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Archive for July 30th, 2017

Newgarden wins at Mid-Ohio to take over points lead in IndyCar; second straight win

LEXINGTON, Ohio (Sunday, July 30, 2017) – Josef Newgarden finally completed what he started at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, bursting into the Verizon IndyCar Series championship lead after winning the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in dominant fashion.

Newgarden led 73 of 90 laps on the 2.258-mile permanent road course, taking the checkered flag 5.1556 seconds ahead of Team Penske teammate Will Power. It gave the Tennessean back-to-back wins, following his triumph July 16 at the Honda Indy Toronto.

Josef Newgarden (courtesy IndyCar)

Newgarden also vaulted atop the season standings for the first time in his six-year Verizon IndyCar Series career. He is the first American-born driver to lead the championship since Ryan Hunter-Reay won the title in 2014 and holds a seven-point lead over another Team Penske driver, Helio Castroneves, after 13 of 17 races.

“I feel like no one can take anything away from this win,” Newgarden said. “With this team on the (No.) 2 car side, I feel like we really did a great job today. There was no luck involved in that. We went out and won the race.”

HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO: Box score

Driving the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, Newgarden started second and made a daring pass of pole sitter Power for first place on Lap 13. He surrendered the lead for just four laps the rest of the way as pit stops cycled through.

Newgarden has contended for the win at Mid-Ohio each of the past three seasons, but various incidents prevented the rising INDYCAR star from sealing the deal. Today, in his first season with Team Penske, the 26-year-old did just that.

“We’ve been close before here,” he said. “I feel like we’ve always found speed. … It’s just nice to get something at a track I haven’t had a previous history of winning the race. That was nice.”

The second-place finish continued a frustrating run for Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. The 2014 series champion has started in the top four at Mid-Ohio for eight straight years – including pole positions in 2010, ’11 and this year – but he has yet to win at the track.

“I know we started on the pole and finished second, and that could be viewed as coming up short in some way,” Power said, “but it was a very good finish for the Verizon Chevrolet.  We really weren’t on the pace all weekend and really got the most out of qualifying.

“So second (place), for the pace of my car, that was as good as we could get today. We’ve had too many seconds in this place, though.”

Local favorite Graham Rahal finished third in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda. It was the fourth top-five finish at Mid-Ohio in as many years for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver and New Albany, Ohio, native. Rahal was the last driver to win consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series races, sweeping both ends of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear doubleheader weekend in early June.

“Our car had great pace today, we just could never quite get in clear air,” Rahal said. “I’m really proud of everyone on the Steak ‘n Shake team. … We’re going to keep our heads down, keep working hard.”

Castroneves finished seventh in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet to retain second place in the championship. Newgarden has scored 453 points to 446 for the Brazilian driving in his 20th Indy car season. Four-time series champion Scott Dixon finished ninth in the race and slipped from first to third in the season standings with 445 points. Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud finished fourth in the race and is fourth in points with 436. Power is fifth with 401 points and Rahal sixth with 395.

The race ran caution-free until Dale Coyne Racing rookie Ed Jones spun into the grass in Turn 9 on Lap 67, bringing out the race’s only yellow flag after Newgarden had built a 10-second advantage. Newgarden quickly sped away on the Lap 71 restart and wasn’t challenged the rest of the way.

The next race on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 20. The 500-mile race on the “Tricky Triangle” oval airs live at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Mazda Road to Indy recap

Nico Jamin of Andretti Autosport completed the Mazda Road to Indy hat trick, winning today’s Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires race to make him victorious at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in all three MRTI levels. The 21-year-old Frenchman won three Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda races at the track in 2015 and collected a pair of Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires last year.

Jamin won by 0.5026 of a second over Santi Urrutia, the Belardi Auto Racing driver who won the first race of the weekend doubleheader on Saturday. Despite finishing 12th today, Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) retains a 42-point lead in the championship over Urrutia and Colton Herta (Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing) with two Indy Lights races remaining.

In the third Pro Mazda race of the Mid-Ohio weekend, Anthony Martin made a statement, racing away to victory by 13.9957 seconds over championship rival Victor Franzoni. Martin (Cape Motorsports), the 2016 USF2000 champion, moved four points ahead of Franzoni (Juncos Racing) in the standings with three races to go.

The Pro Mazda results remain unofficial, however. The cars of Martin, Franzoni and TJ Fischer were impounded for further evaluation this week in Indianapolis – an extension of the current inspection process.

 

RACE RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF INDYCAR COMMUNICATIONS

 

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

 

Crew SC plays well enough at a place they normally have trouble; Rio Tinto Stadium to tie Real Salt Lake

 

 

MATCH RECAP: COLUMBUS CREW SC 2, REAL SALT LAKE 2
Ola Kamara scores 10th and 11th goals of 2017 MLS regular season;
Ethan Finlay makes 150th regular-season appearance for Crew SC;
Connor Maloney makes first regular-season start, records first career assist for the Black & Gold

For Immediate Release: July 29, 2017


Columbus Crew SC 2 – Real Salt Lake 2
Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)
Saturday, July 29, 2017

SCORING SUMMARY
CLB – Ola Kamara (Connor Maloney) 15’ [Highlight: http://bit.ly/2u8xOhD]
RSL – Joao Plata (Penalty kick) 50’ [Highlight: http://bit.ly/2eY2Gzc]
RSL – Jefferson Savarino (Luis Silva) 53’ [Highlight: http://bit.ly/2vavqLt]
CLB – Ola Kamara (Unassisted) 60’ [Highlight: http://bit.ly/2vUeYNm]

NEXT MATCH FOR CREW SC (10-11-2, 32 points):
Columbus Crew SC at San Jose Earthquakes (Avaya Stadium – San Jose, CA)

Saturday, August 5 (10:30 p.m. ET / The CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream available on ColumbusCrewSC.com).

 


MEDIA RESOURCES AVAILABLE

FULL BOX SCORE: http://bit.ly/2vU566d

TEAM STATISTICS: http://bit.ly/2waaDow


MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:
http://bit.ly/2uNBKq2



TODAY’S MATCH INFO:


Venue:
Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)

Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistants: Brian Poeschel, T.J. Zablocki
Fourth Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Attendance: 18,758
Weather: 91 degrees and clear

GOALS/ASSISTS

CLB – Ola Kamara (Connor Maloney) 15’

RSL – Joao Plata (Penalty kick) 50’

RSL – Jefferson Savarino (Luis Silva) 53’

CLB – Ola Kamara (Unassisted) 60’


DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY

RSL – Sebastian Saucedo (caution) 88’


LINEUPS

Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Josh Williams, Alex Crognale, Nicolai Naess; Connor Maloney (Hector Jimenez 82’), Artur, Wil Trapp ©, Waylon Francis (Jukka Raitala 78’); Ethan Finlay, Justin Meram (Kekuta Manneh 66’); Ola Kamara

Substitutes not used: Brad Stuver; Mohammed Abu, Cristian Martinez, Adam Jahn

Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta; Sunny, Kyle Beckerman ©; Jefferson Savarino (Brooks Lennon 68’), Albert Rusnack, Joao Plata (Sebastian Saucedo 82’); Luis Silva (Yura Movsisyan 78’)


Substitutes not used: Lalo Fernandez; David Horst, Luke Mulholland, Chris Wingert

 

 

TEAM NOTES

Forward Ola Kamara recorded a brace in in tonight’s match against Real Salt Lake, scoring goals in the 15th and the 60th minute. With the brace, Kamara has now scored 27 goals for Crew SC in 48 regular-season appearances (42 starts). Kamara is now Crew SC’s all-time leading scorer against the Claret-and-Cobalt in regular-season action, having scored five goals in two matches against the Western Conference team, one more than former Crew SC player Jason Garey. Last season, Kamara recorded a hat trick against Real Salt Lake in Crew SC’s 4-3 win at MAPFRE Stadium (May 28). This season, Kamara has made 23 regular-season appearances (22 starts) and is currently the leading scorer for the Black & Gold in the 2017 MLS regular season with 11 goals.

Midfielder Ethan Finlay made his 150th regular-season appearance (102 starts) for Crew SC in tonight’s match against Real Salt Lake. With his appearance, Finlay is now one of only eight players to have made 150 or more regular-season appearances for the Black & Gold, joining the likes of Chad Marshall (253 appearances), Mike Clark (221 appearances), Eddie Gaven (209 appearances), Jeff Cunningham (203 appearances), Justin Meram (177 appearances), Brian Maisonneuve (172 appearances), Brian McBride (161 appearances) and Robert Warzycha (160 appearances). Additionally, Finlay is one of only two players on Crew SC’s current roster to have made 150 or more appearances in regular-season action, behind Justin Meram (177 appearances, 124 starts) and ahead of Federico Higuain (141 appearances, 136 starts).

Defender Connor Maloney made his first regular-season start for Crew SC in tonight’s match against Real Salt Lake and recorded his first MLS assist by setting up Ola Kamara’s 16th-minute goal. The defender played 82 minutes against the Claret-and-Cobalt, creating three chances, making one tackles and completing 32 passes, the third most on the team. Maloney is one of four rookies to make a regular-season start for Crew SC this year, joining Lalas Abubakar, Alex Crognale and Niko Hansen. In the 2017 MLS regular season, Maloney has made two appearances (one start) and provided one assist.

Tonight’s match was Crew SC’s 20th all-time regular-season match against Real Salt Lake. With the draw, the Black & Gold’s regular-season record against the Claret-and-Cobalt is now 11-5-4. Additionally, Crew SC is undefeated in its last four matches against Real Salt Lake with a record of 1-0-3. Tonight’s win also brought the Black & Gold’s record against Western Conference opponents to 3-2-1 in 2017.

Next up, Crew SC finishes its stretch of three road matches by traveling to take on the San Jose Earthquakes for their lone regular-season meeting of 2017 at Avaya Stadium on Saturday, August 5 (10:30 p.m. ET / The CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream on ColumbusCrewSC.com).

 

GAME RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC 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

 

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