Power flies to Mid-Ohio pole (VIDEO)

0 Comments

LEXINGTON, Ohio – The stage is set for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 (3 p.m. ET, CNBC) from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with the top seven in points starting in the top seven positions, with fifth-placed Will Power on the pole position.

It’s the fifth pole of the season for the driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, having lapped the 2.258-mile track in 1:04.1720. The pole is his 49th of his career, tied for fourth all-time with Bobby Unser.

Power surprisingly has not won at Mid-Ohio and at a 64-point gap to the lead (423-359), could use his first one Sunday to keep his title hopes alive.

Josef Newgarden rolls off second in the No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet, clocking in at 1:04.3067, for his first front row start this year.

Takuma Sato was an impressive third in the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport, with Graham Rahal fourth in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda, and Helio Castroneves fifth in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.

Points leader Scott Dixon again made the Firestone Fast Six, continuing his run of making every one this season, and will roll off from sixth in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda as he seeks his sixth win at Mid-Ohio.

In Q1, Group 1, Pagenaud led at 1:04.3597 while Takuma Sato, Castroneves, Esteban Gutierrez, James Hinchcliffe and Conor Daly made it into Q2. This marks the first time Gutierrez and Daly have made Q2 this season; Daly’s best start this year is 10th at Detroit race two, but that was an alternative qualifying format rather than the traditional knockout stages.

Tony Kanaan caused a local yellow that affected another car (Hinchcliffe) and would lose his fastest lap as a result.

Kanaan’s teammate Charlie Kimball, rookie Ed Jones and JR Hildebrand were also knocked out, Kimball the closest to advancing as his 1:04.9930 lap was only 0.03 off Daly’s best time.

Rahal topped Group 2 at 1:04.1938, the track having gotten a little bit faster, ahead of Newgarden, Power, Rossi, Dixon and Hunter-Reay in a stacked group.

Not even four tenths off Rahal, Marco Andretti was first to miss out in this group at 1:04.5929, a little over a tenth behind Hunter-Reay, while Spencer Pigot, Max Chilton, Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin were also eliminated.

The race to make the Firestone Fast Six out of Q2 was even tighter. Just 0.1732 of a second separated the Fast Six, which included six of the top seven in points. Rahal led at 1:04.0828 ahead of Sato (1:04.1847), Newgarden (1:04.1920), Power (1:04.2505), Castroneves (1:05.2536) and Dixon (1:05.2560); Dixon maintains his run as the only driver to make the Fast Six every race this year.

Knocked out were Pagenaud, Hinchcliffe, Rossi, Hunter-Reay, Daly and Gutierrez. Just two tenths separated Dixon in sixth from Hunter-Reay in this group.

Power then dominated in the Fast Six qualifying session, and was never headed en route to the pole.

The provisional grid is below.

RESULTS

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Qualifying Saturday for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with qualifying position, car number in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, time and speed in parentheses:

1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 01:04.1720 (126.672)
2. (2) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 01:04.3067 (126.407)
3. (26) Takuma Sato, Honda, 01:04.6792 (125.679)
4. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 01:04.7959 (125.452)
5. (3) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 01:04.8485 (125.351)
6. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 01:05.1927 (124.689)
7. (1) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 01:04.3008 (126.418)
8. (5) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 01:04.3784 (126.266)
9. (98) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 01:04.4906 (126.046)
10. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 01:04.4928 (126.042)
11. (4) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 01:04.8745 (125.300)
12. (18) Esteban Gutierrez, Honda, 01:05.0368 (124.988)
13. (83) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 01:04.9930 (125.072)
14. (27) Marco Andretti, Honda, 01:04.5929 (125.847)
15. (19) Ed Jones, Honda, 01:05.0337 (124.994)
16. (20) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 01:04.6186 (125.797)
17. (10) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 01:05.3200 (124.446)
18. (8) Max Chilton, Honda, 01:04.8603 (125.328)
19. (21) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 01:05.3382 (124.411)
20. (14) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 01:04.9440 (125.166)
21. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 01:05.2441 (124.591)

Malcolm Stewart sidelined from Supercross by knee surgery for ‘extended duration’

0 Comments

The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.

“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.

“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”

Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.

He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.

The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.

“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.

“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”

Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.

A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.