Ryan Norman Set for Indycar Debut at Mid Ohio

Photo form Dale Coyne Racing Twitter Account

The release from Dale Coyne Racing:

Plainfield, IL (June 24, 2021) – Indy Lights Series graduate and Cleveland, Ohio native, Ryan Norman will be making his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut next weekend at the Honda Indy 200 aboard the No. 52 Koinu Inu / EVO entry of Dale Coyne Racing with RWR at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Norman, who will be representing partners Koinu Inu, EVO and Three Chord Bourbon on his No. 52 Honda, had the opportunity earlier this week to test with the team at his home track alongside Romain Grosjean ahead of his first official appearance as an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver next week.

“My goal throughout my whole racing career has been to become an NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver,” said Norman. “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 23-year-old driver started his racing career on two wheels in his native Cleveland, Ohio and was a successful motocross racer. He transitioned to cars in 2015 and found immediate success, winning in multiple classes and winning the SCCA Formula Atlantic Championship.

Norman then moved to the competitive Indy Lights Series in 2017 where he drove for Andretti Autosport and scored podiums and victories over three seasons finishing fourth in the Championship.

Recently, he joined Bryan Herta Autosport in 2020 to compete full-time in the #33 Hyundai Veloster N TCR and won the drivers’ championship alongside co-driver Gabby Chaves. For 2021, Norman joined Parker Chase in the #98 Elantra N TCR.

The former Indy Lights driver will get a first chance to measure himself to the rest of the field on Friday, July 2 from 2:30pm ET during the first practice session. The Honda Indy 200 goes green on Sunday, July 4 at 12:05pm ET and will be broadcast live on NBC.

About Koinu Inu
What is Koinu Inu?
Koinu Inu ($KOINU) is a team-built, community driven ERC-20 token project that combines three of the most popular & rapidly growing industries in the world – DeFi (Cryptocurrency), Video Games + Gambling. The team’s goal is simple and attractive – to become the world’s most popular and profitable eSports Casino & Token Marketplace.

What can it do?
The $KOINU platform will allow holders to wager tokens against others in popular eSports titles like Call of Duty, Overwatch, League of Legends, Valorant, Rocket League & many more. Token holders will also be able to wager tokens on Professional eSports matches to win a portion of a shared prize pool.

About EVO
EVO is a revolutionary athlete-development company which plans to eliminate the financial burdens of tomorrow’s champions and change the way fans experience sports through the power of investment. EVO aims to take skilled professional athletes in individual sports and provide them with world-class development and support, in exchange for a share of future earnings. A portion of those earnings will be shared with EVO investors, and this model will allow athletes to focus on winning, without the burdens of financial constraints.

About Three Chord Bourbon
WHO WE ARE
Founded by music legend, Neil Giraldo, Three Chord celebrates creativity, community, and tradition by bringing together the award-winning musician and producer’s love of whiskey and music with his passion for conversations with family and friends.

Inspired by the simplicity yet infinite expressions of the three chord progression — the foundation of the blues — Neil collaborated with master blender and distiller, Ari Sussman, to bring together notes from a variety of whiskies to create products with distinctive flavor profiles that balances simplicity and complexity in perfect harmony.

WHAT WE DO
Three Chord sources high quality and rare whiskies from the top distilleries in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Indiana for use in blends, single-source bottlings, and special releases. By using carefully selected barrels and combining unique flavor profiles, Three Chord creates an expression that is greater than the sum of its parts. Three Chord whiskies are aged in heavy toast 4 char #1 barrels, French and American oak “hybrid” char #3 barrels, barrels imported from Cognac (not charred), and barrels from Spain, (not charred). After blending, they are returned to the barrels a second time, then bottled in Chelsea, Michigan.

For a full list of states of distribution and availability please visit http://www.ThreeChordBourbon.com

Grosjean Set for Oval Debut; News and Notes

A few noteworthy items as we head into the weekend at Detroit.

Romain Grosjean will run his first oval race at Gateway in August. Grosjean originally planned to run only the street and road course races, but had left Gateway open as a possibility. The run at the Madison, Illinois track may be a prelude for Grosjean to attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 next year.

Grosjean earned the pole for the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month, finishing second in the race after leading the most laps

Mid Ohio Paddock Passes on Sale

Mid Ohio will allow fans paddock access at the Honda Indy 200. The announcement yesterday said that paddock and pit passes are now on sale. Mid Ohio joins Detroit and Road America as tracks allowing fans paddock access as things slowly return to normal.

Detroit Unmasked

The Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit now has no mask requirement for fans while outdoors. Inside buildings, masks are required for unvaccinated people. The race initially had attendance limited to 20% of capacity, but that restriction is also no longer in effect. Race organizers have opened up more reserved grandstand seating, but they are still limiting the number of general admission tickets sold.

We may be seeing the end of fan restrictions as the series moves ionto the second half of the season.

Who Gets Race 17?

There are three options to replace the cancelled Toronto race- a double header at Mid Ohio, a double header at Gateway, or no replacement at all.

Mid Ohio makes the most sense since the track and Toronto have the same promoter, Green Savoree. Gateway is a good choice since that would give the series another oval race. Doing nothing might be what happens if a television window is not available for the additional race.

I think there will be a 17th race. Time is not on Mid Ohio’s side, but since the track hosted a double header on short notice last year, it could still happen.

Mid Ohio Ticket Sales Begin Next Week

Mid Ohio Sports car Course announced today that ticket sales will begin next week for their racing season, which includes the July 4 NTT Indycar Series Honda Indy 200. season renewals begin next Tuesday and two weeks later sales to the general public start. The release did not state spectator limits for any events. Last year the Indycar weekend was limited to 6,00 fans per day. I hope that limit can be raised a bit for this year.

The release:

Ticket sales dates announced for 60th season of racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
The Mid-Ohio School opens 2021 course enrollments today
LEXINGTON, Ohio (March 16, 2021) – The 60th season of racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will feature its five traditional events in 2021. The legendary road course in Lexington, Ohio, will showcase some of the premier series in all of motorsports for fans as it returns to a full slate of racing starting in May.   On Tuesday, March 23, the renewal period begins for Mid-Ohio Season Race Pass and Season Motorhome spaces for 2020 customers. Then, on Tuesday, April 6, event tickets will go on sale at advance pricing at a savings before standard pricing begins on Tuesday, April 27. Renewal customers on file will be notified directly with further details.
“We sincerely thank our fans for their patience and understanding as our team worked tirelessly during the 2020 season to host as many events as possible,” said Craig Rust, president of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. “Now with the 2021 season and our 60th season of racing upon us, we are looking forward to getting back to a full schedule of racing and look forward to seeing the fans back at the track.
“Things will kick off in April with The Mid-Ohio School as today we open enrollments for our 2021 classes for teenage drivers, racers and our sportbike enthusiasts,” Rust continued.
Starting in 1993 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, The Mid-Ohio School offers defensive driving, high performance, racing, and corporate entertainment programs plus performance track riding for motorcyclists. Its range of course dates and pricing are posted at midohioschool.com.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course schedule for its 60th season follows:
May 14-16 – Acura Sports Car Challenge (IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event) June 4-5 – B&L Transport 170 at Mid-Ohio (NASCAR Xfinity Series / ARCA Menards Series) June 25-27 – Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio (Sportscar Vintage Racing Association / Trans Am) July 2-4 – The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (NTT INDYCAR SERIES event) July 23-25 – AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days (AMA’s annual motorcycling celebration)
All courses and events will continue to be held based on the ongoing guidance of the CDC and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings surrounding COVID-19. All the necessary protocols for race fans and course participants can be found at midohio.com/covid19.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course offers one of the best family values in all of live sports and entertainment. Children 12 and under always receive free general admission when accompanied by a ticketed adult. All the ticket options and pricing are posted online at midohio.com

Quick Thoughts- Mid Ohio Race 2: The Weekend Andretti Needed

Photo: Matt Fraver, Indycar

Andretti Autosport took out their season long frustration on the Mid Ohio track this weekend. Outside of Marco Andretti’s  pole at Indianapolis and a third place for Alexander Rossi at Road America in Race 2, not much has gone right for the team. This weekend’s team record: four of the six podium spots, including a podium sweep yesterday; a pole, a victory, two front row starts, and 66 laps led.

Colton Herta owned yesterday. He edged Santino Ferrucci for the pole, and drove a clinical , masterful race similar to his win at Laguna Seca last year. Herta has moved to fourth in the standings with his third career win. Ferrucci’s fast lap in the first qualifying group was amazing. The track was still very wet, yet he easily topped the rest of his section.

Seventh place for Will Power yesterday had to seem like a win for him. After his Saturday dominance, Power spun on his qualifying out lap and started 17th. He could have started further back had  other drivers not had issues as well.

Scott Dixon’s drive after his spin was the most exciting thing to watch the last 50 laps. His last lap pass on VeeKay, who has made some incredible passes himself this year, was a beautiful inside move in turn 4. Dixon got just 1 more point for the effort, but he needs every point he can get. Newgarden has gained 44 points on Dixon in the last three races. Dixon still has a 72 point lead with as many as three races to go.

While there wasn’t much drama at the front of the field, there was again some very entertaining action behind the leaders.

I understand the need to shorten the races on a double header weekend this season, but 5 more laps might have made this pair of races more interesting. It was  obvious they would be two stop races with little room for strategy. The lack of yellows Saturday and the the two very early yellows Sunday didn’t allow for any changes to teams’ original plans.

Ferrucci may be a decent driver ( I’m still not completely sold on him) , but he needs to be a little less impulsive. Coming back on the track the way he did could have made the first lap incident much worse than it was.

Rinus VeeKay was just half a lap short of getting two top tens. Dixon’s pass on the last lap knocked him back to 11th Sunday after his 8th place finish Saturday. Overall, this was one of Ed Carpenter racing’s strongest rtoad course weekends in awhile. Conor Daly was in position Saturday fora top ten until a fuel issue droped him back in the last couple of laps.

Alexander Rossi finally had a decent weekend. Perhaps the most frustrated driver on the Andretti Autosport team, Rossi move in to podium spots quickly both days and didn’t yield his position. I hope he can continue this weekend’s strong run into the Harvest Classic.

Mid Ohio Sports Car Course did a great job with COVID protocols. people kept their distance, staff not only enforced the mask requirement, they also enforced the number of people per square limit. I only saw one group with more than the four person limit in a square, and a staff member asked them to split up. They complied. The track hopes to get clearance for a larger crowd for the IMSA race in two weeks.

I didn’t understand why the grandstands were closed. I thought that have in some of them open would allow the crowd to spread out even more. It seemed as if the majority of the 6,000 spectators were in the esses.

Was this the last Indycar weekend where fans will be allowed? there is no word yet on the situation for the Harvest Classic at IMS. I am still not optimistic about St. Pete happening. With the success that othet tracks have had with limited crowd sizes and the plan IMS produced for the 500, I think a limited number of fans could attend. We should know soon.

 

Herta Wins Pole, Ferrucci on Front Row

Colton Herta survived a wet and wild qualifying session to take the pole for Race 2 at Mid Ohio. Yesterday’s pole winner Will Power spun on his out lap, causing a red flag . He will start at the rear of the field.

Jack Harvey spun and crashed into the there’s causing some damage to the rear of the car. Pato O’Ward also spun but his car was not damaged.

Both group sessions were disjointed with red flag interruptions.

Points leader Scott Dixon will start 3rd. Josef Newgarden, who trails Dixon by 76 points, starts 9th.

Starting Lineup coming in a bit.

Power Looks for Mid Ohio Sweep; Dixon Hopes to Extend Lead

Today’s schedule

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Today’s race is on NBC. Make sure to set your recording on the proper channel.

Can Will Power sweep the weekend? I think he has the best chance to win both poles and both races anyone has had his year. Scott Dixon needs to finish ahead if Josef Newgarden today to regain momentum.

Pato O’Ward had a disappointing day yesterday. I hope he can salvage part of the weekend.

Can Andretti Autosport find that little extra today?

I’ll have a brief report post qualifying. My Quick Thoughts will be up tomorrow morning.

Quick Thoughts- Mid Ohio Race 1

Photo: Matt Fraver, Indycar

It was obvious after qualifying that Will Power was going to have a monster race. Any driver who can win the pole from Group 1 in this qualifying format has a really good car. The bad news for the rest of the field is that Power is in Group 2 tomorrow. The expected rain means Group 1 will got out on a green And possibly slightly wet track.

Although Power had the race well in hand, there were some good battles behind him. Alexander Rossi and teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay fought early. Rossi and Graham Rahal had a late battle for third. The Rahal home crowd perked up when Rahal nearly got by. Scott Dixon and Colton Herta also had a good fight for tenth.

If Conor Daly hadn’t run out of fuel, Rd Carpenter Racing would have had two cars in the top ten. Daly qualified fourth. Perhaps ECR might be getting more competitive on the road courses. Rinus VeeKay had another top ten. He also made another great pass in turn 4 on Herta.

It was one of Andretti Autosport’s best days of the season, with three cars in the top ten plus the Meyer Shank team getting another top ten with Jack Harvey. Hunter-Reay also started on the front row.

Speaking of Harvey, he just quietly goes about his business and keeps getting good results.

Power’s 60th pole and 38th career win move him closer to joining two legends. He is just seven poles behind Mario Andretti and one win behind Al Unser, Sr. for fifth place. He passed Sebastien Bourdain’s today on the victory list.

Josefs Newgarden made up 20 points on Scott Dixon today. How many can Dixon get back tomorrow? Dixon’s biggest ally is time.

COVID Protocols

Mid Ohio did a great job keeping fans safe. Masks were worn more today than at any other track with fans I’ve been to. Staff reminded people who had masks off to wear them and fans complied. The squares painted in orange for people to sit in were hard to see. White paint or chalk might have been better. I appreciate the concept and people respected the boundaries.

The track is hoping the success of their protocols this weekend will allow them to host more fans for the IMSA race on two weeks. All 6,000 tickets for today we’re sold.

I’ll be back with a Day 2 preview in the morning. Quick Thoughts for tomorrow’s race will be up Monday morning. Thanks for following this weekend.

Results

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