Can anyone knock Ganassi or Penske off Mid-Ohio winning perch?

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As the IZOD IndyCar Series heads for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend, it’s all hands on deck between 20 of the 24 cars entered to knock Target Chip Ganassi Racing and/or Team Penske off their winning perch.

Since IndyCar returned to the track in 2007, Ganassi and Penske have swept all six races. Scott Dixon has won four of Ganassi’s five, with Dario Franchitti taking the checkered in 2010. Ryan Briscoe (2008 for Penske) is the lone non-Ganassi win in that stretch.

Dating back even further, since 1992, only three times has a driver outside of Ganassi and Penske won the race. The now-defunct Patrick Racing (Adrian Fernandez, 1998) and Player’s/Forsythe Racing (Patrick Carpentier, 2002 and Paul Tracy, 2003) were the other Mid-Ohio team winners.

But Penske (1992-95, 2000-01) and Ganassi (1996-97, 99) have taken the other victories. Combined since 1992, that’s 15 of the last 18 for these two (eight Ganassi, seven Penske).

Interestingly, Michael Andretti, who won twice at Mid-Ohio as a driver (1990-91), has never won this race as a team owner.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”