Mid-Ohio IndyCar test social roundup, notes (PHOTOS)

Photo: IndyCar
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There were a mix of different goals and programs to emerge out of Thursday’s test at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, ahead of next week’s Honda Indy 200 for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

We’ll round them up with a mix of social posts and nuggets, below:

THE FIVE YOUNG GUNS

Four drivers – Felix Rosenqvist, Robin Frijns, Zachary Claman De Melo and RC Enerson – made their IndyCar test debuts while Jack Harvey returned to the track following a nearly yearlong hiatus.

Oddly it was the two-year Indy Lights veteran, Harvey, who made a rare mistake. An incident at Turn 6 damaged the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda he was testing more than you’d normally expect and according to Motorsport.com, it’s potentially put into doubt a race debut for Harvey later this year in an extra SPM entry. SPM ran a third car for Mikhail Aleshin at last year’s season finale at Sonoma before the “Mad Russian” returned full-time this year.

As for the others, it was fairly smooth sailing.

Rosenqvist impressed on debut with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, the Swede taking over the usual No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet driven by four-time and defending series champion Scott Dixon, who turns 36 today.

Rosenqvist, 24, was over the moon with his test and called it the “best day of his life.” More here from RACER.com.

Enerson, as noted to NBC Sports last night, couldn’t hide his enthusiasm for the test with Dale Coyne Racing and also called it his “best day ever.” Pure joy was evident for the 19-year-old out of New Port Richey, Fla., who will make his race debut in the team’s No. 19 Honda next week.

Dutch ace Robin Frijns took over the No. 28 DHL Honda of Ryan Hunter-Reay for his IndyCar test debut. Frijns, who was on F1’s doorstep with Caterham a couple years ago and starred for MS Amlin Andretti’s FIA Formula E Championship program this year, welcomed the return to a more higher downforce open-wheel car.

Teenaged Canadian, Claman De Melo, took over in Mikhail Aleshin’s No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda and had a clean day.

AERO EVALUATION

With INDYCAR set to outline its aerodynamic parameters among several other details next month, JR Hildebrand (again deputizing for Josef Newgarden at Ed Carpenter Racing) and Tony Kanaan were tasked with running several different aerodynamic configurations on Thursday.

Hildebrand released a photo of the No. 21 Chevrolet sans the rear wheel pod assembly:

Strakes and sidewalls also appeared to be present, which you don’t ordinarily see on a road course.

OTHER NOTES FROM RUNNING

It seems hard to believe but Conor Daly, who’s been to Mid-Ohio many times as a spectator, has never actually raced there. He’ll do so next week in the No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda for Dale Coyne Racing for the first time.

Graham Rahal, last year’s winner at Mid-Ohio, was busy in a quest to mileage out his Honda engine. While his car was still in the Rousseau Metals/RLL livery as seen at Toronto, he’ll be back in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake colors next weekend.

A HANDFUL OF ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM THE TEST (All Photos: IndyCar)

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Juan Pablo Montoya’s No. 2 Chevrolet back in Hawk Performance colors.
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Josef Newgarden at test, but not in car. Has been cleared to drive.
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IndyCar debutante RC Enerson rolls out for Dale Coyne Racing.
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Points leader Simon Pagenaud looks on.
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Will Power has won three of last four races and is nipping at Pagenaud’s heels.
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Zachary Claman De Melo made his first IndyCar test.
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Jack Harvey returned to testing with SPM.
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JR Hildebrand filled Newgarden’s car for Mid-Ohio test.
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Felix Rosenqvist flanked by Ganassi engineers Julian Robertson (left) and Chris Simmons (right).
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Sebastien Bourdais’ KVSH Racing entry on course.
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Spencer Pigot in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing.
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Montoya doesn’t take too kindly to the idea he’s lost his passion for driving. At least that’s what this photo feels like.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series
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After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi