By: Spencer Neff
September 11, 2020
After weeks of question marks, the NTT IndyCar Series’ annual trip to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This weekend, a doubleheader of 75-lap races will be held on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in Lexington, Ohio for Saturday and Sunday.
Last time out, the oval portion of the schedule for 2020 finished up at World WIde Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Illinois. The winners that weekend, Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden, run 1-2 in points, with Dixon holding a 96-point lead.
For Dixon, Mid-Ohio is statistically his best track. Six times, he has won at this track, including a thrilling 1-2 finish with teammate Felix Rosenqvist last year.
“We’ve had success here in the past as a team, and we hope to continue to build on that this weekend and carry that through to the remaining races on the schedule for 2020 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda,” Dixon expressed.
Leading into the weekend, his teammate also reflected on the 2019 race.
“I can look back at last year with our P1 and P2 finish for me and Scott. There’s definitely something to be shown there on my side,” Rosenqvist noted.
“I think I felt like I could fight for the win last year. With two attempts this weekend, it’s going to be a good weekend, for sure. I’m looking forward to it.”
For his part, Newgarden previously won at Mid-Ohio in 2017, when he also won the championship.
“With that momentum, the PPG Chevy team and I are feeling really dialed in for this weekend’s races,” Newgarden noted of his win in the second race on August 30.
“It’s another doubleheader and the first of several road courses, and we feel pretty good about that. Qualifying is so important at Mid-Ohio, and we feel great about our plan for that. With the race, it’s all about staying out of trouble in the corners and watching restarts. My guys always put together a fast car, and I’m sure that won’t be any different this weekend.”
While Dixon and Newgarden remain at the forefront of the title chase, Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio (Pato) O’Ward remains in third place. While he still is seeking his first career win, O’Ward was the only driver to finish on the podium in both Gateway events, with a third and second.
“It will be a good challenge for Arrow McLaren SP, and I’m looking forward to building on the success that I had there in 2018 with Indy Lights, getting both poles and both wins,” O’Ward proclaimed.
“Our objective is going to be the same as it has been the past couple of weeks: qualifying up front and try to score a couple of podium finishes.”
Race weekend: Saturday, Sept. 12 – Sunday, Sept. 13
Track: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, a 13-turn, a 2.258-mile road course in Lexington, Ohio
Race distance: 75 laps / 169.35 miles (Each race)
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate to be used during the event weekend. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.
Twitter: @Mid_Ohio, @IndyCar, #Honda200, #INDYCAR
Event website: www.midohio.com/
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2019 race winner: Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda)
2019 NTT P1 Award winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 1:04.6802, 125.677 mph
Qualifying record: Simon Pagenaud, 1:03.8700, 127.271 mph, July 30, 2016
NBC/NBCSN telecasts: Race 1, 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 12 (live); Race 2, 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 13 (live); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the telecasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.
NBC Sports Gold livestreaming: Saturday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice session and Saturday and Sunday’s qualifying sessions will stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query and Nick Yeoman are the turn announcers. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES races are broadcast live on Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. Live coverage of NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying is available on XM 205, IndyCar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
At-track schedule (all times local)
Saturday, Sept. 12
10:45 a.m.-noon: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, NBC Sports Gold (live)
2:00-2:30 p.m.: Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award – Race 1 (Two groups), NBC Sports Gold (live)
4:30 p.m.: NBCSN on air
4:53 p.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”
5:00 p.m.: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio – Race 1 (75 laps/169.35 miles), NBCSN (Live)
Sunday, Sept. 13
10:15-10:45 a.m.: Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award – Race 2 (Two groups), NBC Sports Gold (Live)
12:58 p.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”
1:00 p.m.: NBC on air
1:05 p.m.: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio – Race 2 (75 laps/169.35 miles), NBC (Live)
For Saturday, look for Dixon to continue his dominance and extend his points. As for Sunday, that may be the more eventful of the two races, as can often be the case with doubleheaders. Sunday, Will Power is my pick to win and make it to Victory Lane for the first time in 2020. Last year, he led 26 laps but fell short of his first victory of 2020.
Header Image By Matt Fraver/INDYCAR