Quick Thoughts- Honda Indy 200

That was one of the most entertaining Mid Ohio races I’ve ever seen. There was lots of action and passing in the esses.

Will Power must have nightmares about Felix Rosenqvist coming up behind him. He passed Power twice today and also got by Power at St. Pete.

Speaking of Rosenqvist, he had the drive of the day.

I can’t remember the last time Ganassi cars finished 1-2. I’m thinking 2013 or earlier.

Who would have won if the race went 95 laps?

Horrible start of the day both Arrow Schmidt Peterson cars.

Rossi doesn’t seem to be bale to catch Penske cars. He didn’t seem to have anything for Power.

Josef Newgarden’s spin out dented his points lead significantly.  He still has a lead he can easily maintain with his usual results.

Dixon is the fourth multiple race winner this year.  Four drivers have won 11 of the 13 races.

There were some good battles between Spencer Pigot and Colton Herta all day. They seemed pretty equal in speed all weekend.

I love watching cars go side by side through turn 5 at Mid Ohio.

Look for my full race report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow.  I have two special features coming up this week.

 

 

Dixon Fastest in Mid Ohio Practice 1

Scott Dixon led the opening practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid Ohio. The NTT Indycar Series session ended with a mix of Hondas and Chevys in the top ten. Dixon’s best lap was 1:06.097. Spencer Pigot finished second with a 1:06.245 circuit.  Points leader Josef Newgarden was fourth quick, 0.209 seconds behind. The other championship contenders had mixed results.  Simon Pagenaud was third, 0.169 behind Dixon. Alexander Rossi ended the session 13th, more than a second down to the leader.

Jack Harvey was 11th quick in his return to the series with Meyer Shank Racing. R. C. Enerson, driving his first Indycar race in three years for Carlin Racing, was 21st. Enerson completed a session  high 24 laps.  Felix Rosenqvist was the fastest rookie. He finished eighth, 0.508 seconds off Dixon’s lap.

The next Indycar practice is at 3:15 pm EDT.

A couple more photos from this morning:

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Felix Rosenqvist slides to a stop between turns 4 and 5
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Colton Herta leads Santino Ferrucci and Max Chilton into the esses.

Dixon Leads Practice One; Turn 11 Proves Tricky

Scott Dixon led the first practice session for the Honda Indy Toronto this morning. His lap of 1:01.072 was nearly two tenths better than Josef Newgarden’s best time. Dixon’s teammate Felix Rosenqvist was third quickest. and Alexander Rossi was fourth. This is the NTT Indycar Series’ first race since Road America June 23.

Newgarden, Will Power, and Takuma Sato each spun on the exit of turn 11 causing stoppages to the session.  Newgarden bent the rear tow link in his incident. Ther is an expoxy patch in the center of the road just past the turn’s apex. if the car straddles the patch, no problem. If the tires touch it, there could be an issue.

Rossi led the session until the last five minutes when Dixon passed him. Rossi’s final attempt at a decent lap was frustrated by his being behind another car, then not not having enough tires left for a quicker lap.

Notes

It’s difficult to get used to Sebastien  Bourdais in a blue car.

Karam’s car reminds me of Paul Dana’s car.

Turn three seems even trickier than it has been.

The next practice begins at 3:15 eastern. You can watch on NBC Gold. The coverage this morning was excellent.

The top 12:

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Race 2- Quick Thoughts

Scott Dixon knows how to correct mistakes.  After his crash yesterday left him in 22nd place, he comes back with a win. His first of the year and 45th career win. He is now fourth in points. Dixon got his first win at Detroit last year as well.  Could this be the start of his run for back to back titles ?

Alexander Rossi was the big gainer in points today. He moves to second place just 15 behind Josef Newgarden.

Nice to see all four Andretti cars in the top 10.

Great to finally see a podium for Arrow Schmidt Peterson.  Good job by Marcus Ericsson.

Ed Carpenter Racing drivers Spencer Pigot and Ed Jones can’t seem to put a complete race together consistently.

Like yesterday, half the elapsed time was under yellow consuming 33% of the laps.

I’m not sure these late red flags are any better than a green white checker.

Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal are the only drivers who had top ten finishes both days.

What a great comeback by Will Power after his early problem.

I hate when television switches to laps to go. They seemed to start with 48 laps left today, Way too early for that.  I can tolerate it with about 10 laps left.

Look for my full race report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow. I will have some photos up later tomorrow. If you like damaged cars, you’ll enjoy them.

 

Dixon Leads Practice 1

Scott Dixon had the fastest lap in the opening practice session for the Detroit Grand Prix. His best lap was 1:16.7418, a speed of 110.240 mph.  Four Hondas and two Chevrolets occupied the top six spots. Will Power was second, 0,3464 seconds behind Dixon.

The rest of the top six – Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Colton Herta.  Spencer Pigot was the only other Chevy driver in the top 10, in ninth place. Alexander Rossi, one of this weekend’s favorites, was eighth quickest.

The session was green until Sebastien Bourdais found the runoff area in turn seven with about eight minutes left. He tried to spin the car around and continue, but the car stalled.  The session resumed with about five minutes left.  Felix Rosenqvist spun into a runoff area, but the session continued.

The next practice is at 2:50 and the results will determine tomorrow’s qualifying groups. Pit stop practice follows the practice session.

More later.

The Early, Early Line

Happy New Year and welcome to another year of The Pit Window. Thanks to everyone for making 2018 a record year for this site.  Here are are some early predictions for the 2019 Indycar season. I may revise these after the Spring Training sessions at COTA next month.

2019 Champion– Alexander Rossi. Rossi made some mistakes that cost him the title last season. He seems to learn quickly and I don’t expect those errors to be repeated. Dixon has never won consecutive titles, which is why I am not picking him. Look for strong competition from Will Power and Josef Newgarden, as usual. Ryan Hunter-Reay rediscovered his groove and may gave his teammate a challenge as well.

Rookie of the Year- I’m  giving a slight edge to Felix Rosenqvist, mainly because of the team he drives for. Patricio O’Ward will present a strong challenge, especially with Harding Steinbrenner Racing receiving some technical support from Andretti, but Rosenqvist will provide strong support to Dixon in his title quest.

Indianapolis 500– Will Power. If any driver is gong to be the next back to back winner of the 500, Power is the one. He has become a master of ovals. Look for his dominance of May to continue. I can imagine the Victory Circle celebration if he returns there. Last year’s will seem tame.

Race Wins-  In 2018, four drivers each won three races. I think we will see a similar situation this season, although I look for Rossi to win a fourth race to give him the edge he needs for the title. Dixon will creep ever closer to the 50 win mark, but will need another year to get there and possibly two to pass Mario Andretti’s 52 victories.

A Brief Survey

I would like to hear from you. What stories did you enjoy the most last year? Which type of column did you not like?  Anything you would like to see more of, or less of? Please let me know.

The Roar

I will be heading to Daytona Saturday for The Roar Before the 24. Look for my coverage on Wildfire Sports. I may have some news regarding Wildfire soon.