just haven’t been able to always produce the results, so hopefully we will have more luck this weekend and have a good result.”

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda): “I’m really looking forward to the Mid-Ohio race weekend. I’ve always been a big fan of the track but this weekend is also my first chance to drive the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car on a road course this season. We’ve been able to make some really big gains as a team over the last several weeks and I’m confident that the SPM team will bring home some solid results.”

JAMES JAKES (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Mid-Ohio is always a fun weekend for me and, this time, it’s my birthday there as well (Aug. 4). It’s a great track for INDYCAR, fast and flowing. It’s really fun to drive these cars around there. It’s been a tough couple of weekends for us in the No. 7 SPM MediaTech Oculus car. Not always our own fault, but we’ll be looking forward to getting a good result this weekend and getting things back on track. It’s always a fun weekend. Great atmosphere, great crowd and obviously Honda is the title sponsor of the event, so it should be fun.”

SAGE KARAM (No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet): “Our last three races in the Verizon IndyCar Series have been strong. Coming off my first-ever podium finish (July 18 at Iowa Speedway) gives me confidence. The team is performing great and we are starting to get the results we were hoping for this year. The team has been really strong at Mid-Ohio over the years. I think they’ve won almost 10 races there, which is the most of any track we’ve raced at. I think we’re starting to show we can be contenders with the No. 8 team in the series, and I hope to continue that this weekend. (Scott) Dixon is obviously the master here at Mid-Ohio so I’m going to be picking his brain every step of the way. He and TK (Tony Kanaan) and Charlie (Kimball) are great resources and they help me improve every week.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “Mid-Ohio is definitely a big shift from what we’re typically used to atmosphere-wise, compared to a street circuit in a downtown situation. It’s kind of a family camping ground situation which is very laid back and relaxing. Last year for us, I messed up big time in qualifying and had to start last, coming from the back of the grid and ended up winning the race. It’s tough to pass there but we had great strategy and a lot of help from Ryan Hunter-Reay, who spun out at the right time and caused the caution that we needed to switch our strategy and go on to win the race. I think the team has 10 wins now there so it’s quite a milestone and obviously a place that I really enjoy.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “Coming off of such a disappointing end to our race in Iowa, we really need a good result at Mid-Ohio. I’ve had some solid finishes at Mid-Ohio, but I’ve never been able to come through with a win. (Scott) Dixon is so good here and Charlie (Kimball) has had success here as well, so we’ll definitely be getting as much from my teammates as we can. It’s a difficult road course with limited passing opportunities, but with the right strategy and a strong qualifying effort, I know we can get it done.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “I am looking forward to going back to Mid-Ohio. Last year we had a really good car. We qualified on the pole and put ourselves in a position to win, but Scott (Dixon) was just too strong. I like the Mid-Ohio circuit, but it is not a place that has been very good for me. Last year was the first time in five races there that I finished on the podium. Qualifying is key to having a good race at Mid-Ohio because it is difficult to overtake. There are a couple of places you can do it, Turn 3 in the backstretch and Turn 2, but being up front, like anywhere, always makes things easier. This is my second year with KVSH Racing and I think we have really come together as a group. We are more consistent and the Chevy engine and aero kit have been great. The Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing team has to keep working hard and put up a good result this weekend if we are going to stay in contention for a top-five finish in the championship.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “I like Mid-Ohio because it’s a nice technical track with some fun elevation changes. It’s not one of the biggest tracks but it reminds me of a British country-like track and I love it. Also, the fans are really enthusiastic, true race fans; sometimes they even bring pictures from my British Formula 3 days. I like the atmosphere a lot. The track itself is quite tricky because the track conditions can be very different from time to time. The track evolution is enormous, so at the beginning of the session there is extremely low grip, but it gets better and better as the track rubbers down. We have to be careful to not chase the track conditions, but still you need to know where the car setup needs to be. Hopefully we can make the car faster with the right setup at the right time. We haven’t run the road course tires with this aero kit since the front wing modification in June. So that should be interesting. It’s been nearly three months since our last road course race, so I’m looking forward to it.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda):
“A lot of people have asked me about our win in Fontana and other things, but truthfully I just haven’t really thought about the fact that we are second in the championship. I have just been focused on keeping the team pointed in the right direction and keeping my mindset and everything sharp and ready for whatever may come. I think we have some great opportunities with the three races ahead of us and I hope we can catch up to (Juan Pablo) Montoya a little bit, if nothing else. But, for sure, being in second place is cool for me, but I haven’t really thought about it too much. I am thrilled to be going home (for the Mid-Ohio race near where he grew up in Columbus). It’s obviously always a big race and weekend for me. Now with everything that has gone on with the championship, I think that friends and fans are definitely excited and that’s been a lot of fun for me to see people support us in the championship and obviously at my home race. I definitely wasn’t expecting to be in this position but I’m looking forward to it. Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a big part of why I am now racing Indy cars. I went there as a kid, camped out, ran around causing trouble and just had a great time. It helped create a bond for me with racing in a family atmosphere and I’m thrilled to be back. Last year was a great finish for us (fifth place) and obviously I am hoping that we can do a lot better this time around. All those (road course) tracks, we ran pretty close setup-wise to each other so I do feel really good about where we stand with our road course setup heading into the Honda Indy 200. I feel like we should be pretty strong. We have been one of the more competitive cars on all tracks, but what gives me confidence is knowing that at Mid-Ohio last year we did as well as we did and I don’t think our car was nearly as good then as it is now. I’m definitely excited to get out there and get running in my Steak ‘n Shake Honda because I do think we have a chance to win this thing. The guys have been absolutely excellent in the pits. What may hurt us a little bit is we have a bad pit position being towards the back, but I really feel like we’re in a pretty good spot going into this race and it’s a great opportunity for us to gain some points. I don’t want to change our mentality. I want the guys and I want myself to stay focused on what we’ve been doing – trying to do the absolute best that we can, but as I’ve always felt, we can’t overthink this, either. So with that mindset, I’m taking the approach of ‘business as usual, carry on like we have all year.’ If we do that, just like we did in Iowa, things are going to take care of themselves. That’s my focus, that’s my plan. It’s a big week for us, our family, the Rally for the Ranch (charity event in Columbus on July 31) and everything else that we do. I hope everything goes really smoothly.”

TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda):
“I’m really excited to be back on a road course after we finished the string of ovals with a solid race in Iowa. It feels great to get that continuity with the team and I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”

LUCA FILIPPI (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet): “In the last two races, CFH Racing has been very strong and we have good momentum behind us. After our 1-2 in Toronto and the team’s strong finish in Iowa, I expect that we will be strong from the start of the weekend. My learning process so far this season has been gradual but always improving race by race. I’ve raced this circuit previously, like Toronto, so it will be an advantage for me to go there and start on the same level as everyone else. I know the team is capable of fighting for the podium in Mid-Ohio, but the ultimate goal is the best result possible. I want to win that race. I am really looking forward to it and I am really motivated. My family is growing and I really want to bring my newborn (daugther Mia) home her first trophy!”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinishing Team Penske Chevrolet):“I’ve been fortunate to have some really good runs at Mid-Ohio in my career, whether it was in the Verizon IndyCar Series or in sports car competition. While I’ve won in sports cars at the circuit, I’ve been agonizingly close to winning in INDYCAR with a couple of podium finishes. We have had lots of speed in our PPG Chevrolet this year. This gives me a great level of confidence for the weekend. Ben (Bretzman, engineer) and I have worked to develop a good package for Mid-Ohio and we’ve been competitive on the road courses throughout the year. Mid-Ohio is a classic and I look forward to tackling this fun and challenging racetrack.”

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda):
“Mid-Ohio is a fun track to drive. It’s very challenging – you have some elevation change and it’s a high-grip surface. The speed we can carry in an Indy car is pretty challenging and so much fun. I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel on a road course. We have a lot of things to test and try out, but looking for a strong weekend for the No. 25 Honda.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 AndrettiTV/Cinsay Honda): “So we only have three races left in the championship. We needed to get past the last two races – Milwaukee and Iowa – and now we are heading to Mid-Ohio. I really like the track and last year I finished fourth. I really enjoy driving there. We’ll see how the car behaves this year and how competitive we are.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda): “This weekend in Mid-Ohio should be fun with the added downforce – especially in Turn 1; it’s going to be physical. We are really looking to keep up with the consistency for the No. 27, but a win is a must if we want to climb in the championship. Hoping for a good weekend.”

JACK HAWKSWORTH (No. 41 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite races on the schedule. The circuit is tricky and challenging but it also has a very nice flow to it. I especially like the section from Turn 4 to Turn 9. The series always gets a great turnout here and the atmosphere is fantastic.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet): “Mid-Ohio is going to be a fun weekend to get back in the mix. It’s been a little while since we have been on a road course track. Mid-Ohio is one of the best; it’s truly one of the greatest tracks in North America. We had a strong event there last year so we should be able to put really good race cars on the track this year. It will be interesting to see who gets up to speed quickest after coming off such a long stretch of oval races. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in our group and we should be able to hit the ground running.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet): “I can’t wait to get to Mid-Ohio for the race this weekend. The Chip Ganassi Racing team as a whole is always competitive, but the course is so challenging, you just never know what to expect. We’ll be focusing a lot on our qualifying; we didn’t start up where we wanted to last year but managed a top-10 finish with smart strategy and quick work in the pits. With a better grid position and some time studying the tricky corners, I think the No. 83 NovoLog FlexPen Chevrolet will be in a good position for a strong result.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda): “Although I’ve stayed pretty busy on our break here, I never stopped thinking about the next race at Mid-Ohio. I need to capitalize on my experience there from previous years. Mid-Ohio was where I won my first Indy Lights race. So I’ll feel pretty confident here and the Bowers & Wilkins team has given me some pretty strong cars on the road courses. I’m really looking forward to it and hope we can keep improving on our consistent solid finishes while we work towards our goal of having a top five or podium finish before the year is over.”