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‘Motor Sports’ Articles

Quotes from Sunday’s IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Honda Indy 200

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Menards Chevy was good all weekend. I do wish that we could have qualified a little better just to decrease the number of cars to get around. It was kind of a neutral day in the championship but that’s alright. We’re right there and it will come down to Sonoma. Congratulations to Josef (Newgarden). They’re really on a roll right now.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’ve got an amazing crew. When they give me a car like this, I don’t want to say it’s easy, but it’s easier at least. I think we’ve been hitting on all cylinders, no pun intended. But these guys were awesome this weekend, had good stops. It was a really fast car. Reds (Firestone alternate tires), blacks (Firestone primary tires), it didn’t matter, the car was fast, so just tried to do my job. I think everyone’s going to want to drive this PPG car. I’m pretty sure it was lucky for (Simon) Pagenaud last year, think it’s lucky for us, so we’re probably going to be fighting over this car paint.” (About taking championship lead): “That’s great. We’ve just got to keep it up. No mistakes. If we don’t have any mistakes, we’ve got plenty enough to win this championship, so we’re going to keep giving what we got for the last four races.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “That was a tough race. These cars are so physical to drive. We only had the one caution that didn’t really affect anyone, I don’t think. On that restart, I had some sort of glitch that took away a bunch of power for a couple of seconds and two cars went around me like I was standing still. That’s unfortunate. But it was a decent day in points for the Hitachi Chevrolet team. A super day for Josef (Newgarden). Congratulations to that group. He leapfrogged us, but we’re still in second. We head to a couple of ovals now which could really mix things up. It’s going to be a battle. That’s for sure.”

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “You know obviously it’s great to come away in the top 10, a huge step for us, and just to be able to fight with those guys all day and be catching (Scott) Dixon. Really, challenging the No. 9 car any time is good, so it’s fun to be able to fight with those guys. Especially (James Hinchcliffe) Hinch too, because Hinch has had a really good year and he’s been really fast, so I think we made great steps forward. My guys gave me solid pit stops and we came through with a solid race today. No issues, didn’t get hit, didn’t get knocked off or anything, nothing broke, so that’s nice.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda):
“Really disappointing day for us. We didn’t have the quickest car in traffic, so we put ourselves on a strategy to run in clean air and it was working. We got ourselves to seventh place after that last round of stops after being back in 12th after the first stint. Credit to the Arrow Electronics boys in the pits and the car – in clean air it was strong. But then we found ourselves, with that yellow, on the wrong tires, and I burned a lot of push-to-pass to get ourselves up there, so we were really just a sitting duck on that restart with wrong tires and no push-to-pass. It’s unfortunate that yellow (flag) fell, it really screwed our race. We were strong in certain conditions, we played our hand the best we could to put ourselves in a good spot and unfortunately the yellow just screwed us. We chalk it up to experience and move on to the next one.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I think today was a good race for the Lucas Oil car. We had a good strategy and good pace, it’s just very difficult to overtake at this track. I think we had really good pace in the race, and that’s really what is so important. Next time we need to qualify a bit better, and we know what we need to do for that. The guys had really great pit stops and worked so well to put together what ended up being a good finish.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda):
“I’m actually really happy with the No. 8 car performance and myself. Best fuel saving I’ve ever done. Race went really well apart from the start. We just got in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t know where I was in the race. I thought I was eighth or ninth and then they told me I was 15th. Not a great representative of our performance in the race, but at the end of the day, our car wasn’t quick enough at the moment in qualifying and that’s what hurt us.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 NTT Data Honda): “It obviously wasn’t the way we wanted the race to go today for the NTT Data car. I really wasn’t 100 percent happy after we tested here last week and in qualifying. I don’t think we ever had the balance right where we wanted it. It felt like something broke on the car and we made some major front wing adjustments in the race. We had a problem on the left rear on pit lane and that took some time as well. Overall, just not our weekend. We held in there and fought, but need to regroup and get ready for Pocono in a few weeks. Points are really at a premium now with four to go.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “I’m really disappointed with our race today. We had a huge challenge in front of us with starting so far back, but we were able to jump a few spots in the first half of the race. We made a call on strategy to come in under yellow to top off on fuel that just didn’t work in our favor in the long run. It’s been a pretty difficult weekend for us, so I’m glad we can move on and start thinking about Pocono.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “(The car) was OK. We just had too much push on reds (Firestone alternate tires). I think we were pretty good on blacks (Firestone primary tires), but even at the end there, red tires, the front would just not work. But solid day. Solid day for points. Obviously it’s still very mixed up there, but we’ve just got to keep making hay.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Another long race. We went aggressive on strategy to get up front. We needed several yellows in the race to help us, but when we take a chance it didn’t work. This year it seems taking a chance doesn’t work for us in any of the races.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda): “It was a good run and the Steak ‘n Shake boys did a good job in the pits. The strategy was fine. Our car had great pace today. We just could never quite get in clear air, but I’m really proud of everyone on the Steak ‘n Shake team. Obviously to be the only team in the top five other than a Penske speaks volumes to the quality of people we have in this organization. We’re going to keep our heads down, keep working hard. It was another good day for our United Rentals Turns for Troops program. We raised a lot of money to help the veterans today. We’ll be back strong in Pocono.”

ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ (No. 18 UNIFIN Honda):
“It was a bit eventful, but I think we can be happy about the progress we made in terms of pace. The first pit stop impacted the outcome of our race. It was not good timing, there was a bit of miscommunication on my part, but we were able to continue the race and that was the important thing. We were showing very strong pace overall. I think that’s the positive we can take out of this race. We lost the chance to finish in the top 10, which I was aiming for. It was still quite fun, especially on the restart at the front. Now we have to look forward to the next two races, two ovals. Hopefully we’ll be making some progress again.”

ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “Overall, it was a difficult weekend. The race didn’t go our way, the car was a little hard to drive, then we had an issue on a pit stop which sent me to the back of the field, and then I had the spin that sent me two laps down. It was a bit of a weekend to forget, to be honest.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet):
“First of all, it was great to even make the start of the race. All of guys did an amazing job building up a spare car for me in just a few hours, so a huge thanks to them. As far as the race, we had some damage to the rear of the car at the start that really didn’t make it easy. Either way, I don’t think it was going to be our day. I’m frustrated with how it all went, but hopefully the No. 20 car guys can rebound in Pocono with Ed (Carpenter) and I’ll jump back in at Watkins Glen.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I’m just super frustrated and bummed for my Fuzzy’s Vodka guys. We started on blacks (Firestone primary tires) and were able to run long, then when we got on our first set of reds (Firestone alternate tires) we were still running long and able to save fuel. I felt like I could have saved even more than I needed to. Everything was looking pretty good, then we sort of got hosed by our own success in a way. We had been saving fuel and were going longer than the cars around us; we basically got caught out by staying out too long. A yellow came out and we had to stop under a closed pit. Even just not making it in before that yellow would have put us all the way to the back of the lead lap anyway, but then, to add insult to injury, we had some sort of mechanical malfunction with the fuel probe and didn’t get all of the fuel in. We had to pit again under green and just cruised around on our own until the end. We can feel good about putting ourselves in a good spot and bouncing back from what was a pretty tough weekend all around. We’ve got a little bit of a break now, then we’ll see what we have in Pocono.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “I think starting third and finishing fifth isn’t the perfect scenario, but we had an issue in the pits, and then we lost a couple of places when we went back out on track. At the least, it was actually fun. We overtook a couple cars and then regained and recovered the position. I think the four Andretti Autosport cars had a solid day under difficult circumstances and I think that we performed really well. Let’s just say, the rest of the season we just need to have a solid performance to bring back the championship points.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda):
“We didn’t qualify as high as we wanted, so we knew we’d have a little bit of work starting from 14th. We were running well and had made up ground, then on the second to last stop, we had a short fill and didn’t get all the fuel into the car, which put us in fuel-saving mode. From there, we had to make huge fuel numbers to make it to the end. I’m not sure if we had the car to win, but I do know it’s hard to contend when you’re saving fuel, so that was our day made. We’ll get back at it in Pocono.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We had a good race going today and the DHL team was going to be top five no doubt, until we made contact with (Alexander) Rossi. That set us back. We stayed at it and the boys did a great job in the pits all day. We were able to salvage a race that was going to be absolutely terrible and managed to keep it inside the top eight.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “We just really struggled with the balance all day. The car was on a knife edge, and I wasn’t confident enough in the car to really make the most out of it when we had clear track. We fought traffic a lot, but that’s what happens when you qualify mid-pack. Really a frustrating day. The bright spot was definitely the guys in pit lane. They work so hard day in and day out. I’m glad they’ll be getting a couple of weekends off now moving forward. I hope they can relax and get some time with their families, because when we come back to Pocono we’re going to be hungrier than ever.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda): “We chose a pretty aggressive strategy starting on blacks (Firestone primary tires) and I think it was working pretty well for us, but unfortunately the stint on used (Firestone alternate) reds was a lot more challenging than we originally thought it would be. We lost about 12 seconds on the reds and that was the difference for us between challenging for a podium and finishing sixth.”

 

RACE QUOTES WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF INDYCAR COMMUNICATIONS

 

IndyCar’s Sunday results from Mid-Ohio race: Newgarden, Power, Ohio native Graham Rahal finish up front

Josef Newgarden at the 2012 Indy 500 by Nicholas J Love - This photograph was taken before the Indy 500 on May 25, 2012.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio race results

Click HERE to view and download the official box score for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Results Sunday of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 90, Running
2. (1) Will Power, Chevrolet, 90, Running
3. (4) Graham Rahal, Honda, 90, Running
4. (7) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 90, Running
5. (3) Takuma Sato, Honda, 90, Running
6. (9) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 90, Running
7. (5) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 90, Running
8. (10) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 90, Running
9. (6) Scott Dixon, Honda, 90, Running
10. (11) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 90, Running
11. (8) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 90, Running
12. (14) Marco Andretti, Honda, 90, Running
13. (13) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 90, Running
14. (21) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 90, Running
15. (18) Max Chilton, Honda, 90, Running
16. (17) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 90, Running
17. (19) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 90, Running
18. (20) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 89, Running
19. (16) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 89, Running
20. (12) Esteban Gutierrez, Honda, 89, Running
21. (15) Ed Jones, Honda, 88, Running

Race Statistics
Winners average speed:  114.677 mph
Time of Race: 01:46:19.5989
Margin of victory: 5.1556 seconds
Cautions: 1 fo4 4 laps
Lead changes: 8 among 3 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Power 1-12
Newgarden 13-17
Rahal 18
Newgarden 19-39
Power 40
Rahal 41-42
Newgarden 43-65
Power 66
Newgarden 67-90

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Newgarden 453, Castroneves 446, Dixon 445, Pagenaud 436, Power 401, Rahal 395, Sato 381, Rossi 358, Kanaan 320, Hinchcliffe 316.

 

RACE RESULTS WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF INDYCAR COMMUNICATIONS

 

Will Power for sixth straight year at Mid-Ohio starts in a spot he owns, the pole

Will Power IndyCar (2014 photo by SarahStierch via wikipedia commons)

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Saturday, July 29, 2017) – Will Power will start from the front row in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio for the sixth straight year on Sunday after claiming the Verizon P1 Award in Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying today at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Power’s best lap of 1 minute, 4.1720 seconds (126.672 mph) in the Firestone Fast Six was enough to earn his third pole position at Mid-Ohio, his fifth pole this season and the 49th of his Indy car career – tying the 2014 series champion with Bobby Unser for fourth on the all-time list.

“The Verizon car was really hooked up,” Power said. “Before qualifying, we made a few changes and kind of got it in the window. Really happy for all the guys, especially here. You’ve got to start at the front here; it’s really, really difficult to pass, so (winning pole is) giving us the best chance to win tomorrow.”

HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO: Qualifying results

Power, who has yet to win a race at Mid-Ohio, was among three Team Penske drivers to advance to the Firestone Fast Six, the last of three knockout qualifying rounds. Joining the 36-year-old Australian on the front row in Sunday’s 90-lap race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course will be teammate Josef Newgarden, who qualified second in the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet (1:04.3067, 126.407 mph).

“I think we did a good job today,” Newgarden said. “The boys on the (No.) 2 car gave me everything I needed with a fast car. It’s been pretty good all weekend.

“It’s always tough to get pipped by your teammate by just a little bit, but ultimately it’s a good day for us on Team Penske. We have two cars up there on the front row.”

Takuma Sato, winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 in May, qualified third in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda (1:04.6792, 125.679 mph). Graham Rahal, who was fastest in his group in each of the first two qualifying segments, finished fourth in the Firestone Fast Six with a lap of 1:04.7959 (125.452 mph) in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver won at his home Mid-Ohio track in 2015.

“A good qualifying session for us,” said Rahal, the Ohio native. “It was a shame that in (the Firestone Fast Six), I frankly just messed up. I didn’t have Power’s speed, but I kind of threw it away early in the lap and that was that. Disappointed, at the same time we showed we’ve got the pace. Hopefully tomorrow we can work from fourth.”

Helio Castroneves, a two-time Mid-Ohio winner (2000, 2001), qualified fifth in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet (1:04.8485, 125.351 mph). Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon extended his streak of reaching all seven Firestone Fast Six sessions this season and qualified sixth in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda (1:05.1927, 124.689 mph). Points leader Dixon takes a three-point edge over Castroneves into the race.

Defending Mid-Ohio race winner and 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud missed advancing to the Firestone Fast Six by less than five-hundredths of a second and will start seventh in the No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.

“I’m surprised that we didn’t get in (the Firestone Fast Six) because it felt like a good lap and I put everything I had in it,” Pagenaud said.

Conor Daly advanced past the first segment of knockout qualifying for the first time this season and will start 11th in the No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. Alongside Daly in Row 6 will be Esteban Gutierrez, whose 12th-place showing in the No. 18 UNIFIN Honda is his best qualifying effort in six races with Dale Coyne Racing.

Tony Kanaan originally advanced from Round 1, Group 1 but was penalized for causing a local yellow that impeded other drivers’ laps. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver spun sideways in Turn 2 on his final lap, forcing other drivers to slow as he corrected the car to continue on track. The automatic penalty levied by INDYCAR is loss of the driver’s fastest lap to that point, which prevented Kanaan from advancing.

A final 30-minute warmup practice is set for 11:15 a.m. ET Sunday and will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. Live coverage of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, the 13th of 17 races on the 2017 schedule, starts at 3 p.m. on CNBC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. An encore presentation of the race airs at 7 p.m. on NBCSN.

Mazda Road to Indy recap

Santi Urrutia, who lost the 2016 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship by two points, notched his first win of the 2017 season in today’s first race of the Mid-Ohio weekend doubleheader. Starting from the pole, the Belardi Auto Racing driver beat Colton Herta (Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing) across the finish line by 0.4812 of a second. Urrutia is the seventh different driver to win a race this season in the top level of the Mazda Road to Indy development series.

Victor Franzoni (Juncos Racing) kept the intense battle for the Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires championship going by winning today’s second race of a weekend tripleheader at Mid-Ohio. Franzoni passed Anthony Martin (Cape Motorsports) with four laps to go and hung on to win by 0.4828 of a second. Franzoni takes a five-point lead over Martin into the third race on Sunday.

In the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda, Parker Thompson (Exclusive Autosport) led wire to wire to capture his third win in the past four races, in the conclusion of the series’ weekend doubleheader. Rinus VeeKay finished second for Pabst Racing, which clinched the team championship for the Wisconsin-based outfit. Oliver Askew (Cape Motorsports) finished fourth and saw his points lead dwindle to 13 over VeeKay with one race remaining at Watkins Glen International on Sept. 3.

 

PRACTICE RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF INDYCAR COMMUNICATIONS

 

Quotes from Saturday’s IndyCar practice at Mid-Ohio

“What They’re Saying” from Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio qualifying

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “Honestly, I’m a little surprised we didn’t make the (Firestone) Fast Six. It felt like a good lap in the Menards Chevy, but we came up a little short. I put everything I had in it. That’s racing. That’s INDYCAR racing. We’re all fighting for hundredths of a second. I think we have a good car for the race. We’ll line up tomorrow and see what happens.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet):“Starting second tomorrow is awesome. The No. 2 PPG Chevrolet is really strong for tomorrow’s race at Mid-Ohio. The team has been really working hard this weekend and it’s paying off. We can’t wait for tomorrow’s race to put on a great show for the crowd here.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “That was a lot of fun. Everything was so close. INDYCAR racing is down to the centimeters now. We calculated about three laps would be perfect. But because of those 15 seconds that we stayed in the pits, it basically cost us a third lap on the second set of tires, so we didn’t have enough time to complete that. And I got caught in (Turns) 4, 5 and 6, which is a fast area. We lost a bunch of lap time. Regardless of that, thought the Hitachi Chevy was really strong. Congrats to Will (Power). We’ll just keep digging.”

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Obviously it’s really good for us. I think it’s just a nice thing after the year that we’ve had, it’s nice to have a good qualifying session. The car has been improving, you know. We haven’t had the results to show it yet, but I think this is at least a good step forward for us. We need a race like this where we just sit in the top 10, top 11, top 12, whatever, the whole time so hopefully we can fight from there tomorrow and make up some ground.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “A bit of a disappointing day to be honest. The Arrow car has been top six pretty much every single session when you put all the pieces together, and the challenge here in qualifying is getting that lap and putting all the pieces together. Unfortunately we ran into some guys that were gapping pretty disrespectfully and not giving everybody the room that was needed; when there are only 12 cars on track, it’s pretty crazy that we can’t all find a gap. We got caught out by that today. It happens, it’s part of racing. No doubt we had the speed to be in the Firestone Fast Six. Hopefully that bodes well for tomorrow, and we can move up and put the Arrow Electronics car in victory lane.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda):
“Qualifying last was definitely not what we were expecting. I think part of it is me getting back into my rhythm after missing the last race weekend in Toronto. Of course it would be nice to qualify at the top, but the most important thing is to finish the race. We all know what can happen here at Mid-Ohio. The people who have seen last year’s race will know what I mean. We just need to continue to push forward and do well, and I’m pretty sure we are going to have a competitive race car for tomorrow.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “Practice session one was really good for the Gallagher team, but we started chasing the setup like a wild goose after that for some reason. I think we’re struggling as a team a bit too. Three of us didn’t get through, and Scott (Dixon) wasn’t exactly blistering out there, but he did make it. It’s strange because this is my kind of track. I hope we can sort something out or it’s going to be a bit of a long day tomorrow.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 NTT Data Honda): “It wasn’t the best day for us. We’ve been chasing the same issue since the test here last week. The car is really loose on entry and really has understeer. Hopefully we can figure out what’s going on. It was a good day for Honda overall with the qualifying results.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “I was overcompensating for the grip we don’t have and pushing it too hard out there. We need to do a better job of setting the car up – it just wasn’t there today. I shouldn’t be pushing the car to the max to make up for what’s not there in the setup. It’s going to be really difficult starting in the back here with how hard it is to pass, but we’re going to do everything we can to get up to the front.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet):
“I’m really excited for this pole. The No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet crew has really been on it all weekend here at Mid-Ohio. I’m ready for tomorrow’s race with what we feel is a really strong car.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “It was a tough one. On the blacks (Firestone primary tires) we were looking pretty strong, but then on the reds (Firestone alternate tires) we didn’t gain where we should gain on the red tires. It was hard to qualify in the top 12 for my group. I think my group was quite tough. It is what it is. Tomorrow I think we have to go strategy-wise really aggressive. Here at this track it’s hard to pass. We have to go aggressive on the strategy and see if it pays off. Last year, I did an aggressive strategy and it paid off, so we will see this year.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda)
: “To have the Steak ‘n Shake Honda be the fastest overall in qualifying is special, but we would have liked to be on pole. I messed up on my best lap in Segment 3, and obviously the two rounds before I put it all together, but when it counted we lost a lot in the last turn, in Turn 12, on the very start of the final lap. I don’t know if we had enough on used reds (Firestone alternate tires). Power was on used reds too, but I don’t think I had that sort of time in me. But we were definitely better than fourth, so I’m a little disappointed in fourth place. I lost four-tenths in one corner alone, and then on the last lap I almost lost it. It’s great for our team and program to be up front once again. We’ve got a good starting spot and hopefully can battle from there. Last year you saw with the three-stopper that a lot of guys were on reds, even if they were used, they were preferred. This year it’s a new tire, so we haven’t run them a full stint yet. We’re in a really good spot in terms of tires. We didn’t use any new blacks (Firestone primary tires), and Helio (Castroneves) used two sets in qualifying. So I thinking tomorrow morning we can use a set and then we can have a heyday in the race and run whatever we want.”

ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ (No. 18 UNIFIN Honda): “It was very exciting to try to explore and to keep experimenting with the car. Obviously, this is a new track for me. It was challenging to find the right set up. We’ve been working hard as a team to find the sweet spot. I think we managed a good balance until we got to the last run when the track changed. The track is evolving very quickly and you need to keep up with that balance. It was the first time we were in that session, so we missed something to anticipate and to keep up with the balance, but I think it was a good experience. It’s my first time into the fast 12 and it was very interesting. The team did a good job and it’s our best qualifying so far, so we’re making progress and that makes me happy.”

ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda):
“It was a tough qualifying session overall. We got slowed down a bit by a car in front of us on my last laps, and then the car just got loose and I wasn’t able to improve my lap time at the end to move up the charts.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet):
“We knew going into qualifying that we were in a really hard group. There’s so many good guys up and down pit lane. I feel like it was a pretty good lap on my part, we just ended up missing a little bit in the end. We closed the gap to the fastest cars yet again, but there were just a bunch of people super close as usual. We’ve been looking for a bit more front grip all weekend. We’ve been getting better and better, but that’s one thing that if we can fix it, it will raise our speeds quite a bit. The Fuzzy’s Vodka car is really good though, especially on the longer runs, so we’re looking forward to racing tomorrow.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet):
“The Fuzzy’s Vodka guys are doing a good job. The car doesn’t feel that bad to drive, we just don’t seem to have a lot of speed in it. It’s frustrating because this is a track I really like and the team’s been good here in the past. We just can’t manage to get much better lap times out of it. It’s disappointing, but we’ll continue plugging away at it for the rest of the weekend.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “[Qualifying was] very good. The team work extremely well with the four cars and we were very competitive for all the practice sessions. I’m extremely happy with the performance of the Ruoff Home Mortgage car. I think the team has reached a good setup. I think a P3 is very happy place for us and a good position for the race tomorrow.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda): “(Group 2) was definitely a tough group, but we needed to beat everybody anyway – that was the goal. The car just didn’t turn enough for us to get there. We basically qualified our race car, I think, and were a bit too conservative (for qualifying). We started the weekend really good – within a couple hundredths of the quick time in Practice 1, but we’ve gone back a bit which is obviously not the goal.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “We just lost some grip in the car this afternoon. Things were obviously promising after yesterday’s session and leading the way, but coming into today and the morning session we had promise in the DHL car. We lost a little bit of where we were and tried to retrace our steps. In the end, we had an imbalance in the car and just missed it a bit. We didn’t quite have what I needed to get into the (Firestone) Fast Six. Here in the Verizon IndyCar Series, it all adds up. If you’re off just a little bit in the car it can make a big difference.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “Pretty disappointed honestly. We made some big improvements this morning and then we seemed to lose our way a little bit this afternoon. We were within like three-hundredths of transferring through to the top 12, which would’ve given us another shot to make the car better. I know there’s more in it for tomorrow, but we missed it a little bit, I missed it a little bit. The nice thing is that we have two sets of Firestone alternates (tires), sticker alternates, plus the scrubbed set from qualifying to use tomorrow. We just need a little bit of strategy and I think we have every opportunity to finish up front.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda): “I’m pretty disappointed to miss the (Firestone) Fast Six after running so well this morning. We just went the wrong direction with a change in session and it hurt us in the end. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we have a fast race car so we’ll work to get up front tomorrow.”

 

Saturday’s IndyCar practice results from Mid-Ohio: Power, Newgarden and Sato on top

 

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio qualifying results

Click HERE to view and download the official qualifying results of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Qualifying Saturday for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:04.1720 (126.672)
2. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:04.3067 (126.407)
3. (26) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:04.6792 (125.679)
4. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:04.7959 (125.452)
5. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 01:04.8485 (125.351)
6. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:05.1927 (124.689)
7. (1) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:04.3008 (126.418)
8. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 01:04.3784 (126.266)
9. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:04.4906 (126.046)
10. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:04.4928 (126.042)
11. (4) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:04.8745 (125.300)
12. (18) Esteban Gutierrez, Honda, 01:05.0368 (124.988)
13. (83) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 01:04.9930 (125.072)
14. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:04.5929 (125.847)
15. (19) Ed Jones, Honda, 01:05.0337 (124.994)
16. (20) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 01:04.6186 (125.797)
17. (10) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 01:05.3200 (124.446)
18. (8) Max Chilton, Honda, 01:04.8603 (125.328)
19. (21) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 01:05.3382 (124.411)
20. (14) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 01:04.9440 (125.166)
21. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 01:05.2441 (124.591)

 

PRACTICE RESULTS WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF INDYCAR COMMUNICATIONS

 

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