Honda Indy 200 Live Thread

Can Anyone Stop Scott Dixon at Mid-Ohio? [Honda Indy 200 Live Thread]

8/4/13 in IndyCar   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Honda Indy 200 Live ThreadAfter a whirlwind May, June, and July, the IndyCar Series took a bit of a break the past few weeks, but return this Sunday to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Mid-Ohio is one of the longest serving venues on the circuit. IndyCars first started coming here in 1980, and with a few exceptions, have been coming ever sense.

The man of the hour remains Scott Dixon. The Kiwi has won the last three races, the 400 miler at Pocono and both races in the doubleheader at Toronto. As such, he has raced to 2nd in the championship and sits just 29 points back of Helio Castroneves. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, Mid-Ohio is Dixon's best track. He's won this race the last two years, 3 of the last 4, and 4 of the last six. However, he is not on the front row. He'll only start third.

On the pole is Ryan Hunter-Reay, who benefited from a call in qualifying to use scuffed reds in an earlier session, leaving a set of sticker reds for the Firestone Fast Six. Hunter-Reay had a bad weekend in Toronto and sits 69 points back. He needs a win to get back in the title hunt. Alongside Hunter-Reay is Will Power, who is still searching for his first win of the season. With Dixon third, the rest of the Firestone Fast Six are Marco Andretti, followed by the other two Ganassi cars: Charlie Kimball (a fine job after a practice crash necessitated going to the backup car) and Dario Franchitti. Helio, for his part, is starting back in 14th and will need to find something to get to the front and protect his points lead.

Mid-Ohio is one of the most challenging road courses in America. Unfortunately, that will likely mean that passing will be at a premium, and pit stops and pit strategy will be very important. The corners and evaluation changes do make it picturesque though.

Mid-Ohio for whatever reason usually sees multiple driver changes, and this year is no exception. Oriol Servia is back in the #4 Panther Racing National Guard car, as Ryan Briscoe continues to heal from a broken wrist suffered at Toronto. Briscoe in fact will be in the TV booth today with Leigh Diffey and Townsend Bell. The latest driver of the #18 Dale Coyne Racing car is James Davison. Davison ran Indy Lights in 2008 and 2009, winning twice and finishing 2nd in the 2009 championship. This is his first IndyCar start. Also making his first IndyCar start is Luca Filippi, who will drive the #98 Barracuda Racing car. The team has let go Alex Tagliani and are exploring their 2014 options. Filippi has extensive experience in the GP2 Series, and finished 2nd in the championship in 2011. Although he's starting last due to a mistake in qualifying, he's shown speed.

The broadcast has already started on NBC Sports Network, with green flag scheduled for 3:40. Timing and scoring can be found here, and More Front Wing's Event Summary can be found here. Q it up here throughout the Honda Indy 200.
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Points Standings:

1. Helio Castroneves 453
2. Scott Dixon -31
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay -65
4. Marco Andretti -76
5. Simon Pagenaud -103
6. Dario Franchitti -111
7. James Hinchcliffe -128
8. Charlie Kimball -128
9. Justin Wilson -133
10. Tony Kanaan -140

Five races left, the next one is in three weeks (because IndyCar's schedule is made by monkeys throwing darts) at Sonoma.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Unofficial Results:

1. Charlie Kimball (When he hit the series, I never thought Charlie would be more than an average driver. He has more than proved me wrong over the past year and a half or so. Well deserved victory and congratulations.)
2. Simon Pagenaud
3. Dario Franchitti (he bailed from the 2 stop strategy first, and it helped a lot)
4. Will Power (3 stop strategy was wrong, plain and simple)
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay (this race was a win against saving fuel)
6. Helio Castroneves (found a way to get a good result after a poor qualifying, huge for his title hopes)
7. Scott Dixon
8. Justin Wilson
9. Marco Andretti
10. James Hinchcliffe
11. Simona de Silvestro (spent most of the day in the top 10, but didn't happen in the end)
12. Sebastien Bourdais
13. James Jakes
14. Oriol Servia
15. James Davison
16. Luca Filippi (not a bad debut by either rookie)
17. EJ Viso -1 lap
18. Graham Rahal -1 lap (not what he wanted on his home track)
19. Sebastian Saavedra -1 lap
20. Ed Carpenter -1 lap
21. Tristan Vautier -1 lap
22. Takuma Sato -1 lap
23. Josef Newgarden -2 laps (as Jake Query tweeted to me and reported by Dave Furst on IndyCar radio, a right rear suspension problem is what put Josef 2 laps down)
24. Tony Kanaan DNF (Off Course)

For the second straight year, the race goes caution free. Points situation to come later.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Chip Ganassi fell off the pit wall and face planted celebrating the win. Lulz.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Charlie Kimball wins the Honda Indy 200, his first career IndyCar Series victory! Full results to come.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Dixon and Wilson both got by Marco. Helio and Dixon are 6th and 7th, but Wilson is ready and has many PTP's left.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

As we watch the battles between Marco, Dixon, and now Wilson, Kimball has grown the lead to over 4 seconds. 12 laps to go.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Helio, Marco, and Dixon in a knife fight for 6th-8th. Huge points implications there.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Pagenaud pits, gets out ahead of Kimball. Charlie gets into the dirt exiting 1, but gets to Simon on the backstretch, uses his last PTP, and passes for the lead in the Esses! Great stuff!

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Kimball is having trouble getting around Viso's lapped car. Pagenaud is trying to get a big enough gap to pit and still stay in front. Lead is 23.5 seconds with 20 to go.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Kimball pits with 25 to go. Pagenaud takes the lead, but he's still got one more pit stop.

TK is slow on the backstretch.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

RHR and Power pit. Hunter-Reay pulls in too far from the wall, which made it hard for the fueler to get the hose in. Power thus goes by RHR in the pits.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

RHR and Power are all who's left on the 2 stop strategy. They have to make that final pit stop soon, but are 17 and 21 seconds back of Kimball right now. It's not looking good for them.

Pagenaud is 4.2 seconds behind Kimball.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Dixon gave up on the 2 stop strategy. He pitted with 42 laps to go.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Pagenaud pits, giving Kimball back the lead. Simon is still 2nd though.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Kimball pits. Pagenaud inherits the lead, but gets out ahead of the rest of the field. That was huge for him.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Helio is starting to move up. He's in 8th now, but is due for a stop soon. Hinchcliffe stopped and fell back to 15th.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

New top 3: Kimball, Hinchcliffe, Pagenaud. All are on a 3 stop strategy. Then it's RHR, Power, and Dixon on a 2 stop strategy.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Top three pit at the same time. Stays RHR, Power, Dixon, but Pagenaud gets by RHR in the Keyhole!

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Leaders start to pit. It looks like most are trying to make it a 2 stop race.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

I would be lying if I said this was very interesting. Top guys in lockstep. Even worse, timing and scoring has been frozen on lap 9 for a while now.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Marco pits to get rid of the blacks. Vautier and Sato have also pitted early. Helio also pits.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Servia with an incredible save. He got really sideways exiting turn 9.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Hinchcliffe pits on lap 10 to get on an alternate strategy. He was 10th before he came in.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Marco was the only guy at the front who started on blacks, and it's showing as he's dropped 3 spots to 7th.

8/4/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

We have a clean start. There were no cautions last year. Can they actually do that again?