WATCH LIVE: Tony Kanaan seeks to extend Ganassi’s win streak at Mid-Ohio

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Former Indianapolis 500 and Verizon IndyCar Series champion Tony Kanaan (pictured) has definitely been on a charge over the last three races.

But finishes of third at Iowa and third and second in the Toronto doubleheader are not enough for the Brazilian, who’s still hungry for his first win as a member of Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

A win from him in today’s Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course would extend CGR’s winning streak at the throwback road course to an impressive six victories.

You can see if Kanaan gets the job done today at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. But in case you can’t watch today’s race on TV, CLICK HERE to stream it online and on your mobile device through NBC Sports Live Extra.

Kanaan could be the best shot for the Ganassi stable on a narrow circuit where on-track passing can be scarce. He’ll be starting third today, but his three teammates – Ryan Briscoe (19th), defending race winner Charlie Kimball (20th), and Scott Dixon (22nd) – will have to create some magic from the back of the grid.

Meanwhile, with four races to go in the season, the Verizon IndyCar Series championship battle rages on. Helio Castroneves enters with a 13-point lead over Team Penske teammate Will Power, but Castroneves failed to get out of the first round of qualifying and will have to start 15th; Power may have a better outlook today from sixth starting position.

Then there are the front row starters, pole sitter Sebastien Bourdais and Josef Newgarden. Toronto Race 1 winner Bourdais wants to win for the second race weekend in a row, while Newgarden seeks to score what would be a brilliant upset for single-car Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing.

If you plan to stream today’s race, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified. Once you plug those pieces of information in, you’ll have access to the stream.

Again, CLICK HERE at 3 p.m. ET to stream NBCSN’s coverage of the Honda 200 from Mid-Ohio.

Coyne transitioning from underdog to Indy 500 threat

Photo: IndyCar
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For most of the team’s existence, Dale Coyne Racing has been the Chicago Cubs of American Open Wheel Racing – a team whose history was more defined by failures, at times comically so, than success.

The last decade, however, has seen the tide completely change. In 2007, they scored three podium finishes with Bruno Junqueira. In 2009, they won at Watkins Glen with the late Justin Wilson.

The combination won again at Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, and finished sixth in the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. That same year, Mike Conway took a shock win for them in Race 1 at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit.

Carlos Huertas scored an upset win for them in Race 1 at the Houston double-header in 2014, and while 2015 and 2016 yielded no wins, Tristan Vautier and Conor Daly gave them several strong runs – Vautier’s best finish was fourth in Race 2 at Detroit, while Daly finished second in Race 1 at Detroit, finished fourth at Watkins Glen, and scored a trio of sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Race 2 at Detroit, and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

And 2017 was set to possibly be the best year the team has ever had. Sebastien Bourdais gave the team a popular win in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and then rookie Ed Jones scored back-to-back top tens – 10th and sixth – at St. Pete and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to start his career.

But, things started unraveling at the Indianapolis 500. Bourdais appeared set to be in the Fast Nine Pole Shootout during his first qualifying run – both of his first two laps were above 231 mph –  before his horrifying crash in Turn 2.

While Jones qualified an impressive 11th and finished an even more impressive third, results for the rest of the season became hard to come by – Jones only scored two more Top 10s, with a best result of seventh at Road America.

But, retooled for 2018, the Coyne team is a legitimate threat at the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Bourdais, whose No. 18 Honda features new sponsorship from SealMaster and now ownership partners in Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan, has a win already, again at St. Pete, and sits third in the championship.

And Bourdais may also be Honda’s best hope, given that he was the fastest Honda in qualifying – he’ll start fifth behind Ed Carpenter, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, and Josef Newgarden.

“I think it speaks volumes about their work, their passion and their dedication to this program, Dale (Coyne), Jimmy (Vasser) and Sulli (James Sullivan) and everybody from top to bottom. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity, for the support,” Bourdais said of the team’s effort.

Rookie Zachary Claman De Melo has been progressing nicely, and his Month of May has been very solid – he finished 12th at the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS Road Course and qualified a strong 13th for the “500.”

“It’s been surreal to be here as rookie. I’m a bit at a loss for words,” Claman De Melo revealed after qualifying. “The fans, driving around this place, being with the team, everything is amazing. I have a great engineer, a great group of experienced mechanics at Dale Coyne Racing.”

While Conor Daly and Pippa Mann struggled in one-off entries, with Mann getting bumped out of the field in Saturday qualifying, Daly’s entry essentially puts three Coyne cars in the race – Daly’s No. 17 United States Air Force Honda is a Dale Coyne car that has been leased to Thom Burns Racing.

Rest assured, the days of Coyne being an “also ran” are long gone, and a Coyne car ending up in Victory Lane at the biggest race of the year would complete the Chicago Cubs analogy – the Cubs won a World Series title in 2016, and an Indy 500 triumph would be the crowning achievement in Coyne’s career.

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