IndyCar Honda 200
The Verizon IndyCar series’ very last race before a -week destroy – the nearest thing to a summer time damage the collection having had on-track interest either each week or each different week given that round 2 of the season at lengthy beach on April 9 – takes place this weekend with the Honda Indy two hundred from the Mid-Ohio sports activities car route (Sunday, three p.m. ET, CNBC with encore 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
Certainly the mission of the weekend on the elaborate, regularly temperature touchy everlasting street route is nailing qualifying and making sure you’re no longer caught through an unwell-timed caution flag.
Right here’s what to search for in advance of this weekend’s race.
2017 Honda Indy 200 – talking factors
Dixon’s proverbial happy looking ground
Scott Dixon has the points lead, just, as he heads to a music that has usually suited his style. With five Mid-Ohio wins (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014), Dixon is the modern-day master of Mid-Ohio, but wishes his 2nd win of the season within the No. 9 NTT facts Honda to hold off the surge of crew Penske drivers this weekend. He’s up via 3 heading into Mid-Ohio over Helio Castroneves (423-420).
The surging six in the back of him
Three of the six trails Dixon by means of simply 23 points or fewer, whilst fifth through 7th ought to make a pass into title contention earlier than the very last run of four races in five weekends with a strong Mid-Ohio.
In the first organization, Castroneves (420), defending Mid-Ohio winner Simon Pagenaud (404) and Toronto winner Josef Newgarden (400) have a degree of momentum all on their aspect. Castroneves has been on top of his recreation all 12 months and appears to be driving for his future in IndyCar, relying on whether he gets moved to Penske’s new Acura sports vehicle program. Pagenaud regarded the most on form he has been all season at Toronto, and this race last yr defined Pagenaud’s name push. Newgarden hasn’t been fazed by his transition to Penske and is certainly one of best three drivers with wins this 12 months. Any of them may want to overtake Dixon this weekend.
Further again, Will power (359), Graham Rahal (359) and Takuma Sato (351) aren’t out of identify rivalry but will be after the weekend. Energy, pretty, has in no way won at Mid-Ohio at the same time as Rahal’s 2015 win become a popular one. Sato desires to stem the tide of bad consequences with 16th area or worse finishes in every of the remaining three races. He truly become on pace for a top-five right here remaining 12 months before getting nerfed via Sebastien Bourdais.
Rahal’s home race
No race is extra essential outside of Indianapolis to Graham Rahal and the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda entry for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing than this one at Mid-Ohio. Like James Hinchcliffe remaining race in Toronto, for Rahal, coming home to the tune closest to Columbus is both a privilege and a obligation to meet the desires of the house lovers.
Tires and temperatures
Mid-Ohio’s surface is famend for getting better and grippier as the day gets longer. much like road the united states, count on Firestone’s crimson exchange tires to be the price tag for drivers and teams this weekend. And like for Honda, it’s quite lots a home race for Firestone, with the track not some distance from the Bridgestone Americas Technical middle in Akron.
“Firestone Racing engineers are satisfied to be again at Mid-Ohio, a song simply 70 miles faraway from our Bridgestone Americas Technical center in Akron,” said Cara Adams, chief Engineer, Bridgestone Americas Motorsports. “For this year’s Honda Indy two hundred, the Firestone Firehawk primary tires have the equal creation and compound as this 12 months’s Indy Grand Prix tire. This is the same compound that turned into run at Mid-Ohio last year. The crimson sidewall alternates also are the identical tires that have been used at the Indy avenue direction; however the compound has a slight growth in grip and heat resistance over remaining yr’s Mid-Ohio compound.”
On street publications and Honda-backed races…
Here’s the scorecard this 12 months in phrases of who’s won wherein at the preceding 3 everlasting street courses and two Honda-sponsored races:
Everlasting avenue guides: Barber (Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet), Indy GP (Will electricity, Chevrolet), road the us (Scott Dixon, Honda)
Honda-subsidized races: Barber (Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet), Toronto (Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet)
So the field of thirteen Hondas will be trying to win once in a race it sponsors at another of the manufacturer’s domestic races. A plant in Maryville, Ohio isn’t too far from the song and that is constantly an occasion that sees quite a few Honda people come to the race.
Newgarden and the rest of crew Penske, in the meantime, will appearance to rebound from that road america near-omit the quartet had and preserve Penske and Chevrolet’s streak intact of prevailing in Honda-subsidized races, which except the two this yr also includes Simon Pagenaud (Barber), strength (Toronto) and Pagenaud (Mid-Ohio) prevailing all three for Chevrolet in 2016. Rahal, at 2015 in Mid-Ohio, is the final Honda motive force to win a race sponsored by means of Honda.
Method has jumbled the finishing order the last few years. In 2016, Carlos Munoz, Conor Daly, Spencer Pigot and Takuma Sato used off-collection moves to return from 15th or decrease to the top-10. Further in 2015, Scott Dixon turned into the simplest top-five starter to finish inside the top-10; the opposite nine began anywhere from 7th to 24th and final. And in 2014, Dixon won from 22nd and last at the grid, with three others beginning 17th or worse additionally making it within the pinnacle-10. The warning-loose 2013 race, won by using Charlie Kimball, featured 8 of the pinnacle-10 finishers having began in the top-10.
As of Wednesday, Mikhail Aleshin was listed to pressure the No. 7 Lucas Oil SPM Honda this weekend, but the team hadn’t showed it but.
The very last phrase
From Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 10 NTT records Honda, who hasn’t won this year but describes how a laugh Mid-Ohio is: “i really like racing at Mid-Ohio with the huge, unswerving fan base we’ve created there through the years. It’s simply constantly so amusing to come back to this tune and placed on a good display for the lovers, who have so much ardour for what we do on the road direction. I accept as true with i’ve around 15 begins at Mid-Ohio, so I absolutely have some records obtainable and would like to feature a win this yr. We had a rough race in Toronto, so I think it changed into an awesome factor for us to take the weekend and regroup earlier than heading into Mid-Ohio this weekend. Obviously, Scott (Dixon) has demonstrated how robust he’s at Mid-Ohio, so we’ll just try to get as a great deal facts as we will from him and hopefully snag a miles-wanted podium-end for the No. 10 NTT statistics Honda.”