Matt Fraver / IndyCar

INDYCAR: Josef Newgarden leads final warm-up at Mid-Ohio

Leave a comment

Josef Newgarden set the fastest lap in the final warm-up session for the Honda Indy 200 this afternoon, with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 6.6443 seconds around the 13-Turn, 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio road course.

Newgarden, who starts third in today’s race, led Felix Rosenqvist by 0.285 seconds.

Colton Herta was third-fastest in the session with an elapsed lap time of 1 minute, 6.9386 seconds, while Spencer Pigot (1 minute, 7.1443 seconds) ended the session fourth-fastest.

Alexander Rossi finished the session fifth-fastest with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 7.1796 seconds.

Race polesitter Will Power was 19th fastest of the 23 cars entered in today’s race, posting an elapsed time of 1 minute, 8.0518 seconds.

Live coverage of the Honda Indy 200 begins later this afternoon at 4 p.m. ET on NBC and streaming live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Click here for full warm-up results

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter 

Kyle Busch happy with first stint: ‘Put me in the car, there’s excitement!’

AP Photo/Terry Renna
Leave a comment

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Rolex 24 at Daytona debut of the “KB Show” was cut short by a strategy maneuver but still delivered drama and a positive result.

Kyle Busch got the No. 14 RCF GT3 Lexus back on the lead lap and back in contention for a GTD victory at Daytona International Speedway.

“It was good,” Kyle Busch said with a broad smile after a 42-minute stint. “Just, uh, shit, put me in the car, and there’s excitement around! Drove all my way back to the lead lap and everything.

“Overall, we’ve had a good experience and hell I only got one stint in, so I’m ready for more. Sign me up, coach!”

The two-time Cup champion was expected to drive for at least 90 minutes, but the first full-course caution of the race (with 19 hours and 16 minutes remaining) caused AIM Vasser Sullivan to change up its drive plan. Busch was called to the pits in favor of Parker Chase.

“With all the strategy and the way the wave-bys work here, it’s quite different than what we’re accustomed to (in NASCAR),” said Busch, who likely will drive longer now later in the race. “That wasn’t bad. To get ourselves back on the lead lap and back to a position where we can start scrapping again hopefully is what we needed.

“So I got one stint in, but I’m trying to save myself and (teammate) Jack (Hawksworth) for a little later.”

Busch climbed into the car shortly after 6 p.m. as the last of the No. 14’s four drivers. He complained a few times on his radio about traffic, which he said was his biggest challenge.

“There were a couple of instances we ran down a smaller car, and (it was) just mirror driving in front of us,” he said. “That was pretty bad. We lost probably 2 seconds on that. Overall, I guess that’s road racing.

The yellow flag was exactly what Busch’s team needed after being forced to start from the rear of the field when it missed qualifying because of an engine change. Hawksworth, who started the race, said the car was “quick in the wrong places and slow in the right places” after struggling with handling and speed in the first stint.

“I don’t feel we’re out of it,” Hawksworth said. “It’s a very long race. Still early days. We need to work on having speed for the end of the race. The position right now doesn’t really make any difference. We’ll need to find some performance at the end of the race to fight for the win.”