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Bourdais enjoys strong drive to sixth after starting last at Mid-Ohio

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It didn’t result in a victory, or even a top five, but Sebastien Bourdais had arguably the drive of the day during Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

A crash in qualifying forced Bourdais to start last on the grid in 24th, and while he started the day slowly, his charge to the front was ignited after his opening pit stop.

Bourdais was one of the first to pit, his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan team pitting him on Lap 11, and doing so put Bourdais in clean air and allowed him to set fast laps without being impeded.

As such, he was able to jump around drivers like Conor Daly and Charlie Kimball during the exchange of stops, and he was knocking on the door of the top 10 a third of the way through.

On Lap 35, Bourdais knocked that door down, making an outside pass on Zach Veach entering Turn 5 for tenth.

Indeed, Bourdais made a habit of using the outside line to make passes, as evidenced by the below overtakes on Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud.

And the relentless Bourdais did not let up in the final stint. The above pass on Pagenaud gave him seventh, and he made a similar move on Ryan Hunter-Reay to grab sixth in the final laps.

All told, Bourdais bulldozed his way from 24th all the way to sixth at the checkered flag.

Still, despite the strong effort, Bourdais couldn’t help but wonder what might have been if he didn’t have to come from last on the grid.

“Today was making up for a big mess up yesterday. It’s sad, as this car could have been a winner today with our pace,” Bourdais revealed.

“It was a heck of drive and I don’t think it gets much better than that going from 24th to 6th in a straight-up fight on a track that’s difficult to pass. Obviously, it was a lot of ‘what ifs’ that come to mind. Really happy with the day, but quite disappointed for the group as far as the weekend is concerned, as I think we could have been on the podium.”

The Frenchman now enters the two-week break ahead of the ABC Supply 500 (August 19, NBCSN) tenth in the standings, eight points ahead of Marco Andretti.

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