Mid-Ohio IndyCar: O’Ward takes pole, bad day for Power, Newgarden

Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet Pato O’Ward tied his best sectors together when it mattered to take pole for IndyCar’s Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, but Team Penske’s Will Power and Josef Newgarden will start buried in the pack.

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Firestone Fast Six

Pato O’Ward was the first driver to set a representative time on used reds, a 67.0852sec, before pitting immediately to grab another set of worn reds. His time withstood the first efforts by Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske-Chevrolet and his own teammate Felix Rosenqvist. Then he lowered the mark still further to 66.7054, a brilliant lap of 121.861mph around the 2.238-mile course in Lexington, OH. that ensured he was over 0.13sec ahead of McLaughlin, and half a second up on Rosenqvist, who in the previous two segments had looked faster than the 2018 Indy Lights champ. In fact, Rosenqvist was sent to the outside of the second row by Andretti Autosport-Honda’s Colton Herta.

The result means O’Ward is the ninth different polesitter in nine races in the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series.

Scott Dixon was the fastest of the Chip Ganassi Racing-Hondas at the track where he has won six times, albeit 0.7sec off the ultimate pace, while Simon Pagenaud’s decision to run two sets of reds on his Meyer Shank Racing-Honda in Q2 helped get him into the Fast Six but obviously hampered him in the final shootout.

P

Name

FTime

Diff

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Tire

Team

1

Pato O'Ward

1:06.7054

-

4

4

121.861

Chevy

A

Arrow McLaren SP

2

Scott McLaughlin

1:06.8382

0.1328

3

3

121.619

Chevy

A

Team Penske

3

Colton Herta

1:07.0262

0.3208

4

4

121.278

Honda

A

Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian

4

Felix Rosenqvist

1:07.2163

0.5109

2

3

120.935

Chevy

A

Arrow McLaren SP

5

Scott Dixon

1:07.4047

0.6993

3

3

120.597

Honda

A

Chip Ganassi Racing

6

Simon Pagenaud

1:07.4199

0.7145

3

3

120.570

Honda

A

Meyer Shank Racing

Q2

Scott McLaughlin, Simon Pagenaud and Callum Ilott started this session on Firestone’s alternates, and sure enough they went to the top, perhaps surprisingly with Ilott at the top initially, before McLaughlin beat him by 0.12sec. However, while he was still on primaries David Malukas was able to send the Dale Coyne Racing w/HMD-Honda to the top of the speed charts with a 67.1309sec.

Then Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi each then took turns at the top, before Colton Herta ducked down to 66.7953sec, and was then shaded by Scott Dixon – by a mere 0.0007sec!

The times continued to tumble, with the AMSP cars of Felix Rosenqvist and Pato O’Ward again 0.2sec apart, pushing Dixon down to third, before McLaughlin launched the #3 Penske-Chevrolet to the top of the times with a 66.5341.

Herta and Pagenaud completed the top six, but defending champion Alex Palou was pushed out of the top six.

Malukas was disappointed that O’Ward wasn’t penalized for holding him up, leaving him eighth, although just ahead of the driver who beat him to the Indy Lights title, Kyle Kirkwood. The AJ Foyt Racing-Chevy driver was ninth, but could be happy with being able to beat two surprise non-graduates to the Firestone Fast Six, Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet who has looked strong this weekend, and the man who Kirkwood will replace at Andretti Autosport next year, Rossi.

P

Name

FTime

Diff

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Tire

Team

1

Scott McLaughlin

1:06.5341

-

7

7

122.175

Chevy

A

Team Penske

2

Felix Rosenqvist

1:06.5438

0.0097

7

7

122.157

Chevy

A

Arrow McLaren SP

3

Pato O'Ward

1:06.7504

0.2163

7

7

121.779

Chevy

A

Arrow McLaren SP

4

Scott Dixon

1:06.7946

0.2605

7

7

121.698

Honda

A

Chip Ganassi Racing

5

Colton Herta

1:06.7953

0.2612

6

7

121.697

Honda

A

Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian

6

Simon Pagenaud

1:06.7955

0.2614

7

7

121.697

Honda

A

Meyer Shank Racing

7

Alex Palou

1:06.7965

0.2624

7

7

121.695

Honda

A

Chip Ganassi Racing

8

David Malukas

1:06.8201

0.2860

6

7

121.652

Honda

A

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD

9

Kyle Kirkwood

1:06.9506

0.4165

6

7

121.415

Chevy

A

AJ Foyt Enterprises

10

Callum Ilott

1:06.9534

0.4193

6

7

121.410

Chevy

A

Juncos Hollinger Racing

11

Rinus VeeKay

1:06.9843

0.4502

6

7

121.354

Chevy

A

Ed Carpenter Racing

12

Alexander Rossi

1:07.0155

0.4814

6

7

121.297

Honda

A

Andretti Autosport

Q1 Group 2

Josef Newgarden and Felix Rosenqvist were the fastest drivers on primaries, but somehow Newgarden couldn’t summon up the speed to remain in the top six on the alternate compounds. Rosenqvist could, however, and he delivered a 66.5379sec to edge Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet teammate Pato O’Ward by 0.2237sec. Behind these two were Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport), six-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon, his Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda teammate Alex Palou, and a great effort from Kyle Kirkwood of AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet.

P

Name

FTime

Diff

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Tire

Team

1

Felix Rosenqvist

1:06.5379

-

7

7

122.168

Chevy

A

Arrow McLaren SP

2

Pato O'Ward

1:06.7616

0.2237

6

6

121.759

Chevy

A

Arrow McLaren SP

3

Colton Herta

1:07.0058

0.4679

7

7

121.315

Honda

A

Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian

4

Scott Dixon

1:07.0347

0.4968

7

7

121.263

Honda

A

Chip Ganassi Racing

5

Alex Palou

1:07.1155

0.5776

6

7

121.117

Honda

A

Chip Ganassi Racing

6

Kyle Kirkwood

1:07.2377

0.6998

6

7

120.896

Chevy

A

AJ Foyt Enterprises

7

Josef Newgarden

1:07.3338

0.7959

7

7

120.724

Chevy

A

Team Penske

8

Christian Lundgaard

1:07.4207

0.8828

6

7

120.568

Honda

A

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

9

Graham Rahal

1:07.5909

1.0530

7

7

120.265

Honda

A

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

10

Devlin DeFrancesco

1:07.6475

1.1096

6

7

120.164

Honda

A

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

11

Conor Daly

1:07.6745

1.1366

6

7

120.116

Chevy

A

Ed Carpenter Racing

12

Jack Harvey

1:07.9362

1.3983

7

7

119.653

Honda

A

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

13

Tatiana Calderon

1:08.4370

1.8991

6

7

118.778

Chevy

A

AJ Foyt Enterprises

14

Jimmie Johnson

1:08.5318

1.9939

7

7

118.614

Honda

A

Chip Ganassi Racing

Q1 Group 1

On the harder Firestone primaries, Team Penske-Chevrolet’s Will Power set the fastest time turning a 67.5559, 120.327mph, beating Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet by 0.3172sec, turning just 3 laps before ducking into the pits before pitting for the alternate tires.

However, an incident between Power and Helio Castroneves of Meyer Shank Racing-Honda, who started the session on reds, was under Steward’s review because Power was seen weaving to get the shine off his tires on his out lap as he made the run down to Turn 2. He had accidentally impeded his former teammate, and sure enough, Power had his best laps taken away and will start only 21st. According to Power, Castroneves walked down pitlane to apologize for causing him a penalty since the MSR car wasn’t on a strong lap.

With their first truly representative times on reds, the times ducked into the 66s, and Power led the way but alas, in vain.

That left teammate Scott McLaughlin at the top of the group, ahead of VeeKay, the MSR car of Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport-Honda, Callum Ilott’s Juncos Hollinger Racing-Chevy, and David Malukas of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD-Honda, who has impressed throughout the weekend.

On the outside looking in were a disappointed Marcus Ericsson, Castroneves, Romain Grosjean and of course, Power.

P

Name

FTime

Diff

FL

Laps

FSpeed

Engine

Tire

Team

1

Scott McLaughlin

1:06.5897

-

7

7

122.073

Chevy

A

Team Penske

2

Rinus VeeKay

1:06.8191

0.2294

6

7

121.654

Chevy

A

Ed Carpenter Racing

3

Simon Pagenaud

1:06.9474

0.3577

6

7

121.421

Honda

A

Meyer Shank Racing

4

Alexander Rossi

1:06.9501

0.3604

6

7

121.416

Honda

A

Andretti Autosport

5

Callum Ilott

1:06.9627

0.3730

7

7

121.393

Chevy

A

Juncos Hollinger Racing

6

David Malukas

1:06.9932

0.4035

6

7

121.338

Honda

A

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD

7

Marcus Ericsson

1:07.1475

0.5578

7

7

121.059

Honda

A

Chip Ganassi Racing

8

Helio Castroneves

1:07.1798

0.5901

6

7

121.001

Honda

A

Meyer Shank Racing

9

Romain Grosjean

1:07.2573

0.6676

7

7

120.861

Honda

A

Andretti Autosport

10

Takuma Sato

1:07.4645

0.8748

6

7

120.490

Honda

A

Dale Coyne Racing w/RWR

11

Will Power

1:07.5559

0.9662

3

7

120.327

Chevy

A

Team Penske

12

Dalton Kellett

1:08.2444

1.6547

5

6

119.113

Chevy

A

AJ Foyt Enterprises

13

Simona De Silvestro

1:08.4995

1.9098

6

7

118.669

Chevy

A

Paretta Autosport

 

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