IndyCar at Mid-Ohio: Alexander Rossi captures third pole of season, Will Power alongside


Alexander Rossi will start from the pole in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Rossi turned in the quickest time around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn course during Saturday’s qualifying at 1:04.6802 at 125.677 mph.

“It was hard,” Rossi told the IndyCar Radio Network. “Driving around Mid-Ohio is not easy. But I’ve been blessed this weekend by a real good race car. … We’ve had good Fridays and bad Saturdays, so we focused on today and it paid off.”

Rossi comes into Sunday’s race third in the Verizon IndyCar Series driver standings, 70 points behind series leader Scott Dixon and eight points behind second-ranked Josef Newgarden.

“This isn’t one of our best tracks, but we have an opportunity (to close the gap on points leader Scott Dixon),” Rossi added.

It’s Rossi’s third pole of the season in the first 13 races. He also has one win in 2018 (at Long Beach).

Will Power was second quickest (1:04.8393 at 125.263 mph) and will start alongside Rossi on the front row.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:04.9896 at 125.078) will start third, followed by Josef Newgarden (1:05.1335 at 124.802), Robert Wickens (1:05.1747 at 124.723) and Max Chilton (1:06.6172 at 122.023), his highest starting spot in his IndyCar career.

Seventh through 12th were Graham Rahal (1:06.1804 at 122.828 mph), Takuma Sato (1:06.3755 at 122.467), Scott Dixon (1:06.4187 at 122.387), James Hinchcliffe (1:06.5549 at 122.137), Ed Jones (1:07.09999 at 121.145) and Zach Veach (1:07.2287 at 120.913).

Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 will be televised live on NBCSN. The pre-race show begins at 3 p.m. ET, with the green flag slated to fall around 3:30 p.m. ET.

Among incidents during the overall session:

* With seconds only remaining in the Fast 12 session, Hinchcliffe had just turned in the fastest speed when he lost control and went off-course into the tire barrier in the carousel area. Hinchcliffe suffered heavy damage to the front end of his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, dropping him to start from the 10th position, alongside five-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon, making his 300th career IndyCar start on Sunday.

* Race Control then held off the start of the Fast Six session while it reviewed the final laps of the Fast 12 session. Speculation was that Hinchcliffe may have held up other cars making their qualifying passes earlier in the session, but IndyCar officials decided that was not the case.

That did not sit well with Rahal.

“I just think everybody’s driving real poorly,” Rahal told the IndyCar Radio Network. “There’s no penalty for a red flag. It ruins it for everybody else. Here, it obviously hurt us a lot. But it’s very frustrating because clearly we’re a car that can go on. IndyCar never makes a call or reverses anybody (for cars that hold up others). I’m very frustrated. It ruins weekends for guys when somebody makes a mistake and it kills it for everybody else.”

Also to the IndyCar Radio Network, Hinchcliffe said of his spin and for keeping some of his competitors from reaching the Fast Six, “I just lost it. Maybe I went a bit too far, but at the end of the day, I’m the guy with the steering wheel in my hands. I feel bad for the guys that didn’t get a chance to finish their runs. … (Having potential penalties for cars holding up others), it’s almost like an unpoliceable thing.”

* Turn 4 presented problems to two of the Team Penske drivers as both defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden and 2016 champ Simon Pagenaud both ran off the racing surface and kicked up a great deal of dirt, but were both able to continue on.

* Sebastien Bourdais brought out the red flag in the second qualifying group when he went off-track and into the tire barrier in Turn 2.

* At almost the same time of Bourdais’ mishap, Will Power went off-track in Turn 12, but was able to continue on with no damage. Power then turned in the fastest speed of Group 2.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws

The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)