TRACK: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2.258-mile, 13-turn road course), DISTANCE: 80 Laps (180.64 Miles)
For the first time ever, Mid-Ohio will host the NTT IndyCar Series on the Fourth of July weekend. While from 2016-2019 this race was held at the end of July, this weekend marks the earliest INDYCAR race here since 1980 when Johnny Rutherford won on July 13.
- Five of the last six races were won by a front row starter including four of which from the pole.
- Starting positions for natural road courses lately (since 2016) 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 7th, 1st, 5th, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 20th, 1st, 4th, 1st, 8th, 2nd, 8th, 2nd, 1st, 7th, 9th, 7th, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 7th and 5th. That’s 33 of the last 34 coming from the top 10 including 18 from the pole and 26 of 33 (79%) from the Fast 6.
- Expect few cautions. There’s been two or fewer in six straight races now at Mid-Ohio including nine of the last 10. Five of the last 10 went from green flag to checkered flag without a stoppage.
- We’ve had seven straight different winners in this race (Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi, Scott Dixon, Will Power and Colton Herta).
TRACK COMPARISONS/WHO’S BEEN GOOD ON THEM
While a road course is a road course, Mid-Ohio is most comparable though to Barber, Road America, IMS (road course), Portland and Laguna Seca. Toronto, Long Beach and St. Pete are street circuits run on city streets. These other road courses are all natural free flowing terrain with some elevation changes. If you’re good at one, you’re more than likely good at the others.
Last year, Penske and Ganassi each won three times on these types of circuits including all three at IMS and then swept the podium in one of the races on them already this season at Barber. Ganassi then won in the the last race in Road America. Andretti Autosport won the other last year while ECR won one this year. Scott Dixon won twice so did Will Power. Alex Palou is 2-for-3 this season with wins in Barber and Road America.
If you go back to 2019, we’ve had 16 different races on natural road courses with 10 different winners. Power, Dixon and Herta are all the best with three wins a piece. Palou (2) is the only other one who has more than one.
Ganassi has six wins on them with Penske having won five times. Andretti has scored four trips to victory lane on them too. RLL and ECR are the only other teams to have won a natural road course event since 2019 as it came at Barber (2019) and IMS (2021).
Ganassi is 2-for-3 this year but has one win in the last seven in Mid-Ohio. They had six straight victories though prior and seven in the eight years in general before this new drought.