Colton Herta wins pole position in wild qualifying session at Mid-Ohio

IndyCar Mid-Ohio pole
Chris Jones/IndyCar

Colton Herta captured the pole position at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Sunday’s NTT IndyCar Series race (1 p.m. ET, NBC).

The No. 88 Dallara-Honda driver clocked the fastest time at 1 minute, 26.2788 seconds in Group 2 of an eventful qualifying session that was delayed 30 minutes by an arriving helicopter. With the track still drying from a morning downpour, the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course proved difficult to navigate with varying grip levels.

“I knew it was going to be all about that last lap with a drying track,” Herta told NBC Sports pit reporter James Hinchcliffe. “Trying to hold onto the tires. Firestone makes a great wet tire, but it wasn’t really all that wet out there, so by the second lap, they were all chewed up.

QUALIFYING RESULTS: Starting order in Race 2 at Mid-Ohio l Group 1 l Group 2

STARTING LINEUP: With tire designations

SUNDAY’S RACE: Details for watching Mid-Ohio Race 2 on NBC

“The Capstone car was amazing, and now we’ve got the best seat in the house for the race.”

It’s the first pole position of the season and fourth of his IndyCar career for the Andretti Autosport driver, who won at Laguna Seca the last time he started first in the 2019 season finale.

Santino Ferrucci will start alongisde Herta in the front row after pacing the first qualifying group.

Points leader Scott Dixon (who was second fastest overall with a 1:27.0991) will start third, followed by Alex Palou, Felix Rosenqvist, Simon Pagenaud and Marco Andretti.

The rest of the starting order: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi, Rinus VeeKay, Graham Rahal, Zach Veach, Oliver Askew, Marcus Ericsson, Conor Daly, Pato O’Ward, Max Chilton, Will Power, Dalton Kellett, Jack Harvey, Takuma Sato and Charlie Kimball.

After winning Saturday’s opener of a race weekend doubleheader at Mid-Ohio, Power had his qualifying session scrubbed Sunday and given no time after spinning and causing a red flag to start Group 2. Pato O’Ward also crashed for the second time in two days during the session, and Jack Harvey lost his rear wing in an incident.

Group 1 was just as wild. Sato, Palou and Hunter-Reay all spun or went off course, and Kimball brought out a red flag by stopping in Turn 1.

Ferruci still blistered the course late in the session, setting the fast time by more than 3 seconds at 1:27.4688 over Palou’s 1:30.7107.

“Man, this place around the rain is special,” Ferrucci told Hinchcliffe. “Because all the sealer, it’s such a unique line. I couldn’t do more than just enjoy those laps.”

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.