What Drivers Are Saying about this weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio


Here’s What Drivers Are Saying about this weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the first of three permanent road course events in the remaining five races on the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule:


JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “The race weekend at Toronto didn’t go the way we were hoping but we’re ready to put that behind us and really focus on Mid-Ohio. We ran a really strong race there last year and have had some good luck on road courses this season, so we’re feeling pretty good going into the weekend. It was great for us all to have a weekend off to refocus, but I know the entire No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet team and myself are ready to head back to Mid-Ohio and have a great performance to gain more championship points.”

MATHEUS LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Mid-Ohio reminds me of the tracks I used to race in Europe. It’s a pretty fun track to drive but technical at the same time. When you have a good car, I’d say it is one of the best tracks to drive in America.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda): “The Arrow Electronics crew has had a good run the last few weeks, and we really just want to keep the momentum going. Robbie (Wickens) had a really good test here last week and we are both hoping that translates into a strong weekend for the whole team. It’s such a fun track to drive on, but passing is at a premium so we need to make sure we have the qualifying pace.”

ROBERT WICKENS (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): “I think our team is building a lot of momentum. We’re coming off of three consecutive top-five finishes, as well as back-to-back races in Iowa and Toronto where there was a very strong chance that we could have had both cars on the podium in both races. I think it’s a good time of year for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. We just finished testing at Mid-Ohio the Tuesday after Toronto, and it was a fairly productive test day for the Lucas Oil crew. I’m optimistic that we can hopefully have another strong weekend and keep those top-fives going.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “Mid-Ohio is just one of those tracks where we have a feeling that if we get things right with the PNC Bank car, we always have a decent shot at winning. The track has been very special to not only myself, but to the team over the years. It’s one of those rhythm tracks where if you get in a good groove, then things just take off if everything is working right. You can come from about anywhere to win here as we’ve seen in the past, but it’s a lot easier when you do it from the front, so a good qualifying run is always important on this style of track.”

ED JONES (No. 10 DC Solar Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): “I’m looking forward to the race weekend at Mid-Ohio. We tested there last week for a full day, so it definitely raises the level of comfort you have when you return. Since the test was just last week, it really helps overall because we were just there and everything is top of mind this week. Mid-Ohio is a very difficult track. Qualifying is extremely important here and is one of the biggest keys to having a great race. We’ll spend a lot of time focused on qualifying and getting into the Firestone Fast Six. I think if we can do that, then we’ll have a good day in the No. 10 DC Solar Honda on Sunday.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “We’re ready to head to Mid-Ohio. I really enjoy road course racing and it’s a really fun track. The No. 12 Verizon Chevy team and I are excited to go back. The crowd was really great there last year and always is, so it’s a fun place to go. We’re focused on winning and trying to get as many championship points as possible, so that’s what we’re really going for there.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Chevrolet): “It’s always great to race in Mid-Ohio. It’s a challenging track but also fun to drive. And there’s always a great crowd there.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda): “Over the last four years, we have been really strong at Mid-Ohio. We’ve had great consistency and we finished on the podium last year, which is always special. It’s going to be an important one for us again. I’m excited to get back home. Obviously we would like to continue the top-five streak but, more importantly, we’d love to get another win which is what we really need at this time. I’m definitely focused heavily on trying to make that happen. Being that Takuma (Sato) and I didn’t test at Mid-Ohio, we’re definitely going to have an uphill battle. Luckily, we get a lot of on-track time on Friday so I’m sure we’ll be in good shape plus, as the race weekend goes on, the car changes, the track changes so much that it’s always a tricky situation anyway, whether you test or not. We’ve both been fast there, so hopefully, we can get Honda another win at Mid-Ohio. With the race being in their backyard and everything, it would be pretty special. The crowd is always unreal, which is really special for me. I’m excited to feel that support. Hopefully, we can go out and get a win for them, more than anything else. Our road course package has definitely gotten better but Mid-Ohio is a little bit different. It’s a very high-grip track, it’s always very hot and there are a lot of elevation changes that are very severe, unlike most tracks. Fifth Third Bank has been such a great partner of ours over the past few years, but to see them support me in my home race is really special. It’s their home race, too, being that they are based in Cincinnati, so I’m excited to get the weekend going.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda): “I am looking forward to racing at Mid-Ohio. My results there haven’t been great other than a podium finish in 2014, but I have qualified fairly well recently with a pole in 2014 and third in 2015. It’s a circuit I enjoy with the elevation changes and the flow of the curves that spreads from slow to very fast speeds. Qualifying is key to having a good race because it is difficult to overtake. There are a couple of places you can do it, Turn 4 at the end of the back straight and Turn 2, but being up front, like anywhere, always makes things easier. The SealMaster Honda No. 18 has not had the success we were hoping for so far this season, but we keep working hard and hopefully, we can put up some good results in the last five races of the season.”

PIETRO FITTIPALDI (No. 19 Paysafe Honda): “I was really happy with my first day back in the Paysafe car last week during our evaluation day. It was a big relief for me after two months of just doing a lot of training, physical therapy and working to be healthy and to be able to get back driving. To run my first laps last week was a really big relief because it showed that I was able to do it. I felt good and comfortable in the car and the test day went really well. Mid-Ohio will be my first Verizon IndyCar Series race weekend on a road course and I’m really looking forward to it. I never raced at Mid-Ohio before, but I enjoyed it a lot during the test. It’s a really technical track. I think qualifying is going to be very important because there’s not that many places to overtake. I just can’t wait to be on track again.”

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “Mid-Ohio is another track I haven’t yet been to, but I have done some time on the simulator and it looks like a lot of fun. Lots of flowing corners that lead into one another, I think this will make it quite tough to learn but that’s all part of the experience.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I’ve always loved driving at Mid-Ohio since I first went there in 2010. It’s a very challenging track that takes a lot of commitment and precision to be fast in an Indy car. It’s one of those places that flows extremely well so when you get into a rhythm around there, the laps just fly by. We’ve definitely made a lot of improvements to the Fuzzy’s Vodka car the past few races, so I can’t wait to see how we stack up.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m really pumped to head to Mid-Ohio. My team gave me a really great car at Toronto and with that great finish, we have a lot of momentum in our favor headed to Mid-Ohio. The No. 22 Menards Chevrolet team has prepared another really strong car that I can’t wait to race there. Road courses are always a lot of fun and Mid-Ohio is no exception. Having learned a few things at Toronto, we’re excited to apply those learnings to our Mid-Ohio car. Not to mention, it’s such a fun crowd there and last year there were fans just everywhere. It was so great to see that crowd. We’re ready for another great weekend.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): “The No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet team had a productive test day here at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last week and I know that data and experience will be really helpful once we hit the track on Friday. It’s one of my favorite tracks, of course with it being the home of my first INDYCAR win, but it’s also the fan support and laid-back atmosphere that makes it special. The top-five finish at Toronto was a testament to the entire Carlin team’s hard work, and I know we’ll be carrying that through to the final five races of the season.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Relay Group 1001 Honda): “My home race is always one of my favorites – from all of my fellow Ohioans being there, my family and, of course, the racetrack itself always makes for a great weekend. We have some momentum with us from Toronto and I hope it carries into my home race. We’re pushing as hard as ever to keep fighting towards the front end of the grid and we’re getting there step by step!”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): “We are getting into the home stretch now and every race is incredibly important. We’ve had a difficult run the past three races, but we also haven’t qualified outside of the top five at any of those events. The pace is there, which is the most important thing. All of our focus is on executing and doing our jobs in Mid-Ohio and if we can do that we will close the gap up to Scott (Dixon).”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite tracks on the INDYCAR schedule and a place where we as a team have had some pretty good pace in the past, and hopefully that will be the case again this year. This is the first time we’ll be on the track there with the new car, so we really need to make the most of the practice sessions as a four-car team. I really want to get the DHL Honda a second win this season. We’re still in contention for the championship – a strong result is important to keep up in the fight.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): “Last year was the first time for a long time that I felt really comfortable at road courses. Coming from Formula One to INDYCAR, road courses are where I naturally felt the most comfortable and the first two years were indeed great fun, but then I struggled a bit to find a good result so last year was a great feeling that I got a competitive package on a road course and I enjoyed it. Mid-Ohio is a great road course. It might not be one of the largest, but it is one of the most fun tracks. It always reminded me of the UK’s national course where I had a lot of great memories in British Formula 3 days. In fact, some of the fans who came to Mid-Ohio even brought a picture of those days! It’s great to have a lot of team guests and also some local support from Honda, too, so it’s going to be a huge event for us. I think the team always performs strong at Mid-Ohio and our road course performance is getting a lot stronger recently, so I expect we will be competitive. We struggled a little at the beginning of the season but the team is moving forward fast and getting better and better. The No. 30 car is especially improving a lot and since Detroit in June, we have been getting more competitive almost every race weekend. I think it’s going to be better and better for us. I would love to have more street courses, but three road courses left this season sounds really positive for us after our performance at Road America. We will go racing as hard as we can and hopefully our best results are coming.”

RENE BINDER (No. 32 HD Pellets Chevrolet): “I am looking forward to my fifth grand prix weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series. This week we tested at Mid-Ohio and were able to gather some valuable data. In Toronto, we had three strong practice sessions and a great qualifying attempt, so I look forward to bringing that momentum to Ohio. We have all been working hard and are looking for a solid result. I know we have the speed from our powerful Chevy engine and look forward to a great weekend in the No. 32 HD Pellets car.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): “Toronto was obviously a pretty disappointing race for the Carlin Gallagher Racing team with the incident that took us out early in the race, but after a really solid test in Mid-Ohio and a weekend off we’re all feeling energized and ready to get back on track at Mid-Ohio. Our Mid-Ohio test last week was great and we came out of that testing day feeling confident with the data we were able to collect from myself and Charlie (Kimball). The race at Mid-Ohio is a great event with a great atmosphere and it makes it so much more fun for us as drivers when we get to drive in front of fans who are so passionate about the sport.”

JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation Sirius XM MSR with SPM Honda): “Mid-Ohio is a special race for Michael (Shank, team co-owner) with it being his home race. And Mid-Ohio is the pinnacle of open-wheel racing in North America. It’s also a special race for me because it’s where I got my first win in North America. If we could choose to win any race, aside from Indy, I think this would be the one. I was at the track when the team had its IMSA race there and it was so nice to see how many people came out as guests of the team and how much local interaction they got. All in all, I think we can have a really competitive race and I am looking forward to the weekend.”

CONOR DALY (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet): “I’m obviously excited about another chance to work with the Harding Racing team at Mid-Ohio since we were able to test there just last week. Every lap I do in the car, I learn more and we make progress as a team on the technical side. I can’t wait to get back out there and give it all I’ve got for these guys, as they are an incredibly hard-working group of people.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 Ruoff Home Mortgage / Curb Honda): “I’m excited to get back on track this weekend. I love driving Mid-Ohio’s track. We’re coming off a weekend where we had strong pace and hopefully, we’ll continue to run in the top five throughout the weekend and convert that into a podium or a win on race day. It would mean a lot to win at Mid-Ohio, the fans there are incredible and it’s such an important race for Honda.”

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston


Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart

The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s