The race was moved to August because of the Olympics. Then they canceled the Olympics. It was then moved again due to the 500 Schedule kerflulffle. Then it was a double header, then it was canceled. Then, at the last minute: resurrection. Even with fans. Mid Ohio: you’re always so extra. In one short day the drivers in the NTT INDYCAR Series will take to the natural road course at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. Competing compete in the Honda Indy 200 Double Header. Both Saturday and Sunday the drivers will drive seventy-five laps on the 2.258 mile road course, featuring thirteen turns and fantastic breaking points. Fans are treated to qualifications and a race both Saturday and Sunday. I won’t be there, first time since we started this podcast, thanks a lot global health pandemic (actually it’s another reason with my job but harder to explain). I’m still hoping for a good weekend full of great racing.
Two years in 2018 Alexander Rossi played out a beautiful two-stop strategy. Rossi started from the pole and led most of the race. While all others completed the race with three-stops, there was Andretti Autosport Fuel Magic™ and he only had to do two stops. It was, if you recall, the race where he had a horrible attempt at a donut burnout at the end. Last year, oh last year, rookie Felix Rosenqvist came for the king and his teammate Scott Dixon in the last few laps. There were no team orders but “hey that’s your teammate” (CGR speak for “don’t wreck out your teammate”). The rookie came close, both to winning and almost taking out his teammate. Even Dixon commented that given a few more laps Rosenqvist would have gotten him. Rosenqvist fell trap to the rookie excitement.
Rookies, I think, may be bringing a great show this weekend. It’s another double-header, but the kids who recently graduated from the Road to Indy series are used to double-headers. Oliver Askew had wins at Mid-Ohio last year in IndyLights, and Patricio O’Ward the year before (2018). Askew also had a sweep at Mid-Ohio while in IndyPro 2000, as did Rinus VeeKay. If you’ve got some money to bet with, bet on the rookies Askew, O’Ward, and VeeKay. I’d also put some money on Felix Rosenqvist. When we interviewed he and Marcus Ericsson this year (you can catch that interview HERE), he seemed hungry for that miss. Rosenqvist is no longer a rookie, and he’s got a road course win under is belt with his win at Road America earlier this season (read the recap of that race HERE). Of course, if you’re looking for a sure bet: put money on Mr. Mid-Ohio Scott Dixon, six times a winner at Mid Ohio.
Right now, looking at overall points, Dixon has nearly a 100-point cushion between himself and Josef Newgarden. We have two races at Mid-Ohio, two races at the IMS road course, and the final race at St. Petersburg. You get about fifty-four points for a flawless race and a pole. Mathematically Dixon has to has to crap on the track to lose the championship. Seriously, he has to have a no-good-very-bad end to his season to lose. With two races at Mid-Ohio, where he wins without even trying. It is 2020 though, and stranger things have happened than Scott Dixon losing at Mid-Ohio. Plus, the current weather forecast is calling for rain. Rain is a wild card. Rain can change everything.