NASCAR: Hornish, Justin Marks top Nationwide practice at Mid-Ohio

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A pair of part-timers, Sam Hornish Jr. (pictured) and Justin Marks, led today’s practice sessions for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Hornish, the former Indianapolis 500 champion that’s making his seventh NNS start of the year in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, led the way in first practice with a lap of 95.245 mph around the tough Mid-Ohio circuit. Regan Smith was second-quickest behind him at 94.609 mph in his No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

Roush Fenway Racing rookie Chris Buescher was third-quickest, followed by fourth-place Alex Tagliani in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford that won this race last year with A.J. Allmendinger. Richard Childress Racing’s Brian Scott completed the Top 5.

But in Practice 2, Marks was able to put down a last-minute lap of 95.187 mph to knock Chris Buescher (95.182) from the top spot. Marks is making his second start of the season for Turner Scott Motorsports after finishing 24th earlier this year at Road America due to an ill-fated fuel gamble.

Hornish’s lap of 94.798 mph in this session was good enough for P3, while Smith fell in behind Hornish again in fourth. Road America winner Brendan Gaughan was fifth.

Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott was 11th in Practice 1, and then ninth in Practice 2. Elliott leads Smith by 12 points going into Saturday’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 (2:45 p.m. ET), which will be preceded by qualifying that morning (9:40 a.m. ET).

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio – Practice 1 Times

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio – Practice 2 Times

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change