Scott Dixon looks to increase points lead at Mid-Ohio, his most successful track

IndyCar
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Scott Dixon couldn’t have picked a better place for his 300th career Verizon IndyCar Series start if he had written the script himself.

Dixon will make his 300th start in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

Mid-Ohio is Dixon’s most successful IndyCar track. In 13 starts (including two in CART and 11 in IndyCar), he has a career-high five wins (also the most there of any driver in IndyCar history), six podium finishes and two poles.

“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,” Dixon said. “The track has been very special to not only myself, but to the team over the years.”

Dixon, who turned 38 this past Sunday, comes into this weekend’s race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course as the IndyCar points leader, holding a 62-point edge over defending series champion Josef Newgarden and a 70-point margin over third-ranked Alexander Rossi.

“It’s funny, I haven’t really thought too much about the 300 starts,” Dixon said. “But it’s kind of cool it happens to land at Mid-Ohio where we’ve had some success. Does that mean I’m getting old? I’m not sure. Hopefully we can celebrate it by getting the PNC Bank car into victory lane on Sunday.”

Dixon is coming off a big win two weeks ago at Toronto, his third of the season, tying him with Josef Newgarden for most triumphs thus far in 2018.

It also was Dixon’s 44th career IndyCar victory, leaving him eight away from tying Mario Andretti for second on the IndyCar all-time wins list (A.J. Foyt is No. 1 with 67 wins).

With five races remaining, Dixon hopes to build on his past Mid-Ohio success to put additional room between himself, Newgarden, Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power heading into Pocono, Gateway, Portland and the season finale at Sonoma.

“(Mid-Ohio is) one of those rhythm tracks where if you get in a good groove, then things just take off if everything is working right,” Dixon said. “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.”

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Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III