Indy Elite: Kraus triumphs at Long Beach

By: Tim Doyle
July 20, 2021

The 2021 Coca Cola Bottling of Kokomo Indy Elite Series visited Long Beach for the Raze Energy Long Beach GP.

24 cars signed in for the 51-lap affair around the tight and twisty strret course. In qualifying, it was Philip Kraus grabbing pole with a 1:05.558 followed by Adam Blocker (1:05.382) and Austin Espitee (1:05.577) rounding out the top 3.

Grand Prix of Long Beach presented by Raze Energy

Kraus led the field to green with Espitee taking a look inside before Blocker powered ahead to take the 2nd position entering turn 1.

Mid pack, contact was made between Jacob Oster and Chris Stofer, creating a log jam with Andrew Wood and Riley Thompson stopping in the founatin turn which drew the race’s first yellow. All drivers were able to continue on, with several taking the chance to pit for tires and fuel.

On the Lap 4 restart, Kraus was once again able to lead the field into to turn 1. This time it was a clean getwway for the field. Lap 5 saw Flinn Lazier lose it under braking entering turn 1 bringing his day to a premature end. Matt Hollibaugh would be the next driver to retire on Lap 7 when he would clip the Turn 7 tire barrier. He too would be done.

Oster and Stofer made contact in Turn 2 on the opening lap (Tim Doyle/iRacing.com)

At the third way mark, Kraus still lead by 2+ seconds over Blocker with Espitee another 2.5 seconds back. Bryan Carey and Henry Bennett rounded out the Top 5. Meanwhile, a number of drivers had issues and were in the pits for repairs including Stofer, Joe Branch and Oster.

The leaders started pitting on Lap 22 with Kraus giving up the lead to Blocker as Espitee, Carey and Bennett relinquished their Top 5 positions.

On pit exit, Bennett would have trouble on cold tires spinning, but not touching anything. One lap later Blocker would pit looking to gain a spot on Kraus, but Kraus would be able to maintain his lead. Even with his spin, Bennett would still be in 5th.

At the halfway point, the Top 5 remained the same with the exception of Carey up to 3rd and Espitee back to 4th. Wood, Liam Quinn, Josh Clogg, David Adams and Ray Kingsvury would round out the Top 10, all still on the lead lap. 17 cars would still be running, sans various laps down.

While running 4th on Lap 35, 4th place-running Espitee would find the tire barrier and tow for repairs, losing two laps in the process.

Race leader Kraus would pit for the final time on Lap 43. Blocker would again pit one lap later, this time gaining a lot of time on Kraus, coming out just behind. With five laps to go, Blocker would trail by just 1.5 seconds.

With two laps, Blocker was putting the presuure on Kraus but couldn’t close enough to force a move. Kraus would cross the finish line just .66 of a second ahead of Blocker.

Kraus earned his fourth win of the season, most in the series (Tim Doyle/iRacing.com)

Carey would grab the remaining podium spot with Bennett and Quinn rounding out the top 5. Adams would come home 6th after starting 15th ahead of Clogg, Wood, Kingsbury and Riley Thompson.

Up Next

In two weeks on Sunday, August 1, the 2021 Coca Cola Bottling of Kokomo Indy Elite Series goes to the World Wide Technology Raceway for 140 laps around the oval.

Laps- 51

Cautions- 1

Lead Changes- 4

Fastest lap- 1:06.358: Philip Kraus

Cars on the lead lap- 4

Polesitter- Philip Kraus 1:05.307

Header Image By Tim Doyle/iRacing.com

Honda Indy 200: Sunday Recap

By: Spencer Neff
July 4, 2021

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES marked the July 4th weekend by traveling to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

By running their 38th race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course, Mid-Ohio is second only to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in races run among tracks currently on the schedule and first among all road and street courses in the series.

Here’s a look at how the 80-lap race played out on Sunday.

Newgarden earns dominant win

Honda Indy 200 Results

After multiple near-misses during the course of the season, Team Penske and Josef Newgarden earned their first win of 2021 on Sunday. A day after celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first IndyCar win, Newgarden earned their 220th and his second at Mid-Ohio.

Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

It is Newgarden’s 19th career win, passing Ryan Hunter-Reay as the winningest active American-born driver. He is the 8th different winner in 10 races so far.

Despite a late charge from Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson, the Hendersonville, Tennessee native finished .879 of a second ahead. Ericsson’s teammate Alex Palou completed the podium, giving him a 39-point lead over Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward with six races to go.

Race Recap

During the start, Andretti Autosport teammates Hunter-Reay and Janes Hinchcliffe spun near the entrance to Turn 4. Further back, Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist also spun but stalled as the other two continued on. The caution flag was brought out before a lap could be finished under green.

On the Lap 4 restart issues continued, Team Penske’s Will Power spun after contact in Turn 5 with Dixon. With nowhere to, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan’s Ed Jones was collected as well. Both drivers would be done for the day.

Power’s day ended following a Lap 4 spin (Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)

During the first round of pit stops, refueling issues dropped Herta from second to seventh in the running order. Herta stalled on his next pit stop as well, keeping him out of contention for the victory.

Up front, Newgarden held strong for the bulk of the race and earned the victory.

Up Next

After a four-week break, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES makes its debut on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee. First Practice for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will be at 5:00 p.m. Eastern on August 6. The 80-lap event on the brand-new street circuit will run at 5:30 p.m. on August 8.

Keep tabs on the action with IndyCar1909.com and our social media platforms, listed at the bottom of our webpage. 

Header Image By Joe Skibinsi/INDYCAR

Honda Indy 200: Saturday Recap

By: Spencer Neff
July 3, 2021

Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course would bring the final two practices, with qualifying in between, for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200.

Take a look at the on-track action highlights from the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in Lexington, Ohio.

Newgarden wins third straight pole

(Photo by Chris Owens. IMS Photo)

Qualifying Results Starting Lineup (Initial tire choices noted)

Still looking for his first win of 2021, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden earned his third consecutive pole on Saturday. In the final session, the 2017 Mid-Ohio winner notched a best lap of 1m06.6739 (121.919 mph). It is his 14th career pole and first at Mid-Ohio.

Missing out on pole by .0031 of a second, Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian’s Colton Herta will join Newgarden on the front row. Rounding out the Fast Six was Marcus Ericsson, Will Power, Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi.

For Group 2, Newgarden was P1 again (1m06.163-122.86 mph). Herta, Power, Rossi, Dixon and Ericsson would also move on to run for the pole.

Points leader Alex Palou was seventh, first among the drivers unable to advance to Round 3. Starting 8th-12th will be Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Rinus VeeKay and Sebastien Bourdais. Bourdais exceeded the pit lane speed limit during the session, prompting a drive-through penalty.

Herta starts on the front row as he goes for his second consecutive win at Mid-Ohio (Matt Fraver/INDYCAR)

In Group 1 of the opening round, Newgarden led the way as he ran a quickest lap of 1m06.0168 (123.132 mph). Newgarden, Palou, Power, Rahal, Bourdais and Rossi moved on to the second round.

A.J. Foyt Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais was seventh, first among the drivers unable to advance. Joining Bourdais on the outside for Rows 7-13 are Felix Rosenqvist, Simon Pagenaud, Max Chilton, Takuma Sato, Dalton Kellett, Jack Harvey and Jimmie Johnson.

While posting laps quick enough to advance, Harvey was docked his fastest lap for causing a local yellow after his spin.

Pagenaud and Rossi, who did not properly slow for the yellow also lost their fastest laps. As a result, Pagenaud and Harvey, who were 2nd and third during the session, were relegated to the bottom seven, bumping Bourdais and Rossi into the second round.

During Group 2, Herta was atop the group of 13 with a best lap of 1m06.2685 (122.665 mph), leading Dixon, Ericsson, Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe and VeeKay into the Fast 12.

Those not advancing and starting on the outside of the last seven rows were Scott McLaughlin, Ed Jones, Romain Grosjean, Pato O’Ward, Santino Ferrucci, Conor Daly and Ryan Norman.

Dixon tops Final Practice

Image By Matt Fraver/INDYCAR

Practice 3 Results Combined Practice Results

As he looks for his seventh career win at Mid-Ohio and to equal Mario Andretti for second all-time with his 52nd career win, Scott Dixon was fastest in Saturday’s 30-minute final practice.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver posted a best lap of 1m08.0256 (119.496 mph), besting Herta by .0489 of a second, the only practice session Honda led this weekend,

Grosjean made it a Top 3 sweep for Honda, while Chilton was the fastest Chevrolet entry and Hinchcliffe made it four Hondas in the Top Five.

The lone red flag during the session was for Ryan Norman, as the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR rookie went off course in Turn 13 but was able to continue on soon after. Jimmie Johnson spun in Turn 12 late in the session but was able to continue unabated as well.

O’Ward leads Second Practice

(mage By Matt Fraver/INDYCAR)

Practice 2 Results

The second 45-minute session of the weekend saw the same drivers in the Top 2 as Friday afternoon, albeit in reverse order.

Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward led the way, posting a best lap of 1m06.0911 (122.994 mph), .0082 of a second ahead of Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden. Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian’s Colton Herta was the fastest Honda in third.

Despite a handful of off-track excursions, including from Dixon and Carlin Racing’s Max Chilton, the second practice was run incident-free and without a stoppage.

Up Next

Here is the schedule for the remaining on-track activities this weekend. Keep tabs on this weekend’s action with IndyCar1909.com and our social media platforms, listed at the bottom of our webpage. All times listed are local track time (Eastern).

Follow tire strategies for qualifying and the race, here.

Sunday, July 4

11:58 a.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”

Noon: NBC on air

12:05 p.m.: The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the HPD Ridgeline (80 laps/180.64 miles), NBC (Live)

Header Image By Matt Fraver/INDYCAR

Honda Indy 200: Friday Recap

By: Spencer Neff
July 2, 2021

Starting things off with a 45-minute practice session on Friday afternoon, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES began on-track preparations for the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Newgarden leads Practice 1

Practice 1 Results

Following two near-misses at his first win of the season, Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden posited the fastest lap on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course.

The 2017 Race Winner ran a best lap of 1m07.2524 (120.870 miles per hour) and was .2526 of a second ahead of Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward. Jack Harvey finished third, best among the Honda entries behind the Chevrolet duo.

The Meyer Shank Racing driver is still looking for his first win and will look to do so at the team’s “home track”, near their headquarters in Pataskala. During the session, a few drivers saw issues in an otherwise clean session.

Just over halfway into the session, Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist spun on the exit of Turn 1. As he was unable to restart, the red flag was thrown.

Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian’s Colton Herta and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato also endured off-track runs but were able to continue on.

Rosenqvist’s first on-track session since a two-race absence following his Belle Isle crash was marred by a spin. (Matt Fraver/INDYCAR)

Up Next

Here is the schedule for the remaining on-track activities this weekend. Keep tabs on this weekend’s action with IndyCar1909.com and our social media platforms, listed at the bottom of our webpage. All times listed are local track time (Eastern).

Follow tire strategies for qualifying and the race, here

Saturday, July 3

9-9:50 a.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 2, Peacock Premium (live)

Noon-1:15 p.m.: Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (Three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium (live); TV: NBCSN (8 p.m. ET, Same-day delay)

3:30-4 p.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES final practice, Peacock Premium (live)

Sunday, July 4

11:58 a.m.: “Drivers, start your engines” Noon: NBC on air

12:05 p.m.: The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the HPD Ridgeline (80 laps/180.64 miles), NBC (Live)

Header Image By Matt Fraver/INDYCAR

Honda Indy 200: Betting Preview

By: Joe Branch
July 2, 2021

The NTT Indycar Series heads to Mid Ohio this weekend for the final race before the “Olympic Break” that will have the series off for the next month. 

Mid Ohio has been a place of very few cautions over the past few seasons.  This season the race will be 80 laps, different from 75 in each double header race in 2020 and the 90 lap race that saw a mixture of two and three stoppers in 2019. 

An 80 lap race should make two stops optimal strategy but I’m sure there will be some guys in the back try three stops in hopes of catching the right yellow. Mid Ohio has seen seven different winners in the last seven races.  The last three winners were Colton Herta, Will Power and Scott Dixon.

The Favorites

Josef Newgarden is the favorite coming into this weekend which has been the norm as of late. Newgarden is +400 (4 to 1) to win.  This is actually a pretty good value for a favorite, I would expect Newgarden to qualify well so 4 to 1 is probably the best odds we’ll see on him for the weekend.

In 2019, Dixon earned his sixth Mid-Ohio victory, twice as many as any other competitor in the track’s INDYCAR history (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Scott Dixon is the 2nd favorite at +500 (5 to 1).  He is a six time winner at Mid Ohio! Dixon has been racing well all season but has struggled with the qualifying pace.  5 to 1 is decent value here but it could get even better after qualifying.

The next two favorites are the 2020 winners Will Power +650 (6.5 to 1) and Colton Herta at +700 (7 to 1).  Power is the definition of “due” for a win along with his teammate Josef Newgarden.  Herta has been the one mainstay for Andretti Autosport towards the front of the field.

Value Picks

Points leader Alex Palou comes into the weekend with +900 (9 to 1) odds.  The Spaniard is the only driver to win multiple races this year.  Mid Ohio is also a tight, twisty, and rhythmic course.  The winner will have to make fuel and make the tires last, much like the race at Barber that Palou dominated to kick off the 2021 season.

2018 Mid-Ohio Winner Alexander Rossi finished second in Race 2 last year in a podium sweep for Andretti Autosport (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Alexander Rossi finished 3rd and 2nd in last year’s double header.  He comes into this race very hungry for a strong result and is +1200 (12 to 1).

Long Shots

There is some solid value in a couple of drivers that are +3000 (30 to 1) in Detroit winner Marcus Ericsson and series veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay.  Ganassi Racing seems to be fast everywhere they go and with their strong history at this track and Marcus’s new found confidence, win number two could be right around the corner.

As for RHR, the word that comes to mind is desperate.  He’s shown pace all season but doesn’t have a single result to show for it.  The pilot of the No. 28 car finished 5th and 3rd in Mid Ohio last year and always seems to show well here.  

A few other long shots that could be fun to bet include Santino Ferrucci at +5000 (50 to 1) and Jack Harvery at +6000 (60 to 1).

Hunter-Reay finished third in Race 2 of last year’s doubleheader, his only podium in the last 27 races (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

My Picks

Favorite: Will Power (6.5 to 1 to win and 1.8 to 1 to podium)

Value: Alex Palou (9 to 1 to win and 2.5 to 1 to podium)/Alexander Rossi (12 to 1 to win and 3 to 1 to podium)

Long Shots: Marcus Ericson/Ryan Hunter-Reay (30 to 1 to win and 7.5 to 1 to podium)

Odds from DraftKings as of 7/1

Header Image By Matt Fraver/INDYCAR

Honda Indy 200: Weekend Preview

By: Spencer Neff
July 2, 2021

Following a weekend off, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES marks the holiday weekend with a return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Debuting on the schedule in 1980 with a race won by Johnny Rutherford, Sunday is the 37th IndyCar race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in Lexington, Ohio. Last year, the track hosted a doubleheader for the first time.

This year, the track hosts a single, 80-lap race. Before the on-track action begins, take a look at the latest news and more from the series.

Headlines

For the second race in a row, the race winner earned his second victory of the season and claimed the points lead.

While Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden won the pole and led 32 of 55 laps, gearbox issues relegated him to 21st after losing the lead on a restart with two laps to go. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou took full advantage and won the race.

As a result, Palou once again has the points lead, this time leading Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward by 28 points with seven races left in the season.

Palou celebrates his second career win-both in 2021 (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

This weekend marks the return of two drivers who have battled through injuries and were medically cleared to drive a mid-Ohio.

Following a violent crash during Race 1 of the Dual in Detroit on June 12, Felix Rosenqvist comes after a two-race absence and will drive the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP entry.

Less than three weeks after fracturing his left clavicle, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay will be back behind the wheel of the No. 21. VeeKay missed the previous race at Road America.

Santino Ferrucci will make his fourth start of the season at the wheel of the No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as well.He finished Top 10 in all three previous races with a best finish of sixth at Indianapolis and Detroit Race 1.

In addition to Ferrucci, VeeKay and Rosenqvist’s returns, another driver will make their NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut this weekend. Dale Coyne Racing with RWR has tabbed Ryan Norman to wheel the No. 52 for the team. The Cleveland, Ohio native makes his first career start in his home state this weekend.

Norman will be the fifth driver to make his IndyCar debut in 2021 (Doug Mathews/INDYCAR)

From 2017 to 2019, Norman raced Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport’s, winning at Gateway in 2018 and Road America 1 in 2019. He finished fourth in points during both seasons, his career best.

“My goal throughout my whole racing career has been to become an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver,” said Norman in a June 24 press release announcing his debut.

“So many years of hard work and sacrifices have finally paid off and I want to thank Dale Coyne for giving me a shot to show what I can do in the series. It’s an honor to be able to drive for DCR. They have shown over the years that they have created a great competitive program and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together. I’m more prepared than ever before to show that I belong in IndyCar and can fight for podiums and wins. It’s time to get to work!”

The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by The HPD Ridgeline Fast Facts

The start of Race 2 in last year’s doubleheader (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Entry List

Pit Assignments 

Spotter Guide

Race weekend: Friday, July 2 – Sunday, July 4

Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a 13-turn, a 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio

Race distance: 80 laps / 180.64 miles

Media links: Entry List | Driver Video Quotes | Trackside Book

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Six sets primary, four sets alternate to be used during the event weekend. One additional set of primary tires may be used by teams fielding a rookie driver. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of new (sticker) alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.

Twitter: @Mid_Ohio, @IndyCar, #Honda200, #INDYCAR

Event website: http://www.midohio.com/

INDYCAR website: http://www.IndyCar.com

2020 race winners: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) and Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda)

2020 NTT P1 Award winners: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 1:06.3343, 122.543 mph and Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Turbine #ShiftToGreen Honda) 1:26.2788, 94.215 mph

Qualifying record: Simon Pagenaud, 1:03.8700, 127.271 mph, July 30, 2016

NBC Sports telecasts: Qualifying: 8 p.m. ET Saturday, NBCSN (same-day delayed); Race: Noon ET Sunday, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for NBC Sports telecasts this weekend alongside analyst Townsend Bell.

Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.

INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young are the turn announcers with Joel Sebastianelli and Alex Wollf in the pit lane.

The Honda Indy 200 at Mid- Ohio Presented by the HPD Ridgeline will air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying are available on SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, July 2

2:30-3:15 p.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 1, Peacock Premium (live)

Saturday, July 3

9-9:50 a.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 2, Peacock Premium (live)

Noon-1:15 p.m.: Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (Three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium (live); TV: NBCSN (8 p.m. ET, Same-day delay)

3:30-4 p.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES final practice, Peacock Premium (live)

Sunday, July 4

11:58 a.m.: “Drivers, start your engines” Noon: NBC on air

12:05 p.m.: The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the HPD Ridgeline (80 laps/180.64 miles), NBC (Live)

Header Image By Chris Jones/INDYCAR, Fast Facts By INDYCAR MEDIA

Rewind: 2007 Honda 200

By: Spencer Neff
July 1, 2021

Following busy months of May and June, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will contest a single event during the month of July. On Sunday, 26 drivers will take part in the 80-lap Honda Indy 200 at the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course.

As we look forward to the 10th race of the 16-event season, take a look back at the 2007 edition of this race for this week’s edition of Rewind.

Dixon earns third consecutive win

For Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, Race Day of the 2007 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio brought multiple reasons to celebrate his 27th birthday.

Dixon had earned a victory in each of the previous two races, narrowing his points deficit to 34. Although Franchitti had seen his lead cut in half, the Andretti green Racing driver would start fifth, one spot ahead of Dixon.

Team Penske and Helio Castroneves would earn the pole for the 85-lap race, notching a best lap of 121.6 miles per hour.

Race Recap

The first open-wheel race at the Lexington, Ohio road course since the 2003 CART event got off to a vitiated start, with one team in particular bearing the brunt of it.

Andretti and Kanaan during the ill-fated start (Jim Haines/INDYCAR)

Heading toward Turn 4 after the traditional start on the back straightaway, Tony Kanaan pun and collided with AGR teammate Marco Andretti, sending the latter and his No. 26 Dallara-Honda upside-down toward the infield grass.

Their teammate Danica Patrick went off-course after making contact with Kanaan but they were able to continue. Meanwhile, Andretti’s day ended before completing a lap.

Castroneves would lead the first 28 laps before pit stops began. Dixon was able to pick up the lead as he looked to close the gap Franchitti had on him even further. Kanaan also logged two laps out front as he rebounded from the opening lap contact.

After staying out a lap longer than Castroneves and getting on track in front of him, Dixon was able to move to the lead of the race when the cycle of pit stops was completed on Lap 33. On Lap 46, Sam Hornish Jr. spun into the Turn 1 tire barriers. Although he avoided significant damage, the caution was brought out for the second time.

CGR’s pit stops and strategy helped put Dixon in a position to win (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Once the race restarted on Lap 51, Kanaan was able too pull away from the field as Dixon and Castroneves battled with Rahal Letterman Racing’s Scott Sharp. Castroneves and Franchitti also took the lead as the final stops cycled through, with Dixon leading a lap in between.

By taking on a smaller fuel load during his last stop, Dixon was able to beat out his competition. With nine laps to go, the No. 9 took the lead for a third time on the day and never looked back.

Dixon took his third consecutive win, finishing 2.692 seconds in front of Franchitti, cutting the points lead even further. He would leave Mid-Ohio 24 points back with five races remaining. Castroneves finished third after winning the pole and leading the most laps (37).

Analysis

Dixon celebrates atop the podium (Jim Haines/INDYCAR)

Dixon and Franchitti continued to battle through the remainder of the season. With two races to go, Dixon earned his fourth win and regained the points lead at Sonoma, only to fall behind in the wake of a late-race crash at Belle Isle in the penultimate round.

On the last lap of the season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, Dixon ran out of fuel in Turn 3. Dixon’s misfortune allowed Franchitti to win the race and the championship.

A year later, Dixon earned his second title. By 2009, Franchitti rejoined IndyCar after a year in NASCAR and was paired with Dixon at CGR. The duo combined to win four championships in their five seasons together.

In 2012, Dixon earned his fourth win at Mid-Ohio, breaking a tie with 1989 Series Champion Emerson Fittipaldi for most at the track. Since then, he added victories in 2014 and 2019, bringing his Mid-Ohio record to six as he looks to make it a seventh win on Sunday.

Header Image By Jim Haines/INDYCAR

Indy Elite: Blocker wins Mid-Ohio Grand Prix

By: Tim Doyle
June 27, 2021

The Coca Cola Bottling Company of Kokomo Indy Elite Series headed to its second road course in a row for the Mid Ohio GP at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. 28 cars converged onto the curvy and hilly 2.25-mile course.

Qualifying Recap

In qualifying, Adam Blocker snagged pole position with a lap of 1:05.995. Adam Crane (1:06.139) paced 2nd over Andreas Eik (1:06.337). Flinn Lazier and Henry Bennett completed the Top 5.

Race Recap

Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Results

While the field got away clean at the start, it didn’t take long before several drivers had issues when on Lap 2, first Bryan Carey went off course, then Ray Kingsbury spun with Jacob Oster doing the same. Carey would find trouble again just a few turns later receiving front end damage requiring him to pit.

Multiple drivers spun on Lap 2 (Tim Doyle/iRacing.com)

Blocker would stretch out his lead to nearly 20 seconds over Crane by the end of the 45-lap affair with Bennett in 3rd, Andrew Kinsella in 4th and Lazier would bring it home in the 5th position.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Eik, Riley Thompson, Jason Brophy, Chris Stofer and Robert Maleczka III in 10th.

Up Next

The series takes the month of July off before returning to the ovals on August 1st at World Wide Technology Raceway then to Kansas Speedway on August 31st.

Race recap: Field size- 28

Blocker earns his second win of the season. He also won on March 14 at Belle Isle (Tim Doyle/iRacxing.com)

Laps- 45

Cautions- 0

Lead Changes- 0

Fastest lap- 1:06.864: Flinn Lazier

Cars on the lead lap- 7

Polesitter- Adam Blocker 1:05.995

Header Image By Tim Doyle/iRacing.com

REV Group Grand Prix: Sunday Recap

By: Spencer Neff
June 20, 2021

A competitive NTT INDYCAR SERIES season passed its midpoint today. Sunday marked the ninth race of the season, the Rev Group Grand Prix at Road America. Today’s 55-lap race on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin closed out the month of June for the series’ on-track action.

Take a look at how the day played out.

Palou takes second win and points lead

Seven days after the team lost the points lead for the first time in 2021, Chip Ganassi Racing rebounded.

Following mechanical issues for pole sitter Josef Newgarden of Team Penske on the final restart, sophomore driver Alex Palou sped past and won for the second time his career, backing up his season-opening win at Barber Motorsports Park.

The No. 10 won at Road America for the second consecutive season (Felix Rosenqvist won Race 2 of last year’s doubleheader), besting Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta by 1.9106 seconds.

Race Recap

Palou topped Herta and became the second repeat winner of 2021 (James Black/INDYCAR)

2021 REV Group Grand Prix Results

From the start the action throughout the field was intense, by Turn 1, Harvey powered his way up to second. On Lap 4, Sato was assessed an avoidable contact penalty after contact with Daly in Turn 7 and had left-rear bodywork damage.

Up front, Newgarden stretched out his lead over the first stint. On Lap 16, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jimmie Johnson hit the curbs and spun in Turn 7, bringing out the first caution of the day. The action picked back up on Lap 19 with Newgarden under attack from Palou.

On Lap 23, Ganassi’s team encountered more issues as Marcus Ericsson spun between Turns 3 and 4, prompting another yellow flag. Two laps later, fuel strategy put Kevin Magnussen at the front of the field in his series debut. Substituting for Felix Rosenqvist with Arrow McLaren SP, he led six laps before Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato took over and he pitted.

Magnussen’s run ended three laps later as his engine died between Turns 7 and 8, forcing a third caution as his No. 7 was towed in. Newgarden made his way back to the front as Sato pitted and made his last stop on Lap 41. Playing strategy further, Sato and Carlin Racing’s Max Chilton ran up front until their Lap 48 pit stops.

Newgarden finished 21st after leading 32 of 55 laps (James Black/INDYCAR)

With four laps remaining, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Oliver Askew (subbing for Rinus VeeKay) pitted, giving the lead back to Newgarden. Seconds later, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sulliivan’s Ed Jones had a left-rear tire go flat and spun in Turn 12. Jones’ spin in Canada corner triggered the fourth caution of the day and throwing another wrinkle into the race’s complexion.

On the Lap 53 restart, Palou stormed past Newgarden in Turn 1. From there, he would hang on and earn the victory. It is the first time since 1978 that six or more consecutive races have been won by a driver who did not lead the most laps.

Palou now leads Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward by 28 points with seven races left on the schedule.

Up Next

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will take a week off before their next race, the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 4.

Keep tabs on the action with IndyCar1909.com and our social media platforms, listed at the bottom of our webpage. 

Header Image By James Black/INDYCAR

REV Group Grand Prix: Saturday Recap

By: Spencer Neff
June 19, 2021

Saturday would bring the final practice sessions and qualifying to set the field for Sunday’s 55-lap race. Here’s how things played out during the day at the 4.014-mile,14-turn Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Qualifying Recap

Qualifying Results Starting Lineup

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden earned his 13th career pole and his third at Road America. After a bold strategy using the primary Firestone tires over the alternate, the No. 2 earned their second consecutive pole with a best lap of 1m46.0186 (136.301 miles per hour), topping Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian’s Colton Herta by .243 of a second.

This is Newgarden’s third pole at Road America and 13th of his career. Newgarden also earned the pole here in 2018 (when he won the race) and in Race 1 of last year’s doubleheader.

Newgarden and Team Penske celebrate their second pole of 2021 (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

Rounding out the Fast Six were Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey with Team Penske’s Will Power, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou and Penske’s Simon Pagenaud leading the first three rows.

Harvey would lead Round 2 after posting a 1m45.3612 lap at 137.151 mph, with Herta Newgarden, Pagenaud, Palou and Power also making the Fast Six to run for the pole.

Romain Grosjean, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Pato O’Ward. Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Jones did not advance, placing them seventh through twelfth for Sunday’s race.

Jack Harvey posted the fastest lap of the weekend during Round of Qualifying on Saturday (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

Herta led Group 1 of the first round of qualifying with a best lap of 1m45.7504 (136.646 mph), with Palou, Bourdais, Pagenaud, Grosjean and Hunter-Reay also moving to Round 2.

Scott Dixon, Conor Daly, Scott McLaughlin, James Hinchcliffe, Kevin Magnussen and Jimmie Johnson were eliminated.

Newgarden was quickest in Group 2 with a fastest lap time of 1m45.6078 (136.831 mph). Rossi, Power,O’Ward,Jones and Harvey also moved on to Round 2.

Graham Rahal, Oliver Askew, Marcus Ericsson, Takuma Sato, Max Chilton, Dalton Kellett and Cody Ware did not advance.

Newgarden leads Practice 2

Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR

Practice 2 Results

Completing the on-track preparations for qualifying, Newgarden led the second practice session of the weekend on Saturday morning.

The No. 2 entry turned a best lap of 1m45.3399 (137.179 mph), besting Herta by .1331 of a second. Graham Rahal finished third, with Friday practice leader Grosjean in fourth and Askew in fifth.

Dixon missed the bulk of the 45-minute session after sustaining damage to the under tray of his No. 9 Dallara-Honda. Fortunately, his Chip Ganassi Racing crew was able to repair his car in time for him to run some laps at the conclusion of the session.

Herta tops Final Practice

Practice 3 Results Combined Practice Results

Finishing off Saturday’s on-track time and preparations for Sunday’s race, Herta led the way during the 30-minute practice session, as the the 2019 Road America pole sitter ran a best lap of 1m47.6312 (134.258 mph).

Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

Tomorrow’s outside pole sitter looks for his second win of 2021 (St. Petersburg). The session was interrupted early after A.J. Foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett stalled, the only major incident of the day.

Up Next

Tire Strategies

Here is the schedule for Sunday’s on-track activities. Keep tabs on this weekend’s action with IndyCar1909.com and our social media platforms, listed at the bottom of our webpage. All times listed are Eastern. NBCSN begins their broadcast at 12:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, June 20

12:05 p.m. – Driver introductions
12:38 p.m. – Command to start engines
12:45 p.m. – REV Group Grand Prix (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBCSN (live)

Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR

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