WATCH LIVE: Honda Indy 200 qualifying at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Live Extra

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LEXINGTON, Ohio – One of the most important qualifying sessions of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season occurs today, and will air live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra at 3 p.m. ET and local time from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Qualifying for the Honda Indy 200 will see IndyCar back to the road and street course method of qualifying, which features three rounds of knockout qualifying culminating with the Firestone Fast Six session, at which point the Verizon P1 Award winner (pole position) will be determined.

Additionally, a track record could fall. The current official mark is 1:05.347, set by Dario Franchitti and Gil de Ferran, but it was eclipsed in third practice by Scott Dixon at 1:05.1253.

Qualifying comes right after a new INDYCAR Chronicles with Ryan Hunter-Reay at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and David Hobbs will be in the booth while Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller will be on pit road.

Team Penske has taken the pole position in each of the previous eight road and street course qualifying sessions this season, although both NOLA Motorsports Park and Detroit race two saw qualifying canceled due to weather.

In the other six races, Will Power has four poles and Helio Castroneves two. Juan Pablo Montoya has the two poles in the rainout sessions.

Even more incredibly, Team Penske has managed to secure 21 of a possible 24 Fast Six appearances this year with its four drivers. The only three times one of its drivers missed the Fast Six was Power at Long Beach, Montoya at Barber and Castroneves in Toronto; Simon Pagenaud has made the Fast Six in all six sessions this year.

Can anyone knock off the Penske contingent? Sebastien Bourdais is a two-time winner this year and the defending Mid-Ohio polesitter; meanwhile Scott Dixon carries his incredible record of five wins in the last eight races into Mid-Ohio this weekend.

Again, that’s IndyCar qualifying from Mid-Ohio LIVE at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”