Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Race Report

July 7, 2024

Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
Lexington, Ohio
July 7, 2024


POINTS: 10TH (-143)

RACE RUNDOWN: Josef Newgarden and the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet team know their way around the twisty, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and where its Victory Circle is located. Sunday's Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, however, was fraught with obstacles for the reigning Indianapolis 500-winning team. After qualifying in the 16th position on Saturday afternoon, the PPG Chevy group elected to start Sunday's 200-lap event on the red, alternate Firestone tires. Assuming correctly that the tire of choice would be the black, primary Firestones, the team wanted to use their mandatory "reds" early. Unfortunately, Newgarden was one of a handful of drivers that experienced early tire "graining" on the alternate tires. This resulted in an early pit stop for new Firestones and a large change to the team's race strategy, going from two pit stops to three. The outcome for the PPG team got worse when Newgarden was assessed multiple pit lane speeding penalties following a Lap 63 pit stop. The penal trips down pit lane resulted in Newgarden crossing the finish line in the 25th position, one lap down to the race winner. 

NEWGARDEN'S THOUGHTS: "It was a good day for starting as far back (as we did).  We just got behind very early this weekend.  We started pretty far off and we were not happy where we came off the truck and then it just took too long to get where we needed it to be.  We sort of half got there by qualifying and we sort of fully got there by the race, but you certainly can't start the weekend that far behind.  So, I was really proud of the guys. They did a great job, good pit stops, we were just too far behind this weekend to catch up."


POINTS: 8TH (-105)

RACE RUNDOWN: Scott McLaughlin and the No. 3 Sonsio Chevrolet team stuck to their pre-race strategy and executed it perfectly on the way to a third-place finish in Sunday's Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. After qualifying in the seventh position and just missing out on the Firestone Fast Six on Saturday afternoon, a determined McLaughlin vowed to make up for the lost positions. When the green flag flew on the 80-lap event, the 2024 Indianapolis 500 pole winner immediately sliced his way into the fifth position before entering fuel-save mode throughout the rest of the stint. This allowed him to perform an overcut on the cars in front of him, resulting in him cycling to the third position after leading two laps prior to hitting pit lane. Employing a two-stop strategy in a race that featured no caution flags, McLaughlin was unable to close the gap to the frontrunners that developed during his fuel saving. Yet, he was able to cross the finish line four positions ahead of where he started, the third time he has gained multiple positions in a race this season. 

MCLAUGHLIN'S THOUGHTS: "We were in no man's land there at the end, so I had my own race and was just playing with the hybrid a bit and learning it as well. I am just really proud of everyone on this Sonsio Protection Chevy. We have been up and down all year and it's nice to get a solid result.  Hopefully we can build on to this.  Now we go to two ovals, two ovals that I really enjoy and just keep building some momentum."


POINTS: 2ND (-48)

RACE RUNDOWN: After battling flu-like symptoms and a fever heading into the Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio race weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Will Power summoned his strength when needed to nearly score a top-10 finish before crossing the line in 11th. The two-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion started the race from the 17th position but quickly picked off three positions within the first two laps of racing action. He and the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team elected to start the race on the alternate, red Firestone tires and while others around him developed issues on the "reds," Power was able to drive his way to the top spot among those that started on the alternate tires. This placed him in an advantageous position should a timely yellow flag come out during the 80-lap event. Over the remaining two stints, the Verizon Chevy team put on the more durable Firestone primary tires that proved to be the preferred tire in a race that saw the debut of the new hybrid system that added 100 lbs. to the rear of the car. With no caution flags to bunch the field back up, Power tried to chase down as many competitors as possible before finishing in the 11th position. He remains second in the championship standings. 

POWER'S THOUGHTS: "Solid day for the Verizon Chevy team. After our issue in qualifying we needed to do something off-strategy, so we started on the alternate tires. And we were able to make them work better than most, it seemed. Just maximized our day as best we could by running on the primaries the rest of the way. Good day on pit lane too. On to Iowa."

The 10th and 11th rounds of the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will take place at the Iowa Speedway doubleheader weekend on July 13th and 14th. In addition to the racing action, fans will also be treated to concerts by Eric Church, Luke Combs, Kelsey Ballerini and Post Malone in what has become on of INDYCAR's most-popular summer events.