From Curt Calvin / indycar.com
Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin got back to his winning ways Sunday, capturing The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the All-New 2023 Civic Type R at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
McLaughlin, in his second NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, added a second win to go with the one he captured in the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida. This one was with his family present. Until May, they had not seen him compete in this series due to travel restrictions related to the pandemic.
It was a big day for Team Penske, with Will Power charging from effectively last place – he started 21st among 27, then pitted after a first-lap slide in Turn 9 – to finish third. Josef Newgarden, who won last year’s race, finished seventh.
Power drew within 20 points of the series leader Marcus Ericsson, the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner who finished sixth.
Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing finished second.
This permanent road course usually produces relatively straightforward results, with front-row starters winning three-fourths of the INDYCAR SERIES races. Although McLaughlin continued that trend by winning from the No. 2 starting position, this race felt topsy turvy with six full-course caution periods.
NTT P1 Award winner Pato O’Ward lost power and coasted to a stop too soon. That continued the struggles of this year’s pole winners, who entered the race with an average finish of 9.8. O'Ward finished 24th.
O’Ward’s Arrow McLaren SP teammate, Felix Rosenqvist, had similar trouble, retiring on Lap 9. Among the other early retirees included rookies Kyle Kirkwood, Tatiana Calderon and Callum Ilott.
Andretti Autosport drivers Alexander Rossi and Romain Grosjean had contact with each other at least twice, and Rossi bounced off rookie teammate Devlin DeFrancesco, and Grosjean bumped Colton Herta off the track. That was only part of the excitement as the drivers went wheel-to-wheel on the fan-friendly permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio.
The halfway point in the season is now officially here. The next race is the Honda Indy 200 in Toronto on July 17.
Honda INDY 200 At Mid-Ohio Results:
Simona De Silvestro
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