Rahal, Sato Head Honda Practice Effort at Mid-Ohio

* Championship challenger Rahal runs fourth for Honda, Sato fifth
* Five Honda drivers post top-10 times
* Qualifying for Honda Indy 200 set for Saturday

Hometown favorite Graham Rahal led the way for Honda in practice Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, posting the fourth quickest time in preparation for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200. A race winner earlier this season at Auto Club Speedway in California, Rahal is currently ranked second in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ championship, 42 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya, who was 22nd on the time sheets today in a 24-car field.

Takuma Sato ended the day fifth quickest for A.J. Foyt Racing, just three-thousandths of a second behind Rahal. In all, five Honda drivers recorded top-10 times in practice, with Sato’s teammate Jack Hawksworth, seventh, followed by Marco Andretti, leading the four-car Andretti Autosport effort in eighth. Also driving for the Andretti team, Iowa race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay rounded out today’s top 10.

Activities at Mid-Ohio continue Saturday with final practice and “knock-out” qualifying. Sunday’s 90-lap race starts at 2 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on the CNBC Network.

Graham Rahal (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda): “Today was good. The car is a bit of a handful for sure, but if we can be as close as we are with it like it is, then I feel good about where we can be going forward. We’ve just got to keep working hard, keep our heads down and we’ll be just fine. For sure we have a little bit of work to do tonight. Being the top Honda and fourth overall feels good, but I want to be P1. This is the home race, both for us and Honda, and there are only three races to go, so I want to be up at the front.”