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

Published by Spencer Neff

I am a lifelong auto racing fan. Through IndyCar1909, I look forward to sharing my passion for the series and its illustrious history with you.

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