The ever important practice session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course occurred on Saturday morning. See, we have two NTT INDYCAR Series races and two qualifying sessions to set the lineups for each. But, only one practice session was available over the course of the entire weekend.
The 75 minute session was the only on track activity outside of the race themselves for these 23 teams. So, with these races having no cautions the last two years and qualifying being so important at Mid-Ohio in general, getting your car right for qualifying and race trim was crucial on Saturday.
That does well for the Andretti group. They’ve not won a race this year but had two cars in the top three in practice.
Ryan Hunter-Reay topped the speed charts at 1:06.3034 seconds in his No. 28 Honda. His teammate Alexander Rossi (1:06.4299 seconds) was P3 in his No. 27 Honda.
Hunter-Reay has three straight top eight finishes on this track including a podium effort last year. Rossi, won this race in 2018.
Furthermore, Andretti had four cars in the top 10 of the speed chart. That’s great news for the team that’s struggled much of 2020.
Will Power who has seven front row starting spots in the last eight years at Mid-Ohio was P2 in his No. 12 Chevrolet. Power circled the road course with a time of 1:06.3952 seconds.
Scott Dixon (1:06.4407 seconds) was P4. He leads Josef Newgarden by 96 points entering this weekend and won this race last year too. Newgarden (1:06.6952 seconds) was P6.
Santino Ferrucci (1:06.5613 seconds) rounded out the top five.
On the black tires, Alexander Rossi was quickest at 1:06.9769 seconds. Simon Pagenaud (1:07.2209 seconds), Rinus VeeKay (1:07.3132 seconds), Scott Dixon (1:07.4043 seconds) and Josef Newgarden (1:07.4378 seconds) set the top five speeds.
Pato O’Ward brought out the only stoppage with 35 minutes to go in practice when he crashed hard into the tire barriers in Turn 2. O’Ward walked away from the incident but his car had to be repaired which meant he missed the rest of the session. The Mexican driver said that he just bottomed out in the corner and the rear end just stepped out from his after.
We’d go back green with 27 minutes to go in the lone practice of the weekend.
The series will qualify for today’s race at 2 pm ET on NBC Sports Gold then race at 5 pm ET on NBCSN, INDYCAR Radio Network.