With never-before-seen track map, event unveils scenic urban street course with unique water crossing NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Sept. 16, 2020) – The Music City Grand Prix, in partnership with INDYCAR, is bringing a new sound to Nashville. The Music City Grand Prix announced today that the newest NTT INDYCAR SERIES race will debut Aug. 6-8, 2021, in Nashville, Tennessee….
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LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020) – After a challenging 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, Andretti Autosport finally broke through to Victory Circle in dominating fashion as Colton Herta scored his third career win in Race 2 of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio weekend doubleheader Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
NTT P1 Award winner Herta led an Andretti Autosport sweep of the podium in the No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda, beating teammate Alexander Rossi in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda to the finish line by 1.3826 seconds. Fellow Andretti driver Ryan Hunter-Reay finished third in the No. 28 DHL Honda, 2.4965 seconds behind Herta.
RESULTS: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Race 2
Rounding out the top five behind the Andretti trio were Ohio native Graham Rahal in the No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda and Marcus Ericsson in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
“I’m so happy,” Herta said. “We’ve been knocking on the door almost every weekend. We’ve had the pace. But for some reason or another, one thing has gone wrong or this thing has gone wrong. We finally put everything together. We got the pole this morning, had a stellar car. Everybody on the Capstone Turbine crew gave me an incredible car.”
Heading into Sunday’s race, Andretti Autosport had just two podium finishes this season, third-place results by Rossi at Road America-2 and in Saturday’s Race 1 at Mid-Ohio. Andretti Autosport’s last win came when Rossi dominated the field at Road America in June 2019.
The last time Andretti Autosport swept the podium was in 2005 at St. Petersburg when Dan Wheldon scored the win and fellow Andretti teammates Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta – Colton Herta’s father – followed to sweep the top four finishing positions for what was known as Andretti Green Racing at the time.
“It’s so huge, so huge,” team owner Michael Andretti said. “Thank God we came here to Mid-Ohio. We were a little worried that we weren’t going to be able to get here, but Kevin Savoree and those guys did a great job getting this race on, and it paid off for us, man. One-two-three. The way things have been going for us this year, this is huge for us, the whole team.”
Herta led 57 of 75 laps from the pole after winning the NTT P1 Award in a thrilling qualifying session Sunday morning.
The race also got off to an action-packed start as Herta and second-place starter Santino Ferrucci went side-by-side into Turn 4 of the 13-turn, 2.258-mile circuit. Ferrucci lost control of his No. 18 SealMaster Honda and went into the grass. Ferrucci then returned to the track, where he collided with Dale Coyne Racing teammate Alex Palou in the No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda and Felix Rosenqvist in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Ferrucci was assessed a penalty for avoidable contact, and Palou and Rosenqvist were eliminated from the race. Ferrucci finished 14th, while Rosenqvist and Palou finished 22nd and 23rd, respectively.
The action continued on Lap 22 when points leader Scott Dixon made a costly mistake in Turn 1 that led to a disappointing 10th-place finish after starting third.
Dixon powered through the fastest corner on the track and lost control of his No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, spinning on corner exit. Dixon didn’t hit anything, but the track remained under green flag conditions, and Dixon fell to 20th position.
“I think we kind of tried to have the tires a little bit better for longer in the run, so I think our cold pressures were really low,” Dixon said. “We really struggled on the restarts, especially the initial start and that restart. Plus, everybody behind me had reds on. So, I got aggressive, hit the overtake on the exit of (Turn) 1, and just way too much Honda power there and spun the tires and spun the car.
“So, it totally caught me off guard. Total rookie mistake. I’m so bummed for the team. It’s just such a stupid mistake I shouldn’t have made. Obviously, the car was fast. We were able to fight our way through the pack. It should have been an easy points day.”
Five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Dixon spent the rest of the race trying to rebound, running as high as fourth while on an alternate pit strategy. Dixon was forced to give up his track position on Lap 59 when he pitted for the final time. With the freshest tires in the field, he rallied for his second 10th-place finish of the weekend.
The challenging day did no favors to Dixon’s standing in the championship. His lead over Josef Newgarden shrunk to 72 points, continuing a downward slide for Dixon in the last three races.
Since his most recent win in the first race of the doubleheader at World Wide Technology Raceway on Aug. 29, Dixon has lost 45 points to Newgarden.
Newgarden, the defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion, had a quiet day, finishing eighth in the No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. He gained four points on Dixon after entering the day down 76 points.
“The easiest way (to win the championship) is going to try to win Race 1 at the Indy road course and then do the same in Race 2,” Dixon said. “It would be nice to go to St. Pete without having to worry about it. But the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is so tight right now. The competition is super tough. Trying to rebound off days like this is super tough.”
There are three races left in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. The next event is the INDYCAR Harvest GP doubleheader Oct. 2-3 on the 2.439-mile IMS road course. The season ends with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, Oct. 25.
‘What They’re Saying’ from
the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Race 2
Top 10 Finishers
1st – COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda): “I’m so happy. We’ve been knocking on the door almost every weekend. We’ve had the pace. But for some reason or another, one thing has gone wrong or this thing has gone wrong. We finally put everything together. We got the pole this morning, had a stellar car. Everybody on the Capstone Turbine crew gave me an incredible car. Honda-Andretti 1-2-3, so happy to be powered by Honda, too.” (About start with Ferrucci): “He was on the outside, and I got halfway in front of him, so that was my corner at that point. I tried to leave him as much room as I could, and he just wanted to stick on the outside. So, I had to push him off.” (About winning again from pole): “We just need to be finishing on the podium every weekend. It seems like we’re only on the podium when we win. If we can fill all of those other slots with seconds or thirds, I’ll be a very happy man.”
2nd – ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda): “I’m just so happy for Andretti Autosport and Michael (Andretti). It’s been a terrible year for us, kind of globally. So, to do this … hat’s off to Colton (Herta) and the 88 guys to get the win. But then just to sweep the podium, I’ve heard it’s the first time (for the team) since 2005. It’s very cool for us. The championship went away from us pretty early on, so we’re just focusing on race wins at this point and just trying to build a good foundation for next year, and I think we’re doing that right now. This is a step in the right direction.”
3rd – RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “I think all in all, it was a pretty good day considering we started eighth and finished third. It was great to have an all-Andretti podium for the whole team. I think everyone really needed this. I was a little disappointed losing second place due to contact with Scott Dixon. We’ve raced each other super clean for many years, never any contact, so to lose a second place – or a shot at the win – today that was definitely disappointing. It was a good day for DHL, our partners AutoNation and Honda – really appreciate everyone’s support, and hopefully we can celebrate after getting on the top step at the Harvest Grand Prix in Indianapolis.”
4th – GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda): “The Fifth Third Bank car was strong today. We were able to pass a few guys on the second stint but didn’t feel great on those reds toward the end. I was struggling a little bit, and I think that hurt us. I think we had more pace than those guys (top three), but the track position was hard. All in all, I thought our strategy was good, the pit stops were good, and the Fifth Third Bank car was good. Two fourth-place finishes here is not too bad. We would have liked to gain a little more points on the guys ahead, but we’ll take it. I think we closed the gap to some. That was as physical of a weekend as you are going to have. Congrats to Colton (Herta) on a great run. This weekend we raised $7,500 for Turns for Troops with United Rentals, so that’s another thing to be happy about.”
5th – MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “That was a good race. We had a difficult day yesterday, and it was a disappointing qualifying today in the rain. The feeling was that we needed a good result today. That’s what we did. I had a really good start by overtaking three or four cars, and then there were three cars that got taken out of the race. We started off the race really well. From then on, we had good pace, I was overtaking cars, and we made some really good strategy calls like overcutting and undercutting people. The Huski Chocolate crew had really strong pit stops today. Overall, it was a real team effort, and it was nice to be P5 there in the end. Solid results.”
6th – SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): “I think we finally broke our curse. We had a good race today, and we’ll take a sixth-place finish in the DXC Technology Chevrolet. Saturday’s result was a real shame; it definitely didn’t show the pace that we had here. I think we’ve had a good car all weekend long, and I think today we maximized what we had. We definitely still have some work to do, but we are happy with the direction we are headed with the car, and that’s a good sign for us heading back to Harvest Grand Prix at Indianapolis.”
7th – WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was actually a pretty solid race for the Verizon Chevrolet. We had some radio issues, so I really wasn’t sure what position we were running in all the time, so I really just followed my teammates and pitted when they did. It was pretty smooth sailing from there, but we really couldn’t make up a lot of ground. Obviously, it was a pretty disappointing result in qualifying today, and that was totally my fault. Considering that and the radio challenges during the race, we come away actually feeling all right with a seventh-place result and a pretty good weekend overall with the win on Saturday.”
8th – JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): “We were just a little too average today. We didn’t really have superior pace, and our starting position didn’t help us out. We tried to make some hay in the beginning, and the caution didn’t really work in our favor for what we were planning strategy-wise. We were just kind of stuck where we were all day, to be honest. We just need to work on getting a little more race pace. I think that’s what we were lacking. On the car itself, we needed a little better grip and a little more balance. Everything else was solid. I think Team Chevy came with a great engine today. We had what we needed from them, and obviously the support from PPG is always great here at Mid-Ohio, so we just need to work on ourselves a little next time out.”
9th – PATO O’WARD (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “We started 21st and made our way up a few places at the start, but then everything kind of went sideways from there. We came into the pits for the first stop and guys were getting released, which put us into a position where we couldn’t turn into the box quite as tight as we wanted to. This meant the fuel probe couldn’t quite connect, and we couldn’t get fuel into the car. This led to us having to go all the way to the back and pit for more fuel. We had to make everything up on track after that. We had such strong pace, and I truly think if we had started up front, we would have been better. I made a very stupid mistake in qualifying that really put us on the back foot, and I tried to earn back as much as I could today by giving it everything I had. At the end of the day, a top-10 finish isn’t bad from where we started.”
10th – SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “We really struggled on the restarts with tire pressures for some reason. On the turn when I spun out, I just had a bunch of guys in front of me on alternate tires, and I got too aggressive. I got on the overtake button at the exit of Turn 1 and spun the tires and spun the car. It was just a stupid, rookie mistake, and I feel bad for the PNC Bank team. Obviously, the car proved to be fast after that. We managed to fight back until the very end and pick up some spots. But overall, we should have never been in that position to begin with.”
Remainder of Drivers (alphabetical – with finishing position):
MARCO ANDRETTI (Finished 20th – No. 98 Surgere / Curb Honda): “I made a costly mistake today and clipped the wet grass entering Turn 1, and it cost us a good result. But really happy for Colton (Herta) and the team – congrats to everyone!”
OLIVER ASKEW (Finished 15th – No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “The No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP team made good progress during the weekend. Today was the first time I had to fuel save this year, which was an adjustment, but I felt like I gave it my all. Looking forward to getting back to the Indianapolis road course, where we qualified in the Fast Six earlier this year. I think the entire team has a lot of potential, and I’m looking forward to capitalizing on that.”
MAX CHILTON (Finished 13th – No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “It wasn’t quite the top 10 that I wanted, but to start back in 18th and make up five positions throughout the race and do it legitimately is something to be proud of. We outraced and outpaced some strong cars out there, and I did two of the best overtakes I’ve done all year around the outside of a high-speed corner. I’m very happy with the job we did today. We kept good pace and good fuel mileage, and I feel like we managed the race really well. I don’t think we could’ve done much more during the race; the only thing would’ve been to qualify slightly higher up. Regardless, I know that top 10 for myself and the Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet is coming this year.”
CONOR DALY (Finished 16th – No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet): “Today was tough in qualifying. We just didn’t get the right lap in at the right time, and we just missed having another lap by a couple of seconds. Starting on the back foot, that’s hard. We took a gamble with the setup, which was actually good for me to try. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time for everything that happened on track. It was a shame. However, there were some positives. Yesterday, we qualified fourth, which was really good. We are still learning together as a team. Hopefully we can put what we learned here toward the Harvest Grand Prix.”
SANTINO FERRUCCI (Finished 14th – No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “It was a tough race. The SealMaster Honda had good pace, but on the opening lap I got caught off guard on the outside, and when I tried to collect it, I did some damage to the car. We came back from last to finish 14th with a couple of good pit stops and a really good last stint. Obviously, it was not our weekend. However, we had a lot of good takeaways, so I’m looking forward to the Harvest Grand Prix.”
JACK HARVEY (Finished 12th – No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda): “I think today was a pretty decent day considering where we started. I have to give a big shout out to the MSR guys for working really hard to get the car back in shape after qualifying. We had a pretty good start, and I was just running my race. I think our pace on both red and blacks today was pretty strong; it’s just that it’s so hard to pass here. I wish we could have made it into the top 10, especially in front of Mike’s (Shank) home crowd, but we’re walking away with our best finish at Mid-Ohio, and we’ll push forward to get a good result back at Indy in a few weeks.”
DALTON KELLETT (Finished 21st – No. 14 K-Line USA / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “The only thing you can do on a day like today is take the positives and learn from what went wrong. The team made some good changes from qualifying to the race. For the first half of the first stint, the car felt really good. We were on pace with the guys around us. Our speed was pretty competitive on the alternate Firestones. Just a little mistake on my part on the downshift, it got loose into (Turn) 1, and I couldn’t save it. When I backed it into the gravel, we damaged the underwing pretty bad, so it was a big loss in downforce. The rest of the race was more of an exercise in keeping the car on the track and trying not to get in the way of the leaders and the cars that weren’t damaged and kind of chugging along. It’s one we’ll have to file away and come back stronger for the Harvest GP.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (Finished 19th – No. 4 Tresiba / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “So, I definitely think we made the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet better overnight from Race 1 to Race 2. This morning, obviously, was unfortunate with the spin in the wet, so we started last, and around here at Mid-Ohio, it’s so hard to pass. The guys did a great job in pit lane. We were able to hit the fuel number we needed to get to the end of the race, so on that side of things I think we checked some boxes, learned some things, learned a little bit about the car as we head to the doubleheader at the Harvest Grand Prix back on the Indy road course. We’ll take what we learned from there in July, what we learned from here, put it together and hopefully come up with a good package off the truck.”
ALEX PALOU (Finished 23rd – No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda): “That’s not how I wanted to end my day at Mid-Ohio in our No. 55 Guaranteed Rate car. We were happy to be starting from fourth and to be starting at the front of the field. I had a good start, but then I saw a car coming toward me. I moved to the right a bit to try and avoid him, but I couldn’t go very far because Felix (Rosenqvist) was next to me and we ended up both getting hit and taken out. It just wasn’t our weekend at Mid-Ohio.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST (Finished 22nd – No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Obviously, I think we were pretty innocent with what happened with the accident at the start. I saw something was going on to the inside of me at the start, and I tried to take as wide of a line as I could in anticipation of what could happen. But I just got hit from behind. (Santino) Ferrucci went off, hit another car coming back on, and that car just pinballed into us, unfortunately. It’s a shame because the NTT DATA Honda was really in a good spot for a good result. Overall, it’s just very disappointing for us.”
TAKUMA SATO (Finished 18th – No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Honda): “Everyone pit under the second yellow. Strategy-wise, staying out allowed us to try something, and we led the race for a while and made over five seconds of gap, which was needed. But unfortunately after the second sequence, we hit huge traffic where everybody was going in and out, in and out (of the pits), and we lost a couple of seconds. And then by the time everything was finished, we went back to where we were. It’s a shame, but we had to try. It was a tough weekend for us.”
ZACH VEACH (Finished 17th – No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “The beginning of the race was good for us. We kind of got through traffic, ended up settling in around 11th . We saw an opportunity to make a stop right before a yellow came out. Unfortunately, we put Firestone blacks on when everyone else did Firestone reds, so we kind of struggled that next stint. And for whatever reason, we had less fuel in the car than we thought, so we had to stop about two laps early, and that made the last stint a pretty big fuel saving stint. We really didn’t get an opportunity to charge forward from the halfway point on, but we did the best with what we could and what we had today. I’m really happy for the all-Andretti podium, and congrats to those guys.”
RINUS VEEKAY (Finished 11th – No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet): “That was a very tough race. Maybe because of the rainy conditions this morning, the track was different. My car felt nothing like yesterday. I had to dodge some cars at the start and did not really move forward like other guys did. It wasn’t the greatest race, but P11 is not terrible. We’ve got the Indy road course again – and again. I had my best road course finish there, so I am ready to go back.”
Top 10 Finishers
1st – WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “We’ve had a pretty trying year. Everyone really has, with COVID and all the social distancing that we’ve had this year. The fact we are out here racing and that fact that we have some fans here (in Mid-Ohio) is great. This is what we love to do – we love to drive and we love to entertain. But it’s great to have the Verizon Chevrolet in victory lane. This is probably the first race in 10 years that I’ve just gone hard the whole time. So many other races, we try and save fuel and play the strategy game, and a lot of times it just doesn’t work out. Today, we said, ‘Let’s just go hard.’ We said let’s just go hard and use my race pace and see what happens – and we won the race. This was just a race to put down good laps after good laps. It was just a flawless day and a flawless race. The whole Verizon team did a great job. It’s great to see Verizon in Victory Lane again, because it’s been awhile. It’s also great to finally win at Mid-Ohio – I’m over the moon about that.”
2nd – JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was a pretty straightforward day. Where we started is where we finished with the PPG Chevrolet. It was good to get by Ryan (Hunter-Reay) right there at the beginning of the race, and that helped us, for sure. But congrats to Will (Power) – he is still Will Power. He’s been knocked down a little bit this year, but he drove really well, and that was a clinic he put on out there today. I’m really happy for him, but we were just a couple of tenths slower than him all day long today. I could kind of tell we were fighting for second today. Team Chevy – one-two for us – so that’s good for them, and I’m proud of that. We just need to be a little better. We picked up some good points today, which is good.”
3rd – ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda): “Yeah, it’s good. We just haven’t had a lot of things go our way. I don’t think we’ve had luck, but we haven’t had pace, either. We’re just really trying to go out and make the most of each opportunity we have for the rest of this year. The 27 NAPA/AutoNation guys did a great job. The car was good. Had we been able to clear Ryan (Hunter-Reay) a bit sooner and get Josef (Newgarden), we could have had a shot at it. The car’s pace was really good. Regardless, it wasn’t meant to be. Starting P6 was always going to be a bit of a challenge, but nonetheless it was a good day for us, and we get to do it all again tomorrow.”
4th – GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “It was super-hot. It’s a good thing it wasn’t a 90-degree July day. I’m awfully proud of the United Rentals guys. I thought our strategy was great, and the car was very good in race trim. I think we were a little quicker than (Josef) Newgarden and (Alexander) Rossi, but I got held up by (Simon) Pagenaud there coming out of the pits on that last stop or otherwise I think we had him (Rossi). I thought we had a good opportunity there to get Alex, but all in all, it was a great run for us. It feels good to get a good result after St. Louis, which was kind of a bruiser. Our guys did a wonderful job in the pits. The last few races, they’ve been lightning fast. We’ve just got to keep at it. It was a tough day. Tomorrow is going to be tougher. Guys are going to fall out of the saddle tomorrow. That is physical. It is hot, there’s not a lot of air, and it was dirty. Tomorrow will be a bruiser. We switch over to the Fifth Third Bank car, so we’re excited about that switch-over. And we raised a lot of money for Turns for Troops today, so all in all, a good day.”
5th – RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We were just missing a little bit of grip today, which was unfortunate. We were sliding around all day, especially that last stint. But it was close, we just missed it on the pit cycle there with the 27. We came out just behind [Alexander Rossi] and then I was fighting it out with Rosenqvist from there. I have no idea how Rahal got up there so it must have been through the pit cycle. We need to do some things to the car for tomorrow’s race because I was speeding around out there for sure. Hopefully we get this 28 DHL Honda further up front tomorrow.”
6th – FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It was a good race, for sure, starting P7 with a P6 finish for the NTT DATA team. It was good points, as well, but I’m a little disappointed because we had good speed on the reds in the beginning. I could have gotten around a few more guys, I think, and could have been a bit better on the pits than I did. I made a little slip there, but we have more potential in the car, and we’re looking to show that tomorrow.”
7th – JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda): “Really solid day for the Meyer Shank Racing guys. We started fifth and went on a bit of a bold strategy by starting on reds, which was quite a bit of a workout. After that, I thought we were pretty fast, to be honest. After today, we’re feeling pretty good about tomorrow’s race, but hopefully we can finish even better than today.”
8th – RINUS VEEKAY (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet): “Good race. I struggled a little bit at the beginning to get around slower traffic. Once I figured it out, it was really enjoyable. It definitely wasn’t a perfect race, but I’m happy with what we made of it and the speed we had. I think we can do even better in qualifying tomorrow, which will make the race easier.”
9th – COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Captstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda): “It was a solid recovery drive. I think we were on for a better race, but some stuff didn’t fall our way, and it was enough to push us into the back and we got behind some guys that we had to pass in our middle stint. Unfortunately, that’s how it goes. I wish we could’ve had clean track and we had the pace, but the good thing is that we have another race tomorrow.”
10th – SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It’s was just OK for us today in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda. It just didn’t play out the way we thought it would. We went with a cautious move and made sure we ran the red tires first based on what we saw in qualifying. I guess looking back maybe we should have gone the other way, but who knows? Then we got caught up with (Colton) Herta on the pit exit, and I’m not sure what happened there or why he slowed up or whatever, but I thought we might have broken the front end after that. I hit him pretty hard, but I guess at the end of the day we made up seven or so spots, and that’s a small win.”
Remainder of Drivers (alphabetical – with finishing position):
MARCO ANDRETTI (Finished 23rd – No. 98 Surgere / Curb Honda): “I think the 98 car really had potential today. Our qualifying didn’t quite show our speed. Another lap, and we could have broken the top six. But I think we could have done something from 11th. The race was kind of wasted from the start. We had a mistake with the rear tires, and with the impound rule, the penalty would have been too great if we had fixed it. So, we took the green and hoped to make the best out of it. We were able to gain a couple spots. I held on as long as I could. But we had to pit too far off strategy. It put us into a fuel saving race after already dropping back.”
OLIVER ASKEW (Finished 19th – No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “It was a tough day for the entire team. You’re always going into the race on your back foot when you don’t qualify toward the front. The No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet felt strong during the race, but it’s always tough to pass at Mid-Ohio and we just couldn’t make up ground. The entire team will put in the work tonight to figure out how we can be better and faster tomorrow. Looking forward to getting another shot at it.”
MAX CHILTON (Finished 16th – No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “It was a tough race for us, honestly. We had a fairly decent run at qualifying earlier today, finishing sixth in our group and just barely missing out on a top-10 start for the Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet in Race 1. We lost a few spots at the start of the race, and then after that it was just tough to get around anyone and get those positions back. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t go forward like we would’ve liked, and we definitely have some things to look at tonight. But thankfully we get another chance tomorrow to do it all again, and we’ve already shown in qualifying that we have the speed to be battling with the guys in the top 10.”
CONOR DALY (Finished 13th – No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet): “We had a really good start, got up to third, which was nice. We struggled with the balance a little bit, but once we settled into fourth, we held our position. It was tough to nail the times we needed on the out laps. Running out of fuel, these things happen sometimes. It was a shame because we would have been in the top 10. Hopefully we can work on some race pace for tomorrow, and thankfully we have another day.”
MARCUS ERICSSON (Finished 15th – No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It hasn’t been a great day, to be honest. We struggled a lot in qualifying, and we’re not really sure why. The car felt decent, but our lap time just wasn’t there and on the reds, especially. We need to dig into that tonight and see if we find something for tomorrow. There might be some rain, as well, tomorrow, which will turn everything upside down. We definitely have some things to improve on for qualifying. For the race, starting from the back is always difficult. I think we had a decent race and we moved forward, but P15 is not what we’re here for. We will keep pushing, and tomorrow is a new day and a new chance for qualifying and the race. We look forward to fighting back and have a good day tomorrow.”
SANTINO FERRUCCI (Finished 14th – No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “It was a very physical race. We had a really good start, and the SealMaster crew did a good job in the pits. We tried some things with the setup in practice this morning, but it’s hard with minimal track time. We just have to focus on tomorrow and get the car in the top 10.”
DALTON KELLETT (Finished 22nd – No. 14 K-Line USA / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Not the overall finishing position we’d like, but I think we found some easy time to gain in qualifying for tomorrow. So, hopefully we should be able to qualify a little further up the grid, and that will definitely make it a little easier because when you’re starting at the back there, by the end of the first lap you’re already a significant chunk behind the leaders and it’s a short lap. So, then with the pit cycles, you end up kind of risking going a lap down and getting caught in a pack that’s at a different speed than you, so that can be a bit difficult. So, really the goal for tomorrow is qualifying further up. That will make our lives easier and keep working on the car. I think we’ve made the car better from practice to qualifying to the race and definitely learned some good lessons today that we can take into tomorrow.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (Finished 21st – No. 4 Tresiba / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “It was a really tough day, honestly. We missed it a little bit in qualifying, and I feel like we missed it a lot in the race. The 14 car looked a little more competitive in the race, so we’ll look at what they did and come up with some ideas. The nice thing is that we get to do it all again tomorrow, so I have a lot of faith in the No. 4 AJ Foyt Racing crew. We just have to sit down, put all our heads together and come up with something to start tomorrow.”
PATO O’WARD (Finished 11th – No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “Yeah, we had a really messy day today. Not starting toward the front doesn’t make your life any easier. We had some clutch issues in the pits, which caused us to stall. That made it really difficult for us to get out of the box. We made up as much time as we could on track. We were very fast, and I think the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet was one of the best cars out there. We just didn’t quite perfect the little things that get you to the front today. We will work on that for tomorrow, and we should have a good race.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (Finished 18th – No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): “Frustrating day for the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet. We had some good pace, but with no cautions and the mistake at the beginning of the race, it was hard to make up the track position. Just spun out and stalled the car and couldn’t get it refired. We tried to short pit and gain some track position, but without any cautions, there wasn’t much else we could do. Hopefully, we can go out there tomorrow and do better.”
ALEX PALOU (Finished 12th – No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda): “It was a tough day. Things went really well in practice this morning. I was very confident and comfortable with the No. 55 Guaranteed Rate car. Then in qualifying, the first two laps with the blacks were really good. I was P1 at the time, but I went off track and broke the underwing, so that ruined our run on the alternate Firestone tire. Starting 20th , there wasn’t a lot we could do. It was a difficult race just because we were quick but couldn’t overtake much. On the positive side, we gained the most positions of all drivers. At the end of the day, I don’t think there was much more we could do. It was tough, but we have another chance tomorrow to do better.”
TAKUMA SATO (Finished 17th – No. 30 Panasonic / Mi-Jack Honda): “It was a tough race and a lot of hard work but didn’t really reflect on the result, which is a shame. There was actually no drama; it was a caution-free race. Strategy-wise, we tried to gain back the positions but were just not quite there. We need to work on it for tomorrow. It was hot, we sweat and lost a lot of pounds and weight. We will have a good recovery tonight and hopefully be OK for tomorrow.”
ZACH VEACH (Finished 20th – No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “The race started off really well for us. The first stint we were moving forward and had really good pace. Once we threw the Firestone blacks on, we really just suffered with a loose car. I think our setup favored the reds. As the track progressed, the front kept gripping up more and more, making the rear more and more of a problem. It was just too loose throughout the day, just really hard to keep going forward after that. It was an extremely physical race, too. Not too many tracks make me feel like I’m 5’4”, but this is one place that is really, really tough when you’re small in one of these things.”
|Click HERE to view the official qualifying results of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Race 1LEXINGTON, Ohio – Qualifying Saturday for the Honda Indy 200 Race 1 at Mid-Ohio NTT INDYCAR SERIES event on the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with starting position, car number in parentheses, driver, engine, time and speed in parentheses:|
1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:06.3343 (122.543 mph)
2. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:06.7287 (121.819)
3. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:06.5508 (122.144)
4. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:06.8761 (121.550)
5. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 01:06.7690 (121.745)
6. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:07.1856 (120.990)
7. (10) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 01:06.7841 (121.718)
8. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:07.2205 (120.927)
9. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 01:07.0110 (121.305)
10. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:07.2489 (120.876)
11. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:07.0162 (121.296)
12. (59) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 01:07.4491 (120.518)
13. (88) Colton Herta, Honda, 01:07.0212 (121.287)
14. (18) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 01:07.5011 (120.425)
15. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 01:07.0354 (121.261)
16. (7) Oliver Askew, Chevrolet, 01:07.6211 (120.211)
17. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:07.1406 (121.071)
18. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:07.8192 (119.860)
19. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 01:07.2101 (120.946)
20. (55) Alex Palou, Honda, 01:08.1548 (119.270)
21. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 01:07.3890 (120.625)
22. (4) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 01:08.3783 (118.880)
23. (14) Dalton Kellett, Chevrolet, 01:08.5442 (118.592)
12 Power, Will
9 Dixon, Scott
1 Newgarden, Josef
88 Herta, Colton
98 Andretti, Marco
21 VeeKay, Rinus
10 Rosenqvist, Felix
60 Harvey, Jack
26 Veach, Zach
8 Ericsson, Marcus
5 O’Ward, Pato
28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan
27 Rossi, Alexander
18 Ferrucci, Santino
55 Palou, Alex
20 Daly, Conor
22 Pagenaud, Simon
15 Rahal, Graham
59 Chilton, Max
30 Sato, Takuma
7 Askew, Oliver
4 Kimball, Charlie
14 Kellett, Dalton
Only five races remain in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, and the path to a sixth Astor Challenge Cup for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon is clear.
Dixon, the winningest INDYCAR driver at Mid-Ohio with six wins, leads Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden by 96 points heading into the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio doubleheader this weekend. Newgarden or Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward (-119 points) will need to carve away at that lead if they want to take the title from Dixon.
Should Dixon leave Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a lead of 141 points or more, the New Zealand driver only needs to start the remaining races on the schedule to win a sixth championship. With a lead of more than 162 points or more, he can clinch the title.
Race weekend: Saturday, Sept. 12 – Sunday, Sept. 13
Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a 13-turn, a 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio
Race distance: 75 laps / 169.35 miles (Each race)
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate to be used during the event weekend. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.
Twitter: @Mid_Ohio, @IndyCar, #Honda200, #INDYCAR
Event website: www.midohio.com/
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2019 race winner: Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda)
2019 NTT P1 Award winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 1:04.6802, 125.677 mph
Qualifying record: Simon Pagenaud, 1:03.8700, 127.271 mph, July 30, 2016
NBC/NBCSN telecasts: Race 1, 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 12 (live); Race 2, 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 13 (live); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the telecasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.
NBC Sports Gold livestreaming: Saturday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice session and Saturday and Sunday’s qualifying sessions will stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES races are broadcast live on Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. Live coverage of NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying is available on XM 205, IndyCar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
At-track schedule (all times local)
Saturday, Sept. 12
10:45 a.m.-noon: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, NBC Sports Gold (live)
2:00-2:30 p.m.: Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award – Race 1 (Two groups), NBC Sports Gold (live)
4:30 p.m.: NBCSN on air
4:53 p.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”
5:00 p.m.: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio – Race 1 (75 laps/169.35 miles), NBCSN (Live)
Sunday, Sept. 13
10:15-10:45 a.m.: Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award – Race 2 (Two groups), NBC Sports Gold (Live)
12:58 p.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”
1:00 p.m.: NBC on air
1:05 p.m.: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio – Race 2 (75 laps/169.35 miles), NBC (Live)
- Scott Dixon leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship with five races to go for the third time in in the last four seasons. Dixon has led the point standings after every round this season.
- Since the first Indy car race at Mid-Ohio in 1980, the winning driver has won the Indy car championship 11 times: Johnny Rutherford (1980), Mario Andretti (1984), Bobby Rahal (1986), Michael Andretti (1991), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Alex Zanardi (1997), Juan Pablo Montoya (1999), Paul Tracy (2003), Dario Franchitti (2010), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Josef Newgarden (2017).
Key championship point statistic: Since 2008, the championship leader with five races to go has gone on to win the championship six times. Those drivers were: Scott Dixon (2008 and 2018), Dario Franchitti (2011), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Josef Newgarden (2019).
Point differential: The 96 points that separate Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden is the largest point margin since 2008. Prior to this season, the average lead with five races to go since 2008 was 39.6 points.
Championship-eligible drivers’ results at Mid-Ohio: Scott Dixon is the winningest Indy car driver at Mid-Ohio with six victories (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2019). Josef Newgarden (2017), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Graham Rahal (2015) have won at Mid-Ohio … Dixon has finished in the top five in 11 of his 15 races at Mid-Ohio.
CHAMPIONSHIP WITH 5 TO GO
|Year||Leader||Second-Place||Lead||Eventual Champion (Deficit- if any)|
|2008||Scott Dixon||Helio Castroneves||58||Scott Dixon|
|2009||Ryan Briscoe||Scott Dixon||8||Dario Franchitti (-11)|
|2010||Will Power||Dario Franchitti||41||Dario Franchitti|
|2011||Dario Franchitti||Will Power||62||Dario Franchitti|
|2012||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Will Power||34||Ryan Hunter-Reay|
|2013||Helio Castroneves||Scott Dixon||31||Scott Dixon|
|2014||Helio Castroneves||Will Power||28||Will Power|
|2015||Juan Pablo Montoya||Will Power||46||Scott Dixon (-49)|
|2016||Simon Pagenaud||Josef Newgarden||73||Simon Pagenaud|
|2017||Scott Dixon||Helio Castroneves||3||Josef Newgarden (-23)|
|2018||Scott Dixon||Josef Newgarden||62||Scott Dixon|
|2019||Josef Newgarden||Alexander Rossi||29||Josef Newgarden|
|2020||Scott Dixon||Josef Newgarden||96||???|
- The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be the 36th and 37th Indy car races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Scott Dixon won the race in 2019. Johnny Rutherford won the first Indy car race at Mid-Ohio in 1980.
- The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be the fourth and fifth races on a road course in 2020. The first three races were won by Chip Ganassi Racing drivers – Scott Dixon (Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Road America-1) and Felix Rosenqvist (Road America-2).
- Scott Dixon is the winningest Indy car driver at Mid-Ohio with six victories (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2019). Emerson Fittipaldi won at Mid-Ohio three times, while Michael Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Teo Fabi, Bobby Rahal, Al Unser Jr. and Alex Zanardi all won at Mid-Ohio twice. Past winners Dixon, Charlie Kimball (2013), Graham Rahal (2015), Simon Pagenaud (2016), Josef Newgarden (2017) and Alexander Rossi (2018) are entered this year.
- Will Power has won four poles at Mid-Ohio, the most of any driver. Power won the pole in 2010, 2012, 2017 and 2019. Mid-Ohio pole winners entered in this year’s race are Power, Scott Dixon (2011, 2015), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2013), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Alexander Rossi (2018).
- Twelve drivers have won the race from the pole – Mario Andretti (1984), Bobby Rahal (1985), Roberto Guerrero (1987), Teo Fabi (1989), Michael Andretti (1990, 1991), Al Unser Jr. (1994), Alex Zanardi (1996), Patrick Carpentier (2002), Paul Tracy (2003), Scott Dixon (2011), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Alexander Rossi (2018).
- Nineteen drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Mid-Ohio. Scott Dixon (15) has made the most starts at Mid-Ohio among the entered drivers. Eight drivers have led laps at the track (Scott Dixon 261, Will Power 139, Josef Newgarden 89, Alexander Rossi 66, Simon Pagenaud 37, Ryan Hunter-Reay 33, Graham Rahal 26 and Felix Rosenqvist 15).
- Chip Ganassi Racing has won 11 times at Mid-Ohio, including eight of the 13 races sanctioned by INDYCAR at the track. Ganassi’s winning drivers are Alex Zanardi (1996, 1997), Juan Pablo Montoya (1999), Scott Dixon (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2019), Dario Franchitti (2010) and Charlie Kimball (2013).
- Team Penske has nine wins at the track with Emerson Fittipaldi (1992, 1993), Al Unser Jr. (1994, 1995), Helio Castroneves (2000, 2001), Ryan Briscoe (2008), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Josef Newgarden (2017).
- Scott Dixon has finished in the top five in 11 of his 15 starts at Mid-Ohio, including six wins between 2007 and 2019 … Will Power has finished in the top five in eight of his 11 starts at Mid-Ohio … Simon Pagenaud has finished on the podium four times in his previous nine starts.
HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m thrilled that the series has been able to figure out how to race at Mid-Ohio. I really didn’t want to see an extended break following our win at Gateway. With that momentum, the PPG Chevy team and I are feeling really dialed in for this weekend’s races. It’s another doubleheader and the first of several road courses, and we feel pretty good about that. Qualifying is so important at Mid-Ohio, and we feel great about our plan for that. With the race, it’s all about staying out of trouble in the corners and watching restarts. My guys always put together a fast car, and I’m sure that won’t be any different this weekend.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 4 Tresiba/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I’m glad we are able to get the opportunity to race at Mid-Ohio this year. A doubleheader means double the fun around the track, which is one of my favorites. I have a lot of confidence in the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet after leaving the last road course at Road America and knowing that will translate into this weekend. Strategically, the 15-lap-shorter race adds a wrinkle in the thought process, but having won there in 2013 with a healthy dose of strategy, the opportunity exists for us to excel.”
PATO O’WARD (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “We are returning to road course action this weekend at Mid-Ohio. I think it’s going to be a good change for the championship race after having five oval races in a row. It will be a good challenge for Arrow McLaren SP, and I’m looking forward to building on the success that I had there in 2018 with Indy Lights, getting both poles and both wins. Our objective is going to be the same as it has been the past couple of weeks: qualifying up front and try to score a couple of podium finishes.”
OLIVER ASKEW (No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite tracks, and it was one of the most memorable weekends for me last year in Indy Lights, winning two races and extending my championship lead. I’ve been dying to get back on a road course, and I’m looking forward to the challenges that another condensed doubleheader weekend will bring us. I’m sure that Arrow McLaren SP and Chevrolet will once again give us a strong car to compete, so I’m focused on getting good results and finishing the year strong.”
MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It’s great news that the race is happening and that it’s a doubleheader. I’m very excited about that. I think we have been having a strong year so far, but maybe not having as good of results as we’ve wanted. I’m looking forward to going to Mid-Ohio and scoring some good results there. I think we can do it. We’ve been fast pretty much everywhere, so I’m feeling confident and ready to go there for a good weekend. Also, for me, I was taken out in Turn 1 of the race, so I feel like I have some unfinished business because of that. It’s a really fun, challenging track, so it’s going to be a great weekend.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I can’t imagine what it’s been like to try and organize a racing season schedule this year. I know INDYCAR and the track have been working hard to get everything in order to race this weekend at Mid-Ohio. It’s great they were able to get it done and to also put together a doubleheader race weekend. We’ve had success here in the past as a team, and we hope to continue to build on that this weekend and carry that through to the remaining races on the schedule for 2020 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It’s good to have Mid-Ohio confirmed finally. I think it’s a race that everyone wanted to make sure it happens. It’s especially exciting that we have a doubleheader. It’s a track that’s historically been really good for Chip Ganassi Racing. I can look back at last year with our P1 and P2 finish for me and Scott. There’s definitely something to be shown there on my side. I think I felt like I could fight for the win last year. With two attempts this weekend, it’s going to be a good weekend, for sure. I’m looking forward to it.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m really looking forward to racing at Mid-Ohio, and it’s nice to have a few road course races in a row. We haven’t had one since the Road America weekend – a lot of ovals in a row. But it’s a fun track, a place with so many technical corners. It can be difficult but also really fun to race there. We’ve started on the pole there a few times, but it’s one of the tracks I haven’t won at yet. It’s been a goal of mine to get a win there, and I’m excited to have two chances to try and make it happen. We have a really fast Verizon Chevrolet ready to go.”
DALTON KELLETT (No. 14 K-Line USA AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I am very excited for the doubleheader at Mid-Ohio and thankful for the efforts of INDYCAR, Green Savoree Promotions and the State of Ohio for surmounting the challenges of rescheduling the race. It’s one of my favorite tracks. I love the technical and fast-paced nature of the layout. This weekend will be physically and mentally challenging, for both crew and drivers. It shouldn’t be quite as hot as the Indy GP, but you can’t discount the physical nature of this place. There’s not much time to relax. It will be good to jump back in the No. 14 and continue to work on our road course package. Given the condensed schedule, we’re doing more development during race weekends than we might on a typical year. That means it will be important for me to give the engineers accurate feedback in practice, so we can get it right for the race. Every session is an opportunity to learn.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals (Race 1)/Fifth Third Bank (Race 2) Honda): “I’m excited to get back home. It’s going to be very physical. I think everybody expects that it’s going to be a tough weekend for all of us, but I feel good about my physical condition. I am excited to continue on down this path and get back to racing. Clearly having a doubleheader at home is always going to be fun for me. I’m looking forward to that challenge. We have been competitive pretty much everywhere with the exception of the short ovals, where we struggled. I’m pleased with what I’ve seen on road courses. I think the guys have done an amazing job, but we’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep pushing to try to improve a little bit further. We were competitive at the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis and at Road America. We didn’t maximize that, but I feel like there is a lot of positive thoughts and beliefs to carry forward. We know that we can be right in the hunt there, so I fully anticipate us doing that. From a strategy standpoint, 75 laps is probably going to be a two-stop race, no problem. It is going to be still physically tiring. The pit stops are going to be critical, obviously, as will not putting a wheel wrong on track. Typically, the weather is hot and steamy this time of year, which does breed more and more mistakes. I think INDYCAR is doing a great job to get these races in. From our standpoint, we’ve got to do the best that we can for all of our partners. We’re going to run the United Rentals car on Saturday and switch overnight to the Fifth Third Bank car and hope we can get a good result in both races for them. We’ve got some opportunities ahead of us with five races on tracks we should be good at. We feel like we’ve been better than a lot of the guys ahead of us or around us in points, and we’re going to try to make this our best season yet.”
SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “I’m super excited to be back in the SealMaster Honda at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It’s a fantastic racetrack and going to be a lot of fun. I’m especially looking forward to the fact that it’s a doubleheader. I can’t wait to get back on track and hopefully we can give our sponsors and the fans the kind of show and result they deserve.”
CONOR DALY (No. 20 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet): “I’ve always enjoyed going to Mid-Ohio, such a great track in the Midwest. I’ve had some reasonable success there, qualified decent and led some laps. It feels like forever since we’ve been to a road course, so it will be nice to get back to that. Hopefully we’ll qualify up front, finish up front and get a lot of points.”
RINUS VEEKAY (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet): “I’m very excited we’re finally going to Mid-Ohio. We’ve been waiting a while to find out if it was going happen. I had a very important test with Ed Carpenter Racing there last October. Good memories already with the team. Also good memories in the Road to Indy, where I never finished off the podium and have two wins. I love the track and the atmosphere around it. The season is getting close to the end now. We’ve had a few good races, and it’s important to keep this momentum going.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m so excited to have DXC Technology back on my Chevrolet for Mid-Ohio. For the rest of the season, we’ll be racing on road courses or a street course, so we have had to shift our thinking from the last few races that were all on ovals. Whatever we learn between the two races at Mid-Ohio can be really valuable for the rest of the season. In that case and my crew has been working really hard with that in mind. We are ready for the fight and aiming for race wins.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack/Panasonic Honda): “A doubleheader at Mid-Ohio will be more physical than (having a doubleheader at) Road America, for sure. Mid-Ohio doesn’t have several long straights like Road America and has constantly continuous corners with a relatively short lap, so it’s difficult to get any rest during a lap. However, I think the doubleheader is a good thing for the sport for this season under the circumstances. It’s certainly more challenging for a doubleheader weekend because naturally you lose a session for practice, and it becomes a very compressed time schedule so engineers won’t have a enough time to analyze the data. The track’s characteristics are different, but we believe we can carry good knowledge from the road course races at Indianapolis and Road America.” (About being fourth in point standings): “We just try hard to have a strong race for each weekend and produce the best possible result. It’s extremely important to have strong finishes for the standings. Mathematically, I think it’s (championship) still possible, but I think Scott (Dixon) is on the way to win. Still, we achieved a big win at Indy and another podium at St. Louis and want to end the season strong. We’re doing everything we can.”
ALEX PALOU (No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda): “I’m super excited to be heading back to a road course this weekend at Mid-Ohio after doing six oval races in nine events so far this season. I’ve had great fun on the ovals and learned a lot. We had really good pace but unfortunately no strong results to show for it. So, I’m really looking forward to Mid-Ohio this weekend. It’s the first track that I’m going to this year that I’ve driven on before, so I know what to expect. It’s an environment that I’m much more comfortable with, and our car has been strong on road courses. My confidence is 100 percent. I will definitely be more in ‘push’ mode versus ‘rookie’ mode. Hopefully, we can get our first win at Mid-Ohio. Plus, it’s a doubleheader weekend, so it’s a great opportunity for us to maximize our results. I can’t wait to get on track.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “I know how hard everyone at INDYCAR and the track have been working to make sure we get back to Mid-Ohio this weekend, and I’m thrilled they were able to not only get us back but get us a doubleheader with fans! I’m a big fan of Mid-Ohio, and we’ve qualified well there in the past, so I’m really looking forward to carrying the momentum the team has from Gateway into this weekend and hopefully getting two more top-10 finishes.”
JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda): “It goes without saying how important Mid-Ohio is; it’s the boss man’s (Michael Shank) home race. It’s obviously a special race for the entire team because it’s their home track, but it’s also where I got my first win in North America, so it’s really special to me, as well. I feel like at Mid-Ohio we have consistently been getting better and better and better. Mid-Ohio was probably one of our most consistent weekends last year, which is what we always hope to try and do. And now this year our goal is to just move up the time sheet. I think this year we’ve shown that we are fast. we qualified second at the Indy GP and Road America. We’ve run up front, but now we just need a little bit more racing luck to get the results at the end of the day.”
|The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course next weekend, with doubleheader races scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sunday, Sept. 13. We look forward to an exciting weekend of racing action at an excellent venue.Green Savoree Racing Promotions will contact customers soon with guidance regarding event attendance.Saturday’s race will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) starting at 4:30 p.m. ET. Sunday’s race will be broadcast on NBC beginning at 1 p.m. ET.|
MADISON, Ill. (Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020) – By using a late-race pit strategy call and winning a daring pit-exit duel, defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Josef Newgarden claimed his second victory of 2020 in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 2 on Sunday, Aug. 30 at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Newgarden, driving the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, pitted for the final time on Lap 153 from the third position to try to undercut the leaders and gain time on them. Exiting pit lane, Newgarden was locked in a stirring side-by-side race with Pato O’Ward in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.
As the two approached the backstretch, Newgarden won the game of chicken and pulled ahead of 2020 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year O’Ward and cycled through to the lead on Lap 157 of the 200-lap race. He held off a hard-charging O’Ward in the final laps until last week’s Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Takuma Sato made contact with the wall in Turn 2 with four laps to go, resulting in a caution and an end to the race. Sato finished ninth.
“This was all a pit stop victory right here for me,” Newgarden said. “We got pretty dicey with Will (Power) and Pato (O’Ward) there on track. My guys have been amazing in the pits. They have put me into position every time. It was really fun racing Pato out of the pit. That was for the win right there, that race when we went side by side out of the pit exit.
“Really proud of my team. They won the race. I didn’t win it; they won it.”
Following Newgarden and O’Ward in the top five were Will Power in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Rinus VeeKay in the No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet and Saturday’s Race 1 winner Scott Dixon in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
O’Ward’s second-place finish matched his career-best finish from earlier this year at Road America July 12. It was his third podium finish of the year. O’Ward is third in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES point standings.
“Man, we had a great weekend,” said O’Ward, who finished third in Saturday’s race at WWTR. “Our objective was to come in and try and score two podiums, and we did that. It would have been great to score a win. We’re so close.
“This Arrow McLaren SP No. 5 Chevrolet was very strong right out of the gates. We were super, super competitive. We’re knocking on the door, man. We’re very close, and we’re going to keep pushing. I know our time will come. We have to stay there.”
Power led 40 laps and was ahead as the final round of green flag pit stops began, but 2014 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Power was caught in traffic attempting to enter pit lane, and he entered the warm-up lane behind the slower car of Ed Carpenter in the No. 20 United States Air Force Chevrolet, forcing him to lose time.
“I felt like we had the car to win,” Power said. “Obviously, it’s a traffic game. I’ve got to thank all of the guys. The Verizon 12 car Chevy was really strong today. We had great stops, great car. The strategy certainly didn’t work out obviously at the end, but still very happy to get a podium.”
VeeKay, a 19-year-old NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie, scored his best career finish and third top-10 result of the season, besting his fifth-place finish in the GMR Grand Prix on July 4 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. VeeKay was the biggest gainer of the day as he climbed from the 18th starting position.
The race on the 1.25-mile oval just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, featured a number of interesting, different strategies from the start as drivers in the lead pack deployed several different pit tactics to try to one-up each other.
NTT P1 Award winner Sato led the first 59 laps of the race, but the pit strategy call to stay out longer than the rest of the field hurt him as he lost the lead and fell to eighth after green flag pit stops cycled. Sato led seven more laps throughout the race for a race-high 66.
From there, O’Ward and Power traded the lead on the following green flag pit stop cycles and hounded each other for the lead on green flag runs while Newgarden patiently waited to capitalize for his second win at WWTR. Newgarden won here in 2017 en route to his first series championship.
With the lead, Newgarden gained on points leader Dixon. He entered the race 117 points behind five-time series champion Dixon but closed the gap to 96. O’Ward is 119 behind Dixon.
Finishing the day in 19th was 2004 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Tony Kanaan in the No. 14 Big Machine Vodka / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. This was the final race of Kanaan’s “TK Last Lap” tour where he competed on all the oval races this season. 2013 Indy 500 winner Kanaan holds the record for the most consecutive starts in the series at 318, which ended after the season-opening race June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.
“I wish I could have given the boys and A.J. (Foyt) and Big Machine a better result, but the rest of the day was fun,” Kanaan said. “It was a good way to end it. I want to thank my fans, my team and everyone who has been involved in this journey, my family. It’s been good.
“I’m done for this year but hopefully not done totally, but we’ll see. My fingers are crossed that maybe I could come back for a proper last lap with my fans, but for now, drop the mic.”
The next race on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule is the INDYCAR Harvest Grand Prix Doubleheader Oct. 2-3 on the 2.439-mile IMS road course.
‘What They’re Saying’ from Bommarito Automotive Group Race 2
Top 10 Finishers
1st – JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “This was all a pit stop victory right here for me. We got pretty dicey with Will (Power) and Pato (O’Ward) there on track. My guys have been amazing in the pits. They have put me into position every time. It was really fun racing Pato out of the pit. That was for the win right there, that race when we went side by side out of the pit exit. He did an amazing job. He’s going to do great things in this sport, so good job to him. It’s a smaller crowd; we weren’t allowed to have as many people here, but thank you to everyone who came out. I hope you enjoyed your Sunday, and hopefully you enjoyed the race. This was all down to my team. Team Chevy did an amazing job. Great to have Hitachi on the car this weekend. They’ve been good luck for us. Really proud of my team. They won the race. I didn’t win it; they won it.” (About pursuit of seies leader Scott Dixon): “Well, we can’t give up on it yet. Yesterday was a pretty big blow. We’ve been pretty bitten by bad luck this year. The yellows have really gone against us probably three or four of the eight races, so what are you going to do? Sometimes it comes your way; sometimes it doesn’t. I feel like this year they really haven’t come our way, but that’s racing. You’ve got to hopefully get on a good cycle, and maybe this will be a little kickstarter for the end of the season for us.”
2nd – PATO O’WARD (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “Man, we had a great weekend. Our objective was to come in and try and score two podiums, and we did that. It would have been great to score a win. We’re so close. This Arrow McLaren SP No. 5 Chevrolet was very strong right out of the gates. We were super, super competitive. We’re knocking on the door, man. We’re very close, and we’re going to keep pushing. I know our time will come. We have to stay there.” (Did you have anything for Josef at the end?): “It would be great to say I did, but honestly, I was really struggling … Whenever I got the countdown to 10 laps to go, I was pushing, pushing, pushing to get close to him and try and strike, but I just couldn’t quite do it. Today was harder than yesterday for passing. The asphalt on the track was quite a bit hotter, so that makes it quite a bit tougher with big trains of cars. We got to the back of the pack, and we kind of got stuck there.”
3rd – WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I felt like we had the car to win. Obviously, it’s a traffic game. I’ve got to thank all of the guys. The Verizon 12 car Chevy was really strong today. We had great stops, great car. The strategy certainly didn’t work out obviously at the end, but still very happy to get a podium.” (About your bad luck this season): “We’ve certainly had a lot of potential this year and very strange year. But I feel very fortunate that I get to drive the Verizon car, and we get to do this and can actually have some fans here. It’s a fantastic job. Obviously, we’d love to win, but it wasn’t today.”
4th – RINUS VEEKAY (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet): “It was a great race, one of the best races I have ever driven. Yesterday, I started 14th and finished sixth, so today, starting 18th, I was aiming for a top-10 finish. I had an amazing first lap, got around a lot of guys. The strategy was brilliant, so shout out to my team for making this possible. Those last few laps were very tough; everyone was all over the place. Just missed out on the podium, but I don’t care about that right now. P4 was the best I could do.”
5th – SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “The PNC Bank crew did a great job today. We got into a little bit of traffic in those sequences, and Zach Veach totally screwed us. He was laps down and was totally slowing everyone down. I’m not sure if he was trying to help his teammate (Colton) Herta, but he screwed my race and (Takuma) Sato’s race. I’m not sure how that happens when you are fellow Honda teams. I would have expected something else, especially with the other manufacturer running P1-4. It was a decent points’ day, and we just made the most of what we had.”
6th – COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Andretti Captstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda): “I think we had a really good car today, again, and a really good opportunity to get on the podium. Our qualifying just hindered us, starting in 10th. We made it up about sixth and then slowly made up spots in stops and led some laps. We were looking pretty good there toward the end but had some contact that shuffled us back to sixth. It’s unfortunate, but that’s kind of how racing is. Sometimes it’s brutal. Until next time, hopefully we’ll be back at a racetrack real soon.”
7th – FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 Monster Energy Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “That was definitely an improvement on ovals, in general, and to yesterday’s finish (P8). I just couldn’t really take advantage of many moments today because it was a pretty static race. We were a bit unlucky when we caught Ed Carpenter going really slow. He let Conor Daly by because I think they’re friends, and then he kind of blocked me, and we lost a lot of time. I got it back in the end there with the yellow. We got really lucky. We used the momentum to get past those two guys, and I thought we had a good finish with the Monster Energy car.”
8th – CONOR DALY (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “It was a pretty good day for us today starting 15th. There was a lot of chaos at the front with the oil dry on the track, so that was hectic. We lost a little bit because we got stuck on the inside at the beginning, but we gained a lot coming back on the outside in Turns 3 and 4 on the first lap. The No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet was just fantastic. We worked our way forward every stop, and the guys did a great job in the pits. We were just so fast. We got all the way up behind (Scott) Dixon, but just at the end we had a big moment of understeer on the last stint, which put us back one position. To start the race in 15th and finish eighth here today and to have four of the five races together with Carlin all with top-10 finishes is just really awesome. I’m just happy and thankful to be here and to have had the opportunity to be competitive with this team and get so close to a podium so many times.”
9th – TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda): “We led the race and saved a bunch of fuel, but we caught the tail end of the pack. Today there was a lot of dust offline, and it was very difficult to overtake. The team made the decision to stay out, but it seems that everybody undercut us on the first stint, and that was it. After that, we tried to stretch the fuel and then go off sequence but caught traffic every time. Some of the cars were four laps down, and the team said they heard they were told, ‘Keep the 30 car behind,’ which is not racing. It’s not sportsmanlike, and I’m not very happy with that. But there is nothing we can do about it.”
10th – SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “We finished in the top 10, and the car was phenomenal. It was a solid Race 2 for the SealMaster Honda team in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. We really had a top-five car. I just got caught up in lapped traffic at the end, so we ended up sitting where we were. Overall, really proud of the engineering team getting the car sorted.”
Remainder of Drivers (alphabetical – with finishing position):
MARCO ANDRETTI (Finished 15th – No. 98 Oberto Specialty Meats / Circle K Honda): “The guys did a good job of putting the Oberto Circle K car back together after yesterday – big thanks to them for that. The race car was good; we shuffled through the top here and there with strategy. But we just got caught in traffic when we needed to be flying, and it just wasn’t our day in the pits. We’ll look ahead.”
OLIVER ASKEW (Finished 17th – No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “We got passed by too many cars at the start. Made it really tough to get through, but I feel like we had a car to be well into the top 10, maybe the top five. We had a fast car in clean air when we had it. Just disappointed at the start and made our race really difficult from there. Looking forward to getting back on a road course in a couple weeks.”
ED CARPENTER (Finished 21st – No. 20 United States Air Force Chevrolet): “This was a really disappointing end to a very tough year. It was really only a couple of months since our first race was in June. It started off well there, but it’s been a lot of bad luck since then. Today was just another tough day. The car wasn’t the same after I got hit at the start yesterday. There are still a few races left in 2020, so we’ll focus on Rinus (VeeKay) and Conor (Daly) and finish out the season strong as a team.”
MARCUS ERICSSON (Finished 23rd – No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I think the Huski Chocolate Honda was really fast today. We had the pace again today to be fighting for a podium and a win. Again, we lost a lot of positions in the pit sequence, unfortunately, so we need to look at that and analyze what’s going on there. Then, we had an issue with the rear wing. I tried to hang on and reported that something was wrong because the car was sliding everywhere. After a while, we realized that something was wrong with the rear wing, so they brought us in to change the rear wing. We obviously lost a lot of laps, but then when we got out the car felt good again and really fast. We were still a lot of laps down. It’s a disappointing day.”
JACK HARVEY (Finished 13th – No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda): “It’s been a pretty frustrating weekend for us. We keep having great qualifying runs, and we somehow just can’t seem to get a good race result. I don’t think we were as quick as we were yesterday. I think the hotter track temperatures laid the car, not necessarily bad in balance, but just lacking grip. One of these days we will turn one of these good qualifying runs into a good race result.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (Finished 11th – No. 28 DHL Honda): “Overall, it was kind of an uneventful day for the 28 team, which is both good and bad. We would have liked a little more passing. It was really a track position day, and we just weren’t in a position to gain. We’re looking forward to the next race.”
TONY KANAAN (Finished 19th – No. 14 Big Machine Vodka / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Track position was everything. We had a pretty decent start, moved up a little bit but honestly, I think it was pretty boring race — but it was a boring race for everyone. Mixed feelings on my last one. I wish I could have given the boys and A.J. (Foyt) and Big Machine a better result, but the rest of the day was fun. It was a good way to end it. I want to thank my fans, my team and everyone who has been involved in this journey, my family. It’s been good. I’m done for this year but hopefully not done totally, but we’ll see. My fingers are crossed that maybe I could come back for a proper last lap with my fans, but for now, drop the mic.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (Finished 18th – No. 4 Tresiba / AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet): “Well, kind of a tough day for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet car. We started 21st, kind of ran around there, made a couple of passes at the start and then settled into our pace. I think everyone was really struggling with passing. There wasn’t a whole lot of overtaking, but I know my guys in pit lane got me at least two spots that I know of, so big ups to them, as normal. They did a great job in pit lane, and we’ll learn from this and move forward.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (Finished 16th – No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “Yeah, the whole weekend didn’t go well. Yesterday really put us on the back foot, and we didn’t get to really feel the race car. Today, Turn 1 just obviously got us shuffled and sandwiched and didn’t want to end my race in the first corner, so I slowed down and lost all momentum. It caused a freight train around me. We had a really good car the whole race; we were just stuck at the back. I was super happy with the Menards Chevy, but I think we had one of the fastest laps of the race. We just got stuck in the back, so let’s regroup and go to the next race. I guess it’s that kind of a season where you just have to take every race as it comes.”
ALEX PALOU (Finished 12th – No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda): “That was an uneventful race. It was super difficult to pass. I think the only passing that happened was at the start and with the pit strategy, where we gained four or five positions. It was easy to follow other cars but just very hard to get a run on them, and that was the same for everyone on track. It ended up being about strategy and trying to make that work in our favor. It’s a shame because we had a really fast car. We had the fastest race lap, and that shows how good our No. 55 Guaranteed Rate car is. I felt really comfortable with the car. It’s too bad we couldn’t finish any higher.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (Finished 20th – No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “Race 2 was disappointing for the United Rentals team just because of where we started. Today is a lesson in how important qualifying is. It was hard to pass on track. The tire is very, very hard here, and it makes it difficult for the drivers, but I’ve got to say it was massively better today. If you look at our fastest lap time, it was as quick as (Pato) O’Ward, who finished second. It’s just a shame we started at the back. We never were able to make our way forward. We lost a lap early when we came in the pits with (leader Josef) Newgarden, and he just beat us out, which put us a lap down, and from there we kind of scrambled. But I’ve got to say the silver lining in all this is yes, this weekend sucked for us, but we made great gains today. Twentieth doesn’t look like it, but I assure you we did. Head down, focus forward, and we’ll get them at the next one.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (Finished 14th – No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda): “It felt like we were a day behind everyone, honestly. I think the NAPA AutoCare guys did a good job rebuilding a whole new car overnight. The pace was OK. At the start, everyone had a pretty good idea of what they had and what they were supposed to do, and I was doing it for the first time. It’s a track position race after that; you can’t pass. It’s just pretty processional. We tried to mix up the strategy, but ultimately since it’s Race 2 here, everyone kind of knows what they’re looking for, and it’s pretty hard gaining.”
ZACH VEACH (Finished 22nd – No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “We started off the day way too free, unfortunately. The limited amount of track time we get, it doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to build something under you that you’re comfortable with. By the last couple of stints, the track was finally to a place where the car was manageable, but I just struggled the first part of the race. And then we had a pit stop with a loose nut that made us come back in. That unfortunately put the final nail in the coffin. I still want to thank the Gainbridge guys for the work they put in. It just wasn’t our day.”
MADISON, Ill. (Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020) – NTT INDYCAR SERIES points leader Scott Dixon continued his winning ways in 2020 by holding off a hard-charging Takuma Sato in thrilling fashion, winning the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 1 at World Wide Technology Raceway on Saturday, Aug. 29 in the second-closest INDYCAR finish ever at the track.
Dixon, who started third, drove the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to his 50th career win and fourth win in eight races this season with a .1404 margin of victory over Sato in the No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda. That result turned the tables from the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge last Sunday, when Sato held off Dixon for his second victory in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
“It’s awesome,” Dixon said. “I can’t thank the PNC Bank crew enough. Superb race all day. Sato was going to be strong at the end, but I didn’t realize how strong he was coming. We were kind of going into a reserve mode, looking after the engine, and he was there with a head of steam. Just so happy for this team. Last week at Indianapolis was a bit of a bummer. So, it was nice to get a win.”
Dixon averaged 143.522 mph after starting third. Rounding out the top five behind Dixon and Sato were Pato O’Ward in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Colton Herta in the No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda and Marcus Ericsson in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
During the final round of pit stops on Lap 163, Dixon pitted from second, directly behind leader O’Ward, and beat O’Ward off pit road.
Dixon expanded his lead over O’Ward as the rest of the leaders cycled through green flag pit stops. Sato pitted from the lead with 25 laps to go as he attempted to overcut the leaders by staying out later than the rest of the field, handing the lead to Dixon for good on Lap 176. On that final stop, Sato was slowed slightly by a sluggish tire change.
But it wasn’t smooth sailing for Dixon. Sato, the defending winner at WWTR, merged back onto the 1.25-mile oval in third and started charging in his “no attack, no chance” style. Sato made a daring, outside pass of O’Ward for second in Turn 1 with 16 laps to go as he chased down Dixon.
Sato quickly caught the “Ice Man,” with the gap to the bright orange-and-blue machine getting as low as three tenths of a second in the closing laps. But Sato was unable to challenge Dixon for the top spot.
“Obviously, the team did a fantastic job,” Sato said. “From last week, we carried a lot of momentum. We lost some places at the beginning of the race. I wasn’t entirely comfortable in the car. But we were strong. Big congrats to Ganassi and (Scott) Dixon. Fantastic win. My ABeam car was phenomenal.”
Dixon remains third on the all-time wins list, but his 50th win closed the gap to second place Mario Andretti, who has 52 wins. A.J. Foyt is first with 67 wins.
“Fifty – that sounds awesome,” Dixon said. “We’ve got to keep on truckin’ and get a few more. But I can’t thank Honda and HPD enough. I’m proud to be powered by them and what they’ve done, especially this year, is just phenomenal, and how quick their cars have been.”
Dixon padded his championship lead to 117 points over reigning series champion Josef Newgarden, who finished 12th in the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.
The race started with an incident that damaged multiple cars.
As Will Power led the field to the green flag in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, the field bunched up behind him, resulting in a multi-car wreck just before the start-finish line.
Rookie Alex Palou in the No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda and 2016 series champion Simon Pagenaud in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet jumped out of line to avoid hitting the cars in front of them, resulting in a major pile-up.
Rookie Oliver Askew, driving the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, hit Pagenaud from behind and turned him into 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda. The wreck also involved Marco Andretti in the No. 98 Oberto Specialty Meats / Circle K Honda, Ed Carpenter in the No. 20 United States Air Force Chevrolet and Zach Veach in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda.
Palou, whose car wasn’t damaged, and Askew received penalties for the incident.
Once the race went green on Lap 13, Power held the lead until a round of green flag pit stops on Lap 62, handing the lead to Dixon for the first time. 2020 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year O’Ward beat Dixon off pit road and led the race from Lap 68 through Lap 161.
Dixon will look to sweep the weekend at WWTR on Sunday with the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 2 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Qualifying for tomorrow’s race was held Saturday, and second-place finisher Sato will lead the field to green alongside Newgarden. Dixon will roll off the grid sixth.
‘What They’re Saying’ from Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Race 1
Top 10 Finishers
1st – SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It’s awesome. I can’t thank the PNC Bank crew enough. Superb race all day. Sato was going to be strong at the end, but I didn’t realize how strong he was coming. We were kind of going into a reserve mode, looking after the engine, and he was there with a head of steam. Just so happy for this team. Last week at Indianapolis was a bit of a bummer. So, it was nice to get a win. Fifty – that sounds awesome. We’ve got to keep on truckin ’ and get a few more. But I can’t thank Honda and HPD enough. I’m proud to be powered by them and what they’ve done, especially this year, is just phenomenal, and how quick their cars have been. This is just awesome.”
2nd – TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda): “Obviously, the team did a fantastic job. From last week, we carried a lot of momentum. We lost some places at the beginning of the race. I wasn’t entirely comfortable in the car. But we were strong. Big congrats to Ganassi and (Scott) Dixon. Fantastic win. My ABeam car was phenomenal. Yeah, it was a great job.” (If not for problem in pit lane, was this race yours to win?): “It sometimes happens in a race. I make a mistake; there’s a mechanical failure sometimes. That pit stop was frustrating, but everybody is on the same team. The boys did a great job two weeks in a row. I’m very proud of them.”
3rd – PATO O’WARD (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “I think we got some really solid points for the championship. We led quite a bit of the race, and in the end, I thought we had a clean, fast pit stop. My in and out laps were very strong, but (Scott) Dixon got us by a little bit. He’s a tough guy to beat. We had a very strong run, but I had nothing for Takuma (Sato) and Scott. I had to maintain where I was and salvage the podium from there. Tomorrow, we just have to work on the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet a little bit, and hopefully we can challenge for the win at the end.”
4th – COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda): “It was a fairly straightforward race for me, honestly. We didn’t have a lot of passing but a really good strategy. I tried to make the fuel number, keep my distance and save the front tires. We made an incredibly good fuel number with the Capstone car. We went the longest on the first stint then was able to go that much longer on every stint after. We caught the yellow, and that kind of gave us our break. We had good in and out laps, so we got around Marcus (Ericsson) in pit stop cycles, and that was pretty much it. I don’t think I made a single pass on track. Strategy and knowing how to save fuel efficiently will be important for tomorrow, along with overall racecraft around this place and how to follow cars – so I think we have some takeaways from today.”
5th – MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Running that close to the podium, you want to be on that podium. The car is fast and I’m still learning. I thought it was a good day in general. We had a strong qualifying with my career-best qualifying result at P4. Then, we had a strong race. Obviously being that close to a podium was tempting, but still P5 is a good result for the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda. I think it was a good race and something we can build on for tomorrow.”
6th – RINUS VEEKAY (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet): “Stellar race! We were on our way to the podium, I think, but that yellow kind of screwed me. I kept my chin up and had a great car to make passes with. The No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet was great in the second lane when there were no marbles. I’ve learned luck really isn’t our thing, but we did the best we could with the circumstances. It did get a little sketchy on the last run; I almost lost it a few times. It was 200 laps of experience today and some good points. I’m very happy and I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
7th – RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We started eighth and finished seventh, so it may not look like much, but we really hung in there all day. Coming out of practice yesterday, we didn’t get any actual runs due to a brake issue, so to qualify eighth today was all right for us, and we really soldiered through the race. We went backwards on one strategy call, and the next one — going fast in clean track – worked, so it was a bit of a see-saw there. It was a really solid day in the pits by the 28 DHL guys. I’m proud of them as they put in a lot of work. With our only real run time being today’s race, we’re taking away everything we can from today, and hopefully Race 2 tomorrow is better.”
8th– FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It was my best oval finish so far. We had a tough day yesterday. I thought we bounced back pretty well today. I’m a little disappointed because we had a better finish going, but then I screwed it up in one of the restarts. I got really loose in turn two and I was lucky that I got away with it because I was really close to spinning there. There wasn’t much overtaking going on. The team had a great strategy. Every call was perfect. A P8 finish is definitely in the right direction.”
9th – TONY KANAAN (No. 14 Big Machine Vodka / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Very good result for us. Best result for the team this year. Obviously, this place, I had a podium here last year. We have one more tomorrow. Awesome, awesome result. The guys had good pit stops. Thanks to Big Machine Vodka for the help and nice to see some fans in the stands, too. Emotional day for me — one more day, so I’ll see if I can sleep tonight. Good day for us.”
10th – CONOR DALY (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “I think we had a great car today in the race with the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. Qualifying was a bit confusing for us. We aren’t really sure where our pace went, but once we got to the race, we were fantastic, strong and able to pass cars. The rain was a huge factor for us – no idea where that came from. We were making all the right strategy calls and decided to pit a little early to undercut Colton (Herta). When we came out of the pits, we ran the three fastest laps of the race at that point, and then unfortunately there was the yellow for the rain. It just absolutely killed our race, and from then on, we were really just trying to recover. We were able to still finish in the top 10, which is great for us, but I really think without the rain we could’ve been on the podium or at least in the top five since we were faster than Colton, who finished fourth. Thankfully, we know we have a fast car, and we get another chance tomorrow to do it again.”
Remainder of Drivers (alphabetical – with finishing position):
MARCO ANDRETTI (Finished 23rd– No. 98 Oberto Specialty Meats / Circle K Honda): “Sad to see the day end before it began for us. I saw everything happening in front of me and had the car whoa’d up. I got the car stopped, and then (Zach) Veach got into the back of me. Just really disappointed for the Oberto Circle K boys. They’re working hard tonight on repairs, and we will look for a better day tomorrow.”
OLIVER ASKEW (Finished 14th– No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “A really rough start today. Everyone seemed to check up in front of me in the midfield and made some contact with the front wing. Luckily, the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet crew were able to replace the wing and keep me on the lead lap. Our race was compromised from the start, but we salvaged what we could. I’m looking forward to tomorrow with a better starting position.”
ED CARPENTER (Finished 20th– No. 20 United States Air Force Chevrolet): “I am pretty bummed out. Second race in a row that I’ve been representing one of the Forces, the U.S. Air Force this weekend. I was basically out of the race before it started, also for the second race in a row. Zach Veach is the current theme right now. He obviously didn’t see the yellow flag or the bright yellow car spinning on the track.”
SANTINO FERRUCCI (Finished 16th – No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “With limited practice yesterday, it took me the first stint to get used to the car. We went with a different fuel strategy, which with a late caution, played in our favor. It put us up to 10th. We had a killer restart and moved into fifth. We rode there and things were looking real promising until the final pit stop. We had a major mistake during the stop and ended up in the back of the field.”
JACK HARVEY (Finished 11th – No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda): “We were on track to have a really good day. We were running in either fourth or fifth for the first half of the race, and the car felt great; the guys had great stops. But when that yellow came out for rain, it really turned our race upside down. I’m still trying to wrap my head around why it was called since there wasn’t any rain that I saw on track. We’re doing everything we can to try and show up to races and be competitive. We know that we have a really good race car for tomorrow’s race, so we will focus on that and getting the result that we deserve.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (Finished 13th – No. 4 Tresiba / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I feel pretty good about the race for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet. Went off strategy early, it paid off with the yellow for the little bit of rain, got some track position and was able to hold that track position. On that last stop, the 14 and the 4, we kind of split strategies, so it felt really good to see them come in the top 10. We didn’t quite get the top 10 that was there, but had the yellow fallen right, we’d have had a really good result. Great strategy, great pit stops all day long. We’ll figure out how to make the car better overnight and do it again tomorrow.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (Finished 12th – No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “That was a frustrating race for the Hitachi team. That caution came out totally at the wrong time, and we lost all of our track position and everything we’d worked for up to that point. The team had great stops, and we gained some positions on each of our first two pit stops. I think without the caution, we would have cycled out in the right position and been up there in the top three and got to battle it out. Instead, the caution ruined our day, and we were just fighting from behind. The Hitachi car was good, and Chevy brought some great power. Just nothing you can do when the caution falls. This just makes me more hungry to go out there tomorrow and win the race.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (Finished 19th – No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “Definitely not fun out there. I just feel sorry for Chevy and for Menards. I think we had a good car today and never even got a chance to really test it for tomorrow. That was a little too much excitement for the start of the race at the back. The front of the pack slowed down; I don’t know if it was the accordion affect or whatever that was. We had to pull out of line, and all of a sudden someone hit us from behind. It is what it is, but it’s very unfortunate. You aren’t going to win the race in the first corner. People just need to be more patient. We’ll be back tomorrow.”
ALEX PALOU (Finished 15th – No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda): “ The race didn’t start off like we wanted. I tried to avoid hitting the car in front of me as we were coming to take the green flag. They checked up in front of me, and I pulled out of line to avoid contact, but I still got penalized for pulling out of line before the green. Because of that, we got sent to the back and started last. From there, we just tried to make our way back up. We were a bit lucky with the yellow and made it back to the top 10. However, on the last restart, I lost some places. We tried to go long before our last pit stop , hoping that a caution would come out, but it didn’t go our way. Tomorrow we have another race, and the No. 55 Guaranteed Rate car is really strong, so I’m looking forward to it.”
WILL POWER (Finished 17th– No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “That was not the race that Verizon, Chevrolet or my team deserved out there today. Our car was pretty good. It was really hard to get close to guys and hard to pass when you got around them. A lot of us were just running the same speed. So, when it’s like that, it’s all about track position, and we lost ours with that caution. The race was over after that. Then we had a tire go down, and that was that. We just have to go back after it tomorrow at this point.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (Finished 18th – No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “I’m clearly disappointed with the end result . I thought that after the start, when a lot of our competitors were involved in that crash, I thought that maybe we would have a good day and be able to put our heads down and work through things, but, instead, on Lap 29 we had GCU problems. Somehow a napkin got in there and lodged itself in the GCU cooling tube and overheated one and then overheated another. Unfortunately, it was just one of those days that we struggled with the chassis handling but also just had poor luck with sucking up a napkin. It’s certainly frustrating and disappointing, but there is always tomorrow.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (Finished 22nd – No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda): “I thought at least a top five was possible, and we didn’t even get to do 100 feet. There’s just no way around the disappointment. I was going in a straight line (coming to the green) and just got drilled. We just got hit. It sucks, really. Everything about this year has felt like a disaster, so we will see the rest of it goes. Fortunately, Ryan (Hunter-Reay) and Colton (Herta) were on a similar kind of setup as to what I was on, and the race went OK for them, so we’ll take what we can from that for tomorrow. We still want to win races, and that’s what we are here for. It’s very frustrating for the NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation boys. But in the big scheme of things, there’s a lot bigger issues in the world right now in 2020, so this is relatively minor, but it still sucks.”
ZACH VEACH (Finished 21st- No. 26 Gainbridge Honda): “The situation with (Simon) Pagenaud on the start, I think I had a better run than a lot of the guys in front of me, and I was faced with the decision to either hit Pagenaud head-on or get to the bottom. The bottom was moving, but unfortunately those guys got on the brakes at the same time I did. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t get the car stopped. I got to the (brake) pedal and I pumped it – by that time I was too close to stop the car and struggled to get the brakes engaged. I hate it for the people involved, and, obviously, it makes us look a little stupid. A big thank you to my Gainbridge crew for fixing what they could so quickly and get us back out there for a shakedown. It’s frustrating. It looks bad, but I physically couldn’t have done anything else to slow the car down. For those that were involved, they understand, but from the outside, it doesn’t look as good as it is.”
O’Ward Paces Practice for Bommarito Automotive Group 500, What They are Saying, and Qualifying Order
MADISON, Ill. (Friday, Aug. 28, 2020) – Pato O’Ward continued his impressive first full season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on Friday, leading practice for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Doubleheader at World Wide Technology Raceway.
O’Ward turned a top lap of 24.7890 seconds, 181.532 mph on the 1.25-mile oval in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. This is O’Ward’s first NTT INDYCAR SERIES start at WWTR, as he ran only a partial schedule last season.
The hot lap today continued an emergence in 2020 that has seen Mexican driver O’Ward climb to third in the series standings after seven races. He also finished sixth last Sunday in his first Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge start and was named that event’s Rookie of the Year.
RESULTS: Practice 1
“We put a lot of very valuable work in that session,” O’Ward said. “We did everything we wanted to do to prepare for tomorrow’s qualifying and race. There’s so many little things that go into it that make a perfect race, so we want to make the best out of it.
“This Arrow McLaren SP crew gave us some really strong cars to roll out with, and I think it was just fine tuning from there. I ended the day really happy, and I think we will be ready for qualifying tomorrow.”
2014 series champion Will Power was second on the speed charts today with his best lap of 180.961 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Five-time series champion and current points leader Scott Dixon ended up third at 180.822 mph in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Conor Daly was fourth at 180.581 in the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. Freshly crowned Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato, who won this race last year, rounded out the top five at 180.434 in the No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda.
Up next is qualifying at noon (ET) Saturday (live, INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network). The unique format features two laps, with Lap 1 setting the grid for the Saturday race and Lap 2 for the Sunday race.
The race for both poles should be very competitive, as less than one-half of a second separated the top 15 drivers on the speed chart Friday.
A pair of 200-lap races will take place Saturday and Sunday at the WWTR oval just across the Mississippi River from the famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Live coverage starts both days at 3 p.m. (ET) on NBCSN and the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network.
‘What They’re Saying’ from Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Practice
OLIVER ASKEW (No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “It was a good first session. It’s nice to be back in St. Louis and to welcome the fans back, as well. I always love driving around here, so looking forward to building on that practice into qualifying tomorrow. Arrow McLaren SP and Chevrolet did a great job preparing us for this weekend with the quick turnaround. We are ready to go.”
ED CARPENTER (No. 20 United States Air Force Chevrolet): “Really excited to be back in St. Louis. We finished second here last year, so we’re hoping to regain that form. It was a tough practice, but we did learn a lot throughout that session. Looks like these conditions will be really similar to what it will be tomorrow during the race, so it was good to get a solid amount of laps in. Rinus (VeeKay) looks pretty good in the other car, so we’ll take a look at what they’re doing, work on our car overnight and be ready to go for qualifying tomorrow.”
CONOR DALY (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): “I think we’re in a really good place with the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet for the races this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. We went out and did our qual sim pretty early in the session, and then the track just continued to get quicker as practice went on. We knew that was going to be the case, but we wanted to make sure we worked through everything we needed to with only one practice session. The tire seems to be a little different and it’s creating a different feel, but obviously we’re still quick, which is nice. It feels really good to roll off the truck again with a quick car, and so far it’s really just been an incredible effort by the Carlin team. I love this track so much, and with how strong we were here last year and how the car felt today, I’m feeling really good about where we are.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It felt pretty good out there in the PNC Bank Honda. We ran heavier fuel runs and then a few qualifying simulations there at the end of the session. We had to chase the balance there just a bit. We had quite a bit of understeer, so it was nice to be able to dial a bit of that out near the end. We just need to make sure we get qualifying right because this format really bites you when you get it wrong like it did in Iowa. At least in Iowa, it was set up more for passing, whereas it’s more difficult here, we think. Top three is a good start and we’re happy, but you have to wait and see for tomorrow.”
MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I think it was a good session, and we rolled off the truck very fast. A huge credit to the team for bringing fast cars here. I think we’re off to a good start with the Huski Chocolate car, and I like where we are here heading into the two races.”
SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 18 SealMaster Honda): “We started the session with full fuel for a long run in the SealMaster Honda. I almost ran a full stint when we decided to come in for a quick adjustment to the aero balance. The car felt really good. We were getting quicker and quicker throughout the run. Then we lost drive in the rear, so I had to pit, and that was the end of our session.”
JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation / SiriusXM Honda): “It was a pretty solid first day. I’ve never been to this track before, and it’s a really, really cool track. Hopefully, we can take a similar car to this one, maybe with some improvements, into the race with us. This is a car that you feel happy going into qualifying with. Overall, I’m really happy with today, and hopefully we can carry that momentum with us that we have built and see what we can do tomorrow.”
COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda): “It was a pretty eventful practice even though it was only an hour long. It felt like we got quite a lot done, and we feel pretty good. It was hard to put a lap time in without traffic, so I’m sure everybody is struggling with that. I think the Capstone car, overall, rolled off the truck pretty good. We have some changes to make tonight but should be good. We really focused today on race setup – I think we have to be focused on the race. Basically, after qualifying we’re not allowed to touch the cars before the race, so you have to be focused on race setup. Where you qualify is just where you qualify. The race is more important, so we’re focused on that.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We spent the session today battling some brake issues and weren’t able to put a run together. It’s unfortunate given that was our only practice session. We’ll see what our teammates had to say and use that to help guide us. Our focus is on putting together a strong race setup and doing what we can with the little time we got today.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 14 Big Machine Vodka / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “A good day. A one-hour session is really tight. We unloaded, I think, a little bit off, which took us a little bit of time to get going. But at the end of the day, I was really happy. I think I have a car to run in the top 10. Wish we could have unloaded a couple of changes ahead, but this the price of the short weekends like this. Looking forward to it. Beautiful car this weekend with Big Machine Vodka. I love it. I love the way it looks. It’s a doubleheader, so looking forward to it.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 4 Tresiba / AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Maybe not the practice session we wanted for the No. 4 Tresiba Chevrolet. We were pretty quick early on in the session and right through the middle. On our last set of new Firestones, we had some traffic, and it was a little disruptive, so not really able to maximize the speed of the car. But the 14 with Tony (Kanaan) was pretty quick, so we’ll look and see what the Big Machine Vodka car did as far as setup changes, apply that overnight and get ready to qualify and race one of two tomorrow.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “It wasn’t a great session for us. The Hitachi Chevrolet has speed; we just weren’t able to find everything we wanted in that session. It’s hard having only an hour to get ready for qualifying and two races. I’m just glad they were able to give us a practice session that was close to race conditions. But I still want more. Now it’s time to go sit with the engineers and figure out a plan for tomorrow and Sunday. I know we will have the Hitachi car ready to go, and I’m excited to race.”
PATO O’WARD (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet): “We put a lot of very valuable work in that session. We did everything we wanted to do to prepare for tomorrow’s qualifying and race. There’s so many little things that go into it that make a perfect race, so we want to make the best out of it. This Arrow McLaren SP crew gave us some really strong cars to roll out with, and I think it was just fine-tuning from there. I ended the day really happy, and I think we will be ready for qualifying tomorrow.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s great to get back in the car after Indy. I think our Menards Chevrolet is good, but we tried a lot of different things on the car with such a limited amount of track time for practice before tomorrow. This practice really was important because these are the conditions we will have for the race tomorrow, so it was important to gather as much information and data as we can to prepare. I will go back and talk with my guys, and we will get a good plan together for tomorrow.”
ALEX PALOU (No. 55 Guaranteed Rate Honda): “It’s a very fun track. Very different to the ovals I’ve done up until now, but a bit similar to Iowa in some ways. I like it because you can work a lot with the car, you can drive it more, kind of like on a road course. I’m getting up to speed now with the ovals. I still need a bit more confidence, but I think we are getting there. It was a pretty good day. We were in the top 10 most of the session, and we ended up seventh, so that’s really good. I’m happy with the No. 55 Guaranteed Rate car, and the team has done a great job. Hopefully tomorrow we can fight for some trophies.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m happy with how that session went for the Verizon team. We ran a lot and did some pretty long runs there to understand the car. We didn’t have to change much because the Verizon Chevrolet was pretty good out of the box. I think we are pretty good, but I also ran a lot by myself. So, I’m not really sure where we are at in a pack. But overall, I’m happy with what we had today.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “It was a tough day. I am just not happy with the balance of the car. I don’t feel confident in either end of the car and don’t know what the limits are. From the very get-go, the car didn’t feel right, but obviously there is more mass that we need to deal with. It just feels like on our end, we’re missing a lot. Takuma (Sato) put in a good lap there, and I don’t know how. I need to look at the data because it’s not feasible for me. The short ovals are challenging for us at the start. It’s going to take work to get in the ballpark, but we did it at Iowa, so we will do it here.”
FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “It was a short practice, and I wanted more time, like I’m sure everyone would have liked to have. We started off loose in the NTT DATA Honda and dialed it in as we went. It seems like the three cars are very quick and hope we can get further up the speed chart tomorrow, when it really counts.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 ABeam Consulting Honda): “It’s good to be back in St. Louis, where we had a fantastic race last year. The boys did a phenomenal job. Obviously, we are carrying great momentum from last week with first and third. It’s busy; it just never stops. INDYCAR racing never stops. We have zero chance of resting time, but we’re happy to go back to racing. It’s a very tough field, very competitive. It was only a one-hour session today, and we will go straight into qualifying. So, we had to check our qualifying setup, race trim and so on within a one hour compressed time, so it was very difficult. At least I got a very positive feeling from the car. I’m still not fully confident going into the corner, but we will study the data overnight and hopefully be able to repeat a competitive run tomorrow.”
RINUS VEEKAY (No. 21 SONAX Chevrolet): “That was a pretty good practice. The wind was quite a challenge. You can really feel the wind on these short oval wings. This is a lot different than Indy, way tighter, it feels like you’re driving into a hairpin in Turns 1 and 2. It was fun. We started off decently but made a lot of progress and are right there with the quicker guys. We set our fast time quite early compared to the others. I’m very happy. We still have some things to improve on, but the team is doing an amazing job so far.”
QP Car Driver Name Team Name
1 20 Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing
2 14 Tony Kanaan AJ Foyt Enterprises
3 98 Marco Andretti Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian
4 4 Charlie Kimball AJ Foyt Enterprises
5 21 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing
6 26 Zach Veach Andretti Autosport
7 7 Oliver Askew Arrow McLaren SP
8 55 Alex Palou Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh
9 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport
10 59 Conor Daly Carlin
11 60 Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing
12 8 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing
13 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport
14 10 Felix Rosenqvist Chip Ganassi Racing
15 12 Will Power Team Penske
16 18 Santino Ferrucci Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan
17 88 Colton Herta Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport
18 30 Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
19 22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske
20 15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
21 5 Pato O’Ward Arrow McLaren SP
22 1 Josef Newgarden Team Penske
23 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing