Mid-Ohio Race Review: Precious Little Edition

pagsmidohindycarcom.jpg

Photo from indycar.com

IndyCar’s least entertaining track lived up to its reputation with precious little passing and even less excitement.

The start especially as well as restarts provided brief glimpses of racing. Cars were three wide on the first lap, the air thick with tire smoke rising from the contact. The field quickly spread out into a procession however, or what we call situation normal at Mid-Ohio. Precious little Penske Frenchman Simon Pagenaud won from pole, padding his points lead. It was a predictably smallish sort of weekend in central Ohio.

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Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Two caution periods for ten laps seemed too few, as contact and damage were rife during portions of the race. Four penalties seemed insufficient also, considering three were for pit lane violations and two of those were on one driver. Mikhail Aleshin led thirty laps prior to his last stop troubles. Doing his best Francesco Dracone impersonation, the racy Russian hit equipment, crew and Josef Newgarden after prematurely being sent out of his SPM pit.

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Photo from motorsport.com

Scott Dixon’s awful weekend included a “miscommunication” leading to an eleventh place qualifying effort, breaking his front wing soon after the start and an early retirement due to contact. It came while attempting to pass Helio Castro-Neves in the key hole, bringing out the first full course yellow on lap fifteen. Helio pinched him going into the corner and Dixie’s left front folded to the ground like a cheap tent. After finishing last, Dixon tersely admitted it was “an aggressive move.”

Helio

Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Penske cars encountered controversy repeatedly, with Helio venturing wildly off course after taking out Dixon. Then Mad Will Power committed the foul of the race. The unstable Aussie slammed into the back of Newgarden, damaging his car for only the first time of the afternoon. It was a shame as Josef was showing well until he got rear-ended, a hanging ass pod forcing him into the pits.

josefedcarpenterracingcom

Photo from edcarpenterracing.com

To Newgarden’s chagrin and ours, no avoidable contact penalty was called on the Penske pilot who with the help of the stewards finished second. Newgarden recovered somewhat, battling back to finish tenth after running out of fuel. It’s past time for IndyCar to re-jigger race control, as their pro-Penske bias is now beyond obvious.

Photo from twitter.com

Townsend Bell stumbled into some truth about the event saying “it becomes very difficult around here to pass.” Yeah, we’ll say. Writing about precious little passing would be too praising and too predictable. Andretti Autosport sported the top Honda, with Carlos “OK” Munoz finishing third at the mediocre sports car course. Prior to the race Jimmy Vasser admitted – whilst praising Mid-Ohio, mind you – that it’s “a one lane track.” Translation: it offers precious few passing opportunities.

pagsmidohiosportsusatodaycom.jpg

Photo from sports.usatoday.com

Jack Hawksworth ran a decent race for AJ Foyt until making hard contact with the wall on lap sixty one. This accident brought out the last yellow and bunched up the field for a final restart, though it was anticlimactic as the conclusion was never really in doubt. Pags and Power banged a couple of times before falling back into line for the finish. Unfortunately, “that yellow we’re looking for” as Paul Tracy mentioned never materialized. Middling Mid-Ohio with its precious little action saw to that.

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8 thoughts on “Mid-Ohio Race Review: Precious Little Edition

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