Dixon quickest with unofficial lap record in final practice at Mid-Ohio


Scott Dixon closed out practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio as the fastest driver after topping the timesheets on Saturday morning with an unofficial track record.

Dixon posted a fastest lap time of 1:05.1209 to finish three-tenths of a second clear of Josef Newgarden in second place as the drivers got their final chance to practice ahead of qualifying later today.

A Mid-Ohio specialist, Dixon led for most of the session despite suffering a 360º spin at one point, dipping below the track record shared by Dario Franchitti and Gil de Ferran of 1:05.347.

The Ganassi driver was followed home by Newgarden and Charlie Kimball, with the latter moving up to third place with a late lap once the checkered flag had fallen.

Sebastien Bourdais was late to get out on track at the beginning of the session, but rallied to finish fourth at the end ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti. Series leader Juan Pablo Montoya finished seventh ahead of teammate Will Power. Jack Hawksworth and Tony Kanaan rounded out the top ten.

After a problem sidelined Montoya for much of first practice on Friday, Penske suffered yet more issues as Simon Pagenaud was unable to post a time on Saturday morning.

The Frenchman managed to complete two installation laps before the team opted to bring him in and investigate the issue further.

“We’re having technical issues,” Pagenaud told IndyCar Radio. “We do’t really know, we think it could be the engine. All the Team Chevy guys are on it trying to understand what’s going on.

“Today and yesterday, we’ve had some issues. They’re on it and we’ll see what happens next. That’s my job right now, just hanging on and trying to understand how the track has changed for qualifying this afternoon.”

To make matters worse for Penske, Helio Castroneves’ car came to a halt at the start of the pit lane at the end of the session, requiring a push back to his pit box. The Brazilian driver finished 19th overall in the final standings.

Qualifying for the Honda Indy 200 is live on NBCSN from 3pm ET on Saturday.