・Alex Palou increases his championship lead to 39 points with third-place run
・Marcus Ericsson challenges for win in final laps, finishes second
・Honda powers six of top seven finishers, increases Manufacturers’ Title lead
Honda’s Marcus Ericsson turned a career-best qualifying run on Saturday into a solid second-place result today to lead Honda drivers and teams to a double podium finish in the Honda Indy 200 Presented by the HPD Ridgeline at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Ericsson started third and vaulted into second when front row starter Colton Herta fell victim to a refueling issue during his first pit stop. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver was more than eight seconds behind eventual race winner Josef Newgarden at the time, but started closing the gap with each trip around the 2.231-mile Mid-Ohio layout.
The Swede had cut the lead to three seconds with 10 laps to go and shaved it to one second on the final lap before settling for a second-place finish. Ericsson led a phalanx of Honda-powered finishers in the top 10 as eight Hondas placed in the top 10 including six of the top seven.
Palou, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, started seventh but climbed through the field to claim the final spot on the podium, third. The result allowed Palou to increase his lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, and he leaves Ohio with a 39-point advantage over Pato O’Ward, and a 56-point margin over his teammate and defending champion, Scott Dixon.
Continuing the list of top-10 Honda-powered results today, Dixon would finish fourth ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, who in turn was chased home by Graham Rahal [sixth] and Romain Grosjean, eighth. Rahal Letterman Lanigan drivers Takuma Sato and Santino Ferrucci rounded out the top 10; giving Honda an unofficial 73-point Manufacturers’ Championship lead.
・American Honda has a long history of involvement in central Ohio and at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Honda was the first Japanese company to establish auto manufacturing operations in the United States, opening Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville, Ohio, in 1982. The company has had an Official Vehicle relationship with Mid-Ohio since 1994.
After four races in the past four weeks, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES now takes a three-week break before resuming August 6-8 with the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, on the temporary street circuit in Nashville, Tennessee.