Mid Ohio Wrap Up

Scott McLaughlin leads Alex Palou and Colton Herta. Indycar photo by Joe Skibinski

I hope everyone had a good day yesterday. I have a few more thoughts about Mid Ohio. I watched the replay yesterday, and it confirmed my thoughts from Sunday. Today I’ll explore some of the after effects of the Honda Indy 200.

Andretti Drama Continues

The on track intramural bumping and banging between the Andretti teammates resulted in some harsh words from one driver post race and a team meeting. One media member was asked to delete a recording which he had every right to make, and a driver interview was cut short by team PR.

We may never know what was said in the team meeting, but I don’t think we’ll see a mid season driver change. It would be too complicated to do with sponsor commitments. The team has been in a state of dysfunction all year, and Sunday it boiled over.

Another Good Crowd

Attendance this weekend appears to have continued the season long trend of improved attendance at Indycar events. I though Saturday’s crowd was quite large and Sunday the esses seemed very packed.

Toronto should have a really good crowd as the race returns for the first time since 2019. Iowa will be a key race for attendance. Will the festival concept draw more fans? Are ovals outside IMS sustainable?

Is Newgarden Still the Favorite?

Josef Newgarden

Although he lost a couple of points to leader Marcus Ericsson, many still regard Josef Newgarden as the favorite to win the championship. The reason is the three oval races coming up. Newgarden has won three times at Iowa and twice at Gateway. Toronto is almost a must win for Ericsson.

Rookie of the Year Battle Still Tight

Christian Lungaard leads David Malukas by 14 points after Sunday. Malukas seems to be coming on strong and I think he will eventually pass Lundgaard.

David Malukas

Lundgaard’s lead has stayed between 13 and 19 points over the last few races, but Malukas is making great strides while Lundgaard seems to be treading water The rookie title may come down to the last race at Laguna Seca.

Photo Gallery

A few photos from the weekend.

Colton Herta leads Rinus VeeKay and Felix Rosenqvist toward turn 4
Pato O’Ward lost a huge opportunity to gain ground in the standings with his second straight DNF
Practice 2 begins
Waiting for practice to start

Quick Thoughts- Honda Indy 200

Scott McLaughlin is 2022’s second multiple race winner. He won the season opener in St. Pete.

Today at Mid Ohio was team day. Teams as a whole either had a great day or an awful one. Mistakes were made. The pace car stayed busy. I don’t think it was the best race of the year, but it was quite entertaining, especially from modpack back.

Very Good Days

Team Penske cars finished first, third, and seventh.

Chip Ganassi Racing finished second, fifth, and sixth.

Meyer Shank finished eightth and tenth.

Ed Carpenter Racing finished fourth and Dale Coyne Racing with HMD finished ninth.

Not So Good Days

A. J. Foyt Racing lost Kyle Kirkwood early and then Tatiana Calderon a few laps later. Kirkwood was firmly in the top 10 at the time of hois spin.

Arrow McLaren SP’s promisinfg day went south when Felix Rosenqvist’s car stopped on trackmjust six laps into the race. Pole sitter Pato O’Ward began having gear troubles about halfway through the race and stalled exiting the pits.

Andretti Drama

Has Alexander Rossi already checked out of the team? He collided with teammates Romain Grosjean,Colton Herta, and Devlin DeFrancesco, pushing eaqch one off the track.

I would love to listen in on the team debrief tonight.

Will Power

He started 21st, spun on the first lap, passed eighteen cars on track and finished third. It was exciting to watch him slice his way to the front. He gained seven points on leader Marcus Ericsson. No question who the Driver of the Day is.

Is a Yellow for Safety or Team Convenience?

Should Indycar wait to throw a yellow so all teams can pit under green? When tatiana Calderon stopped in turn four, some cars had pitted and others were just about to. Pato O’Ward’s stalled car neaqr pit exit forced their hand.

I think if a car is disabled and a yellow is warranted, it needs to wave as soon as possible. Pit windows should not be a consideration. If a yellow comes while you’re in the poits, it’s the breaks of the game.

I will have a follow up story tomorrow. I am heading back to Indy now,Thanks for following along this weekend.

Malukas Quickest in Morning Warmup

David Malukas led tahe Indycar field in the just completred morning warmup for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid Ohio. Malukas turned his fast lap of 1:07:7110 late in the session. Alex Palou finished second, o.24 seconds behind Malukas. Pole sitter Pato O’Ward was 17th.

Josef Newgarden set the early pace as he started the session on the red alternate tire. Points leader Marcus Ericsson, Palou, and Romain Grosjean also led at different times.

I like Palou’s chances today. It is rare that the defending series champion doesn’t win a race the following year.

The top 12:

Race Day at Mid Ohio

Today’s Schedule:

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

8:30 AM – 9:15 AMPorsche Sprint ChallengeRace 2
9:45AM – 10:15AMNTT INDYCAR SERIESWarm-Up Peacock
10:35AM – 11:35AMIndy LightsRace Peacock
12:00 PMNTT INDYCAR SERIESDriver Introductions
12:55 PMNTT INDYCAR SERIESRace (80 Laps) NBC, Peacock
3:00 PM-3:45 PMStadium Super TrucksRace 2

Starting lineup

Today’s Honda Indy 200 has a lot at stake. The top three in the standings are starting 13th , 14th, and 21st. The next three in the points start 3rd, 5th, and 7th. The standings may shuffle at the end of the day.

Points leader Marcus Ericsson has one job this afternoon – stay ahead of Will Power and Joisef Newgaqrden. Ericsson starts 13th and Newgarden, third in points, is next to him on the grid. Power, 27 points behind Ericsson, has a more challenging task from 21st.

Pato O’Ward hopes to turn his first pole of the season into his second victory of the year. O’Ward needs a win to stay in the title fight. He is currently fourth in the standings 45 points behind Ericsson.

A Great Day for Rookies?

David Malukas, Kyle Kirkwood, and Callum Ilott start eighth, ninth, and tenth respectively. All have been fast in practice and occasionally in qualifying, but they have few good results in the race. Today could be a good day for all three rookies. Malukas seeks his first top 10 of the year. Kirkwood has a 10th at long Beach and Ilott finished eightth at the GMR Grand Prix on the IMS road course.

It should be an interesting race with some ususal race contenders starting mid pack. Mid Ohio tends to be a track position race. The number and length of caution periods may embolden some drivers to go off strategy, which can be risky at this track.

Back after the morning warm up.

O’Ward Pole Ties Series Record

Some quick thought on today’s qualifying. A more detailed story will comer later tonight.

Pato O’Ward is the ninth different pole winner in the nine Indycar races in 2022. The last time nine different drivers won poles for the first nine races was 1961.

O’Ward on track

O’Ward thinks that Will Power would have been a threat for the pole had he not received a penaltty in Round 1 for interference.

The top three in points were eliminated in Round 1. Points leader Marcus Ericsson will start 13th, Will Power lines up21st, and Josef Newgarden will stat 14th. O’Ward sits fourth in point, 45 points behind Ericsson. Tomorrow is a hiuge opportunity for the Arrow McLaren SP driver.

Rookies Shine

Three rookies made the second round and two just missed advancing to the final round.

Kyle Kirkwood earned his best starting spot of the season. He starts ninth, justmissing the Fast Six.

Kyle Kirkwood

David Malukas continues to improve and will be eighth on the grid Sunday.

Callum Ilott starts 10th.


Scott Dixon has his bestb road course starting position in fifth.

Nice to see Simon Pagenaud make the Fast Six. The Meyer Shank team has struggled in qualifying this year.

Back later with more about today’s very interesting qualifying.

Herta Paces Practice 2

Colton Herta turned a lap of 1:07.027 late in this morning’s practice to lead the final practice round before qualifying this afternoon. Herta’s lap came just before the third red flag ot yhe morning halted practie about 90 seconds early.

Rinus VeeKay had led the majority of the practice until the final push by other drivers dropped his time to sixth. Will Power finished second and Josef mewgarden was third. Power’s time was only 0.003 seconds behind Herta. Newgarden was 0.034 seconds off the pace.

Three red flags interrupted the session. Just two and a half minutes into the session, Devlin DeFrancesco went off track in turn 2 and had cintact with the barrier. With about 30 minutes left Dalton Kellett went into the turn 12 tire barrier. The final stoppage happened with only a minute and 23 seconds left. Will Power oulled his car off course in turn 4 and stopped. The carbwas towed back to the paddock.

No external damage to Power’s car

The results set up a fascinating second qualifying group with Herta, Newgarden, Alex Palou, and Pato O’Ward. We could see a three round duel between Herta and Newgarden.

The top 13:

Mid Ohio Saturday: Qualifying Could Determine Race Results

Today’s schedule:

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

8:00 AM – 8:20 AMPorsche Sprint ChallengeQualifying
8:35 AM – 9:15 AMIndy LightsPractice 2
9:30 AM – 10:30 AMNTT INDYCAR SERIESPractice 2 Peacock
10:45 AM – 11:25 AMUSF 2000Race 2
11:40 AM – 12:30 PMIndy Pro 2000Race 1
12:45 PM – 1:30 PMPorsche Sprint ChallengeRace 1
1:45 PM – 2:05 PMIndy LightsQualifying
2:45 PM – 4:00 PMNTT INDYCAR SERIESQualifying Peacock
4:15 PM – 4:45 PMStadium Super TrucksRace 1
5:00 PM – 5:40 PMUSF2000Race 3
5:55 PM – 6:40 PMIndy Pro 2000Race 2
After DuskFireworks

Today is arguably the most crucial day of the weekend for drivers hoping for a good race result. Mid Ohio is a track where qualifying usually determines how the race will go. The last three Hnda Indy 200s have been won from the pole. Drivers I talked to yesterday agreed that qualifying is critical.

From last night- https://thepitwindow.blog/2022/07/01/mid-ohio-practice-1-newgarden-leads-a-very-hot-session/

Today’s forecast has temperatures in the low eighties for qualifying, about 10 degrees cooler trhan yesterday. Practice leader Josef Newgarden said after practice that the heat caused low grip, which should improve today. newgarden also noted that the new Firestone tire takes longer to come up to temperature.


The top 19 cars were withiun a secomd of each other in practice Friday.

The 11 and 14 cars for . A. J. Foyt Racing are easier to distinguish this weekend. Tatiana Calderon’s number 11 has a white band across the top of the aeroscreen and a white camera pod. kirkwood’s nmber 14 remainms allblack with a yellow green camera pod.

It is difficult to finsd Marcus Ericsson on track since he is in a green and black car this weekend.

I’ll have more after In get to the track.