Mid Ohio Preview-Qualifying Up Front Key to Success

Good morning from Mid Ohio Sports Car Course.

Today’s schedule:

Festival Gate Hours: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM 

8:00 AM – 8:30 AMIndy Pro 2000Practice
8:45 AM – 9:15 AMUSF2000Practice
9:30 AM – 10:10 AMPorsche Sprint ChallengePractice
10:25 AM – 10:50 AMIndy Pro 2000Qualifying 1
11:10 AM – 11:40 AMUSF2000Qualifying
11:55 AM – 12:25 PMStadium Super TrucksPractice
12:40 PM – 1:20 PMPorsche Sprint ChallengePractice 2
1:35 PM – 2:05 PMIndy Pro 2000Qualifying 2
2:20 PM – 3:10 PMIndy LightsPractice 1
3:30 PM – 4:45 PMNTT INDYCAR SERIESPractice 1 Peacock
5:15 PM – 5:55 PMUSF2000Race 1

Indycar returns to Mid Ohio for its 39th race at the track built by the late Jim Trueman. The race is nearing Long Beach longevity territory. Winners at Mid Ohio generally start in the first two rows. The most notable exception was Scott Dixon in 2014, who started last because of a penalty during qualifying yet still mfound a way to win.

Things to look for this weekend.

Qualifying is Key

The last three Honda Indy 200 races have been won by the pole winner. In the history of the race 15 drivers have won from the pole. However, six of those have come in the last 11 years, Bottom line- if you want to have success at Mid Ohio, get into the Fast Six on Saturday.

Lots of Favorites as the Title Fight Continues

Five drivers have the potential to win Sunday.

Dixon has six wins at this track, and he has to be in the conversation as a favorite this year. He has stiff competition from his own team, as points leader Marcus Ericsson and 2021 series champion Alex Palou also have a shot at winning on Sunday.

Josef Newgarden, the 2021 winner, has three wins this season, and is third in the standings. If he doesn’t win Newgarden needs to finish ahead of Ericsson and Palou.

Alexander Rossi has been surging since the Indianapolis 500. Rossi three top fives and a pole in the last three races.

Will the Pole Streak Continue?

Qualifying in the 2022 season has seen something that hasn’t happened since 1961. In that earlier time the season beaqgn with nine different pole winners in the first nine races. In 2022 each of the eight races has had a different driver lead the field to the green flag. Tomorrow we could see the record tied, but I’m not so sure. The second hakf of the year is when the better teams and drivers begin to assert themselves.

Who could be the ninth polesitter? My favorites are Alex Palou, Marcus Ericsson, or Romain Grosjean.

Tatiana’s Last Ride?

There has been talk that funding issues may cause the 11 car of A. J. Foyt Racing, driven b Tatiana Calsderon, to cease operations after Mid Ohio. Rokit, the sponsor apparently is behind in payments. My understanding is nthat Kyle Kirkwood’s seat in the 14 car is not affected.

Tatiana Calderon

It’s always sad to lose a car midseason. This especially hurts since Calderon is the only woman on the grid, although she only does roaqd courses.

The potential end to her season hurts even more as Paretta Autosport with Simona DeSilvestro will make its second appearance of the season this weekend. It has been seven years since multiole women participated in an Indycar race, and Sunday might be the teh last time for awhile.