IndyCars - Mid-Ohio: "Iconic" is the word

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…for the storied natural road course nestled in North-central Ohio that has hosted some of the greatest racing series in America. MId-Ohio has seen it all and they will see it again, this weekend, as the IndyCars do…

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The Honda Indy 200 at Mid Ohio

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Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a fan favorite, with great hillsides to view racing from. The track is 2.258 miles long, with 13 turns. They include all types, with fast corners, slow corners, flowing corners and tight corners, all on a track with significant elevation changes. The famous turns are the keyhole at Turn 3 and the carousel. Mid-Ohio is known at a “technical” track - That is, it begs to be driven with precision, instead of raw courage, and rewards that precision with a faster time. The best drivers will be those who can concentrate, lap after lap.

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Mid-Ohio is known for its camping and its campers, all great race fans willing to stay the whole weekend in tents and small campers, sometime through rain and sometimes through heat - They hang in there. Those campers will be treated to a lot of racing, this weekend, as no less than 11 races will be held, along with a bunch of attendant practice and qualifying. That racing includes:

  • Mazda Global MX-5 Cup - 2 races on Saturday and Sunday
  • Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks - 2 races on Saturday and Sunday
  • USF2000 - 2 races on Saturday and Sunday
  • Indy Pro 2000 - 2 races on Saturday and Sunday
  • Indy Lights - 2 races on Saturday and Sunday

…and, of course, the IndyCars will race on Sunday.

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Let’s take a look at all that support racing:

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Mazda Global MX-5 Cup - Though sanctioned by IndyCars, MX-5 Cup is a great training ground for SportsCar drivers. All driving identically-prepared Mazda Miata race cars, the series has huge fields and lots of action, with the goal ultimately to capture the series Cup and with it a huge scholarship to be applied to a racing career in SportsCars. MX-5 Cup has no IndyCar drivers in it, so we will wish them safe and happy racing and concentrate on the rest…

Mazda MX-5 Cup cars in action

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Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks - wherever they go, the SSTs are always the most popular support series going, and it’s easy to see why. Take a 600 hp off-road truck, designed to race on made-made dirt courses in stadiums, and send them off to race on asphalt, using metal ramps instead, and you will have awesome action that the whole family will love. These very loud beasts will get 20 feet of air under them for some 200 feet of distance off some of the ramps. The racing is often on three wheels and sometimes on two.

IndyCar driver Robby Gordon created the series, based on the old Micky Thompson stadium series and he is still one of the best competitors, along with Road to Indy ace Matthew Brabham, who is the current points leader.

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Support series… (continued)…

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USF2000 - The bottom rung on the ladder training system known as the Road to Indy, USF2000 uses the all-carbon Tatuus USF-17 car, powered by a 2.0 liter engine made by Elite Engines, with about 175 hp. The cars have racing slicks and adjustable wings. They are often the first such equipped cars the drivers will have driven. The transmissions are a six-speed sequential gearbox, with steering-wheel paddle shifters. The brakes are 4-piston monobloc caliper sets, front and rear.

The drivers are often entering formula cars for the first time, often right out of karting. They will range from 14-years-old to any age above, but youth is prevalent. Some will be rookies and some will be returning veterans and / or champions from other series. The fields are usually very large and competitive. They race hard. The last outings for these cars were at Toronto, where Christian Rasmussen and Darren Keane each took their turn at P1 and P2 in the two races, but the current points leader remains Braden Eves, driving for Cape Motorsports, with 5 WINS in 9 starts and only one race out of the TOP FIVE.

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Braden Eves in his # 8 USF-17 for Cape Motorsports

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Indy Pro 2000 - This is the middle rung of the ladder. IP2000 uses the PM-18 car from Tatuus, based on the USF-17, but with much bigger tires, much more wing, and a much more powerful engine. The Elite Engines 2.0 liter puts out 275 hp. The brakes are 274mm disc, front and rear, and bias is driver-adjustable, just like in the USF-17. Transmissions are six-speed sequential transmissions, controlled by paddle-shifters on the steering wheel. With the bigger tires and more wing, the cars have substantially more downforce than USF2000.

The fields are typically graduates from USF2000 or from European F3 and GP3, all used to more power and grip and with great racecraft. The level of competition across the board is higher and more even, though the fields are smaller than USF2000. The last outings for these cars were at Toronto, where the WINNERS were Kyle Kirkwood and Daniel Frost, but current points-leader Rasmus Lindh, driving for Juncos Racing, was on both podiums, too.

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Rasmus Lindh in the # 10 PM-18 for Juncos Racing

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Indy Lights - The car is the Dallara IL-15 and is substantially bigger and better than the PM-18. It is much closer to an IndyCar in performance and feel - a great training ground to step up to the big cars. The Dallara uses a 450 hp turbo-charged engine from AER. The adjustable brakes are by PFC and are the biggest in the Road to Indy. The transmissions are 6-speed sequentials, with paddle-shifters on the steering wheel. The cars have much bigger wheels than the PM-18, providing much more grip. The IL-15 has one more thing - Push-to-Pass, just like on the big cars. That is, an additional burst of 50 horsepower is available to the driver under certain conditions, with the push of a button on the steering wheel.

The drivers are typically graduates of USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000, but can often come from GP3 or GP2 in Europe. These drivers are ready to make the move to the big cars by season’s end and a huge number of the drivers in IndyCars are recent graduates of Indy Lights - many of them Champions. The last 2 outings for the Lights were also at Toronto, where Aaron Telitz WON a race for Belardi Auto Racing but so did points-leader Oliver Askew for Andretti Autosport, padding his points lead in the doing.

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Oliver Askew in the # 28 IL-15 for Andretti Autosport

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Officially, practice for all series racing this weekend will begin on Friday. Let’s get this going!!

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Friday at Mid-Ohio - USF2000 holds practice and qualifying…

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Practice - That time when the driver and the car’s engineer work together to maximize the performance of the car for the venue, the condition of the track and the expected weather for the race weekend. It is essential to giving the driver a car that can WIN.

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This morning, USF2000 was the first series to come out for their one and only practice session of the weekend. Following that, they qualified for Race 1 of the weekend, and we have the results of both events here.

TOPS in practice this morning was Hunter McElrea for Pabst Racing. He was followed by Denmark’s Christian Rasmussen for Jay Howard Driver Development, coming off his first series WIN at Toronto. 3rd fastest was Wisconsin’s Yuven Sundaramoorthy for Pabst Racing. In fact, Pabst had all four drivers in the TOP TEN as Colin Kaminsky was P4 and Bruna Tomaselli was P8, right behind series points leader Braden Eves for Cape Motorsports. Collectively, Pabst Racing is known as 'The Speed Boys" and speedy indeed they are, as they took all that speed into qualifying.

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Here is the way USF2000 will grid for Season Round 10, Race 1, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie

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Row 1

Pole - Hunter McElrea [R], Pabst Racing - time of 01:21.5126s for a speed of 99.724mph
HunterPole

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P2 - Christian Rasmussen [R], Jay Howard Driver Development - time of 01:21.6567s for a speed of 99.548mph

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Row 2

P3 - Yuven Sundaramoorthy [R], Pabst Racing - time of 01:21.7681s for a speed of 99.413mph

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P4 - Bruna Tomaselli, Pabst Racing - time of 01:21.7726s for a speed of 99.407mph

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Row 3

P5 - Colin Kaminsky, Pabst Racing - time of 01:21.8342s for a speed of 99.333mph

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P6 - Matthew Round-Garrido [R], Jay Howard Driver Development - time of 01:21.9008s for a speed of 99.252mph

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Row 4

P7 - Manuel Sulaiman [R], DEForce Racing
P8 - Jak Crawford [R], DEForce Racing

Row 5

P9 - Braden Eves [R], Cape Motorsports
P10 - Darren Keane, Cape Motorsports

Row 6

P11 - Zach Holden, Legacy Autosport
P12 - Eduardo Barrichello [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports

Row 7

P13 - Jack William Miller [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
P14 - Nolan Siegel [R], Newman Wachs Racing

Row 8

P15 - Reece Gold [R], Cape Motorsports
P16 - Christian Bogle [R], Jay Howard Driver Development

Row 9

P17 - Timmy Pagliuso [R] Legacy Autosport

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Notable:

  • This is the best performance by either Yuven Sundaramoorthy or Bruna Tomaselli this season in qualifying. It will be interesting to see how well they both do in the race.

  • Matt Round-Garrido had a slow start to the season but has come on strong, lately. This is more like the guy who made the 2018 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout, by virtue of his championship in Ireland in F1600.

  • Not in the starting line-up is Cameron Shields for Newman Wachs, who was injured in a shunt in Toronto and will have to sit the weekend out. He will be in the broadcast booth commenting, however, so take a listen.

Cameron Shields - speaking now

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This race, Race 1, will be run on Saturday afternoon, following another qualifying for Race 2 in the morning.

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Friday morning at Mid-Ohio - Indy Pro 2000 hold practice and qualifying…

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Just like USF2000, the middle tier of the Road to Indy, Indy Pro 2000, held a practice followed by a qualifying for Race 1 of the weekend.

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In the practice the TOP DAWG was points-leader Rasmus Lindh for Juncos Racing, besting Kyle Kirkwood for RP Motorsports Racing by 0.210 seconds. 3rd on the charts was Jacob Abel for Abel Motorsports who has been getting better with each outing. When it came time to qualify it was the TOP THREE in points - though not in order - who took the top three spots.

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Here is the way Indy Pro 2000 will grid for Season Round 10, Race 1, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie

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Row 1

Pole - Kyle Kirkwood [R], RP Motorsport Racing - time of 01:15.5151s for a speed of 107.645mph
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P2 - Rasmus Lindh [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:15.9572s for a speed of 107.018mph

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Row 2

P3 - Parker Thompson, Abel Motorsports - time of 01:16.1823s for a speed of 106.702mph

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P4 - Jacob Abel [R], Abel Motorsports - time of 01:16.4270s for a speed of 106.360mph

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Row 3

P5 - Ian Rodriguez [R], RP Motorsport Racing - time of 01:16.4363s for a speed of 106.347mph

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P6 - Danial Frost [R], Exclusive Autosport - time of 01:16.5418s for a speed of 106.201mph

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Row 4

P7 - Sting Ray Robb, Juncos Racing
P8 - Phillippe Denes, FatBoy Racing!

Row 5

P9 - Nikita Lastochkin, Exclusive Autosport
P10 - Moises de la Vara [R], DEForce Racing

Row 6

P11 - Kory Enders [R], DEForce Racing
P12 - Antoine Comeau [R], Turn 3 Motorsport

Row7

P13 - Antonio Serravalle, Pserra Racing w/Jay Howard Driver Development
P14 - Charles Finelli, FatBoy Racing!

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Notable:

  • This is 3rd-in-points Kyle Kirkwood’s 3rd pole of the season, as he battles to gain ground in a very tight championship race with Parker Thompson, who is 2nd in the points and Danial Frost who is 4th. All are chasing Rasmus Lindh, who is leading Thompson by a decent 30 points.

  • Jacob Abel only has 7 starts this season, as he is also competing in F3 Americas, but that hasn’t stopped him from performing well. F3 Americas is a similar car to the Indy Pro 2000 car.

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This race, Race 1, is scheduled to run on Saturday afternoon, following qualifying for Race 2 in the morning.

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Friday morning at Mid-Ohio - Indy Lights comes out for practice and qualifying…

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Indy Lights also had their one shot at practice before they too got down to qualifying for Race 1 of the weekend.

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The morning practice saw the # 1 points rival for Andretti Autosport’s Oliver Askew take the TOP SPOT on time, as Rinus VeeKay for Juncos Racing topped the charts, besting Askew by 0.048 seconds. 3rd on time was a surprisingly fast Dalton Kellett for Juncos Racing, while Toby Sowery for BN Racing / Team Pelfrey was a disappointing P8. But when it came time to qualify the story switched and Rinus fell on his face while Toby and Rob Megennis soared.

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Here is the way Indy Lights will grid for Season Round 12, Race 1, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie

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Row 1

Pole - Oliver Askew [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:11.6795s for a speed of 113.405mph

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P2 - Robert Megennis [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:11.8869s for a speed of 113.078mph

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Row 2

P3 - Toby Sowery [R], BN Racing / Team Pelfrey - time of 01:12.1322s for a speed of 112.693mph

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P4 - Ryan Norman, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:12.2319s for a speed of 112.538mph

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Row 3

P5 - Dalton Kellett, Juncos Racing - time of 01:12.2607s for a speed of 112.493mph

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P6 - Rinus VeeKay [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:12.2956s for a speed of 112.438mph

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Row 4

P7 - Aaron Telitz, Belardi Auto Racing
P8 - David Malukas [R], BN Racing

Row 5

P9 - Lucas Kohl [R], Belardi Auto Racing

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Notable:

  • Rinus VeeKay was the master of Mid-Ohio in 2018, sweeping the weekend in Indy Pro 2000, so his practice performance was more indicative of what the Nederlander can do, here. He will have to work much harder in Race 1 as a result of his qualifying.

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This race, Race 1, will run on Saturday afternoon, following qualifying for Race 2 in the morning.

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Friday at Mid-Ohio - the IndyCars hold 2 practice sessions…

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The big cars came out for their first practice in the morning and then took to the track again in the afternoon. Scott Dixon for Chip Ganassi Racing posted the fastest time in the morning but he was eclipsed for the TOP SPOT in the afternoon by rookie Colton Herta for Harding Steinbrenner. Most cars went faster in the P-2 session but not all. We have COMBINED the two sessions here.

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Here was the order of speed for the IndyCars, both sessions COMBINED, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie; the driver’s best session is in ( )

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1 - Colton Herta [R], Harding Steinbrenner Racing - time of 01:05.7292s for a speed of 123.671mph (2)

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2 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske - time of 01:05.9313s for a speed of 123.292mph (2)

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3 - Will Power, Team Penske - time of 01:05.9935s for a speed of 123.176mph (2)

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4 - Felix Rosenqvist [R], Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 01:06.0218s for a speed of 123.123mph (2)

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5 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:06.0286s for a speed of 123.110mph (2)

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6 - James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (2)
7 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing (1)
8 - Matheus Leist, A.J. Foyt Enterprises (2)
9 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing (1)
10 - Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing w/ Arrow SPM (2)

11 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske (1)
12 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser Sullivan (2)
13 - Marcus Ericsson [R], Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (2)
14 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport (2)
15 - Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport (2)
16 - RC Enerson [R], Carlin (2)
17 - Santino Ferrucci [R], Dale Coyne Racing (2)
18 - Max Chilton, Carlin (2)
19 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises (2)
20 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan (2)

21 - Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing (2)
22 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport (2)
23 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan (2)

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Notable:

  • The amazing rookie class of 2019 projects their power again with Colton Herta P1 and Felix Rosenqvist P4

  • A good mix in the TOP FIVE of 3 Hondas and 2 Chevrolets. For Team Penske it is points-leader Josef Newgarden the odd man out, as he posts out of the TOP TEN.

  • Jack Harvey is on the grid this weekend after a lay-off of a few races due to his limited schedule for 2019, but you wouldn’t know it. The English two-time Indy Lights Vice-Champion is in fine form.

  • RC Enerson is on the grid for the first tine in 2019, driving the # 31 for Carlin - a car that has also had Pato O’Ward and Sage Karam as pilots, this season. RC was P21 in the P-1 session but boosted to P16 by the end of the day. Getting better.

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Left to right, Colton Herta, Jack Harvey and RC Enerson

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On Saturday the IndyCars will hold a third practice in the morning and then qualify in the afternoon.

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Friday at Mid-Ohio - the Stadium Super Trucks qualify for Race 1 of their weekend…

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Loud and proud, the SSTs came out this afternoon to first practice and then qualify for their first race of the weekend, to be run on Saturday. The competitors included: (those pictured are the IndyCar guys)

#7 - Robby Gordon

#25 - Arie Luyendyk Jr

#47 - Jeff Hoffman
#55 - Gavin Harlien
#57 - Bill Hynes
#60 - Cole Potts
#83 - Matt Brabham

#100 - Greg Biffle
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Here was the order of speed for the qualifying for the Stadium Super Trucks, Race 1:

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1 - Matthew Brabham - time of 01:50.688s
2 - Robby Gordon - time of 01:50.929s
3 - Jeff Hoffman - time of 01:51.054s
4 - Arie Luyendyk - time of 01:51.125s
5 - Cole Potts - time of 01:51.207s
6 - Gavin Harlien - time of 01:51.276s
7 - Greg Biffle - time of 01:51.529s
8 - Bill Hynes - time of 01:52.578s

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Of course, that’s not the way they will grid. In Super Trucks they grid the opposite of qualifying - that is, the slowest qualifier is P1 and the fastest is last, so Bill Hynes will be on pole.

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Here’s a taste from the last race at Toronto, where the SSTs employed the “Ramp Cam” which catches the trucks after they leave the ramp.

Take a look:

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The race will be on Saturday, mid-day.

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Saturday morning at Mid-Ohio - USF2000 qualify for Race 2…

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In the Road to Indy they hold a qualifying session for each race of a weekend, instead of using the 2nd-fastest lap of a single session for a 2nd race. It takes more time and effort, but it also gives the teams the proper chance to adjust their cars between qualifying.sessions. This morning USF2000 qualified for Race 2, even before they have done Race 1

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Here is the way that USF2000 will grid for Season Round 11, Race 2, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie

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Row 1

Pole - Hunter McElrea [R], Pabst Racing - time of 01:21.3865s for a speed of 99.879mph

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P2 - Christian Rasmussen [R], Jay Howard Driver Development - time of 01:21.4015s for a speed of 99.861mph

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Row 2

P3 - Colin Kaminsky, Pabst Racing - time of 01:21.7269s for a speed of 99.463mph

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P4 - Braden Eves [R], Cape Motorsports - time of 01:21.8148s for a speed of 99.356mph

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Row 3

P5 - Yuven Sundaramoorthy [R], Pabst Racing - time of 01:21.8248s for a speed of 99.344mph

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P6 - Zach Holden, Legacy Autosport - time of 01:22.2699s for a speed of 98.806mph

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Row 4

P7 - Jak Crawford [R], DEForce Racing
P8 - Jack William Miller [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports

Row 5

P9 - Reece Gold [R], Cape Motorsports
P10 - Nolan Siegel [R], Newman Wachs Racing

Row 6

P11 - Manuel Sulaiman [R], DEForce Racing
P12 - Bruna Tomaselli, Pabst Racing

Row 7

P13 - Eduardo Barrichello [R], Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
P14 - Matthew Round-Garrido [R], Jay Howard Driver Development

Row 8

P15 - Darren Keane, Cape Motorsports
P16 - Christian Bogle [R], Jay Howard Driver Development

Row 9

P17 - Timmy Pagliuso [R] Legacy Autosport

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Notable:

  • Kiwi Hunter McElrea grabs his 2nd pole of the weekend and 3rd pole of the season. Hunter was the WINNER of the 2018 Mazda Road to Indy Shootout.

  • Falling on his face a bit was Darren Keane for Cape Motorsports, but teammate Brqden Eves made up for it.

  • Both Matt Round-Garrido and Timmy Pagliuso were docked their fastest laps due to bringing out red flags in the session.

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left to right, Darren Keane, Matt Round-Garrido and Timmy Pagliuso

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This race will be run on Sunday morning.

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Saturday morning at Mid-Ohio - Indy Pro 2000 hold their 2nd qualifying of the weekend…

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Just like the kids from USF2000, the guys in Indy Pro 2000 went out to qualify for Race 2 of their weekend, before they had run Race 1, and 2018 USF2000 Champion Kyle Kirkwood pulled down his 2nd pole of the event.

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Here is the way Indy Pro 2000 will grid for Season Round 11, Race 2, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie

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Row 1

Pole - Kyle Kirkwood [R], RP Motorsport Racing - time of 01:15.1002s for a speed of 108.239mph

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P2 - Danial Frost [R], Exclusive Autosport - time of 01:15.5163s for a speed of 107.643mph

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Row 2

P3 - Parker Thompson, Abel Motorsports - time of 01:15.5480s for a speed of 107.598mph

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P4 - Sting Ray Robb, Juncos Racing - time of 01:15.6363s for a speed of 107.472mph

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Row 3

P5 - Ian Rodriguez [R], RP Motorsport Racing - time of 01:15.8378s for a speed of 107.187mph

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P6 - Rasmus Lindh [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:15.9162s for a speed of 107.076mph

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Row 4

P7 - Jacob Abel [R], Abel Motorsports
P8 - Nikita Lastochkin, Exclusive Autosport

Row 5

P9 - Phillippe Denes, FatBoy Racing!
P10 - Moises de la Vara [R], DEForce Racing

Row 6

P11 - Kory Enders [R], DEForce Racing
P12 - Antonio Serravalle, Pserra Racing w/Jay Howard Driver Development

Row 7

P13 - Antoine Comeau [R], Turn 3 Motorsport
P14 - Charles Finelli, FatBoy Racing!

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Notable:

  • Kirkwood has Mid-Ohio figured out. In 2018 he WON all three races that USF2000 ran at the course.

  • We expect Danial Frost and Parker Thompson to be competitive but we didn’t expect points-leader Rasmus Lindh to barely make the first three rows. He will have to dig hard to pass the guys in front of him.

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This race will be run on Sunday

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Saturday morning at Mid-Ohio - Indy Lights hold their second qualifying…

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The top step of the Road to Indy ladder, the Indy Lights, also ran their 2nd qualifying of the weekend this morning, long before running their first race.

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Here is the way that Indy Lights will grid for Season Round 13, Race 2, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie

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Row 1

Pole - Oliver Askew [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:10.8079s for a speed of 114.801mph

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P2 - Rinus VeeKay [R], Juncos Racing - time of 01:11.1130s for a speed of 114.308mph

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Row 2

P3 - Toby Sowery [R], BN Racing / Team Pelfrey - time of 01:11.2971s for a speed of 114.013mph

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P4 - Robert Megennis [R], Andretti Autosport - time of 01:11.3613s for a speed of 113.910mph

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Row 3

P5 - Dalton Kellett, Juncos Racing - time of 01:11.3668s for a speed of 113.902mph

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P6 - Ryan Norman, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:11.3876s for a speed of 113.869mph

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Row 4

P7 - Aaron Telitz, Belardi Auto Racing
P8 - David Malukas [R], BN Racing

Row 5

P9 - Lucas Kohl [R], Belardi Auto Racing

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Notable:

  • Oliver has this place figured out. Don’t bet against him sweeping the weekend. At least Rinus VeeKay has a better shot at him in Race 2

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Saturday morning at Mid-Ohio - the IndyCars hold their final practice…

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…before qualifying, this afternoon. Rookie Colton Herta for Harding Steinbrenner topped the practice, just as he had for the P-2 session. He was joined by another rookie in the TOP FIVE, but this time instead of Felix Rosenqvist for Chip Ganassi it was Santino Ferrucci for Dale Coyne - more proof of the strong rookie class.

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Here was the order of speed for the P-3 practice of the IndyCars, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie

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1 - Colton Herta [R], Harding Steinbrenner Racing - time of 01:05.7048s for a speed of 123.717mph
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2 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing - time of 01:05.7625s for a speed of 123.608mph

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3 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:05.8747s for a speed of 123.398mph

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4 - James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports - time of 01:05.9580s for a speed of 123.242mph

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5 - Santino Ferrucci [R], Dale Coyne Racing - time of 01:05.9802s for a speed of 123.201mph

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6 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
7 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
8 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
9 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser Sullivan
10 - Will Power, Team Penske

11 - Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing
12 - Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing w/ Arrow SPM
13 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
14 - Matheus Leist, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
15 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
16 - Marcus Ericsson [R], Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
17 - Max Chilton, Carlin
18 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
19 - RC Enerson [R], Carlin
20 - Felix Rosenqvist [R], Chip Ganassi Racing

21 - Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport
22 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
23 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises

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Notable:

  • Colton Herta has 3 podiums - all P2s - at Mid-Ohio from his two Lights seasons, so he knows his way around the track and it shows. He should qualify well.

  • Spencer Pigot was also the 2nd fastest guy in the P-1 session.

  • Graham Rahal has had great success at this, his home track, in the past, so it was strange to see him on the bottom of the charts in P-2, so he is looking much better here in the P-3 session. But teammate Takuma Sato didn’t get the improvement as well.

  • Scott Dixon has had great success here, with multiple WINS. Why is he struggling, right before qualifying?

  • Both RC Enerson and Felix Rosenqvist left the track, with RC going off in Turn 9 and Felix in Turn 4.

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Left to right, Colton Herta, Scott Dixon and Takuma Sato

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Qualifying will be later today.

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Mid-day at Mid-Ohio - the Indy Lights do Race 1…

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…and the WINNER from pole was Oliver Aslew for Andretti Autosport. P2 was teammate Ryan Norman while P3 went to Oliver’s nearest rival, Rinus VeeKay for Juncos Racing.

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OliWin

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On the start Oliver, from pole, got a great jump and immediately got away, while behind him Aaron Telitz for Belardi Auto Racing spun in Turn 5. One lap later, Ryan Norman was by Toby Sowery for BN Racing / Team Pelfrey in Turn 4 for P3 and quickly Toby Sowery would spin out in Turn 9 and Dalton Kellett for Juncos Racing would spin in Turn 14. All the spinners would recover and continue to race. For the next eight laps the order was Oliver, followed by teammates Rob Megennis and Ryan Norman with Rinus in P4.

By lap 10 Toby had worked his way back into P5 when he overcooked it in Turn 11 and got stuck, bringing out a full-course caution to retrieve him. On the lap 12 restart Oliver again got away cleanly. On lap 19 Ryan was able to use Push-to-Pass to get Rob in Turn 4 and went into P2.

On lap 24 Rinus Veekay made an attempt to pass Rob but the New Yorker held him off in Turn 5. One lap later Rinus was past Rob on the front straight and into the P3 spot. Askew ended the day with the Fastest Lap of the race, as well as a plus-4 second lead at the line, earning maximum points.

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Notable:

  • This is Oliver’s 5th WIN in 12 starts and gives him a commanding 34 point lead over Rinus.

  • It turns out Rinus qualified so poorly, in P6, because the floor of his car had come loose during qualifying at the critical moment. His recovery to podium showed what he could do here.

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Here is your happy podium - That’s Ryan Norman in P2 onthe left, Oliver Askew in P1 in the middle and Rinus VeeKAy in P3 on the right:

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The Lights will hold their second race on Sunday, shortly after Noon.

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Saturday at Mid-Ohio - the IndyCars are qualified!

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…and collecting his 57th pole in an extraordinary career was Will Power for Team Penske.

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Here is the way the IndyCars will grid for the Honda Indy 200, with times for the TOP SIX: [R] denotes rookie

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Row 1

Pole - Will Power, Team Penske - time of 01:05.1569s for a speed of 124.757mph

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P2 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:05.5317s for a speed of 124.044mph

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Row 2

P3 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske - time of 01:05.7885s for a speed of 123.560mph

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P4 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske - time of 01:05.8958s for a speed of 123.358mph

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Row 3

P5 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser Sullivan - time of 01:06.2040s for a speed of 122.784mph

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P6 - Felix Rosenqvist [R], Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 01:06.4914s for a speed of 122.253mph

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Row 4

P7 - Colton Herta [R], Harding Steinbrenner Racing
P8 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing

Row 5

P9 - Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing w/ Arrow SPM
P10 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport

Row 6

P11 - James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
P12 - Marcus Ericsson [R], Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Row 7

P13 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing
P14 - Santino Ferrucci [R], Dale Coyne Racing

Row 8

P15 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
P16 - Max Chilton, Carlin

Row 9

P17 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
P18 - Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing

Row 10

P19 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
P20 - Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport

Row 11

P21 - Matheus Leist, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
P22 - RC Enerson [R], Carlin

Row 12

P23 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises

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Notable:

  • This is Will’s third pole of the year, the first two at St. Pete and Circuit of the Americas. He has yet to WIN a race this year.

  • Alexander Rossi held pole for most of the Q3 Fast Six session, with his second lap besting his first, which had already secured the pole, but Will came in at the very end and stole it, by a very convincing 4/10ths of a second.

  • Rossi is coming off a morning announcement that he and Andretti Autosport have signed a multi-year deal to keep the Californian in a Honda for Micheal Andretti.

  • Not getting out of the Q1 session were both Graham Rahal and Spencer Pigot, who were expected to do very well in qualifying. It was only a few thousandths of a second that had both fail, but that’s how tight the competition is.

  • Jack Harvey and Meyer Shank Racing with SPM continue to impress, given their lack of a full season. Jack made it to the Q2 session and almost into Q1.

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left to right, Graham Rahal, Spencer Pigot and Jack Harvey

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The race is scheduled for broadcast on NBC on Sunday, starting at 4:00pm EASTERN time.

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Afternoon at Mi-Ohio - USF2000 hold Race 1 of their weekend…

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…and Denmark’s Christian Rasmussen collects his 2nd WIN of the season for Jay Howard Driver Development, right after his great weekend WIN in Toronto. Coming home P2 was Kiwi Hunter McElrea for Pabst Racing while P3 went to Hunter’s teammate Colin Kaminsky.

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At the start Christian went from P2 to P1 past pole-sitter Hunter McElrea in Turn 2. Behind, England’s Matt Round-Garrido, also for JHDD, made an excellent start from P6 to emerge in third place by the end of the opening lap. On the same lap, Timmy Pagliuso for Legacy Autosport ran off the road and became stuck in the gravel at Turn 4, bringing out a caution.

On the lap 3 restart Round-Garrido took Hunter for the P2 spot in Turn 4 and Turn 5. Rasmussen was meanwhile motoring off to a secure lead. But Matt was unable to escape Hunter McElrea and on lap 17 Hunter found a way to reclaim P2 in Turn 6, with Colin Kaminsky following past and taking P3 away from Round-Garrido, as well.

Matt then had to defend against Bruna Tomaselli and Yuven Sundaramoorthy, both also for Pabst Racing, in P5 and P6, respectively. He was able to maintain for the last three laps, while Christian cruised in with a 9.6 second lead at the line.

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Notable:

  • The beat-down by Rasmussen on the field warns everyone that his P2 start in Race 2 on Sunday could be a repeat of today.

  • The P5 by Tomaselli and P6 by Sundaramoorthy were their best career finishes.

  • At the end it was JHDD, Pabst, Pabst, JHDD, Pabst, and Pabst for the TOP SIX positions, while the best that typically-dominating Cape Motorsports could do was the P8 by points-leader Braden Eves.

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Here is your happy podium - That’s Hunter McElrea in P2 on the left, Christian Rasmussen in P1 in the middle and Colin Kaminsky in P3 on the right:

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USF2000 will hold Race 2 on Sunday in the late morning.

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Saturday afternoon at Mid-Ohio - Indy Pro 2000 hold their first race of the weekend…

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…and taking the WIN in a secure fashion was Kyle Kirkwood for RP Motorsport Racing, giving the Italian team their 4th WIN in 5 races. P2 was points-leader Rasmus Lindh for Juncos Racing, while P3 went to the other RP driver, Guatemalan Ian Rodriguez.

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KyleWin

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Starting from pole, Kirkwood had to wait a lap as the first one was waved off. Once going, Kyle jumped on the throttle and got away from Rasmus in P2. Also making a great start was Ian Rodriguez, who went from P5 to P3 by the middle of the lap.

Lap 2 was a disaster for three cars, as Parker Thompson for Abel Motorsports, 2nd in the points, had a mechanical that ended his race, while Jacob Abel for Abel Motorsports and Danial Frost for Exclusive Autosport came together in the kink on the main straight while disputing P4. All three cars were out of the race and a full-course caution started to remove the 3 damaged cars.

On the restart Kyle got away while Ian slipped past Rasmus to take P2 in Turn 4. On lap 13 Rasmus then lost P3 to his teammate, Sting Ray Robb, who then went hard after Rodriguez. On lap 21 Moises de la Vara for DEForce Racing had a massive suspension failure, bringing out a final caution. When it was cleared there was a 3-lap dash to the end. On the restart Ian and Sting Ray were battling for most of the lap and came together in Turns 4 and 5, sending Ian into the weeds.

As those two cars tangled Rasmus was able to sneak back into P2, and even though Robb resumed ahead of Rodriguez, he was instructed by race officials to give the position back to Ian. While trying to do so he also lost P4 to Nikita Lastochkin for Exclusive Autosport. Kirkwood would WIN by 2.7 seconds.

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Notable:

  • The WIN and the DNF by Parker Thompson puts Kyle Kirkwood in 2nd place, 24 points behind Rasmus Lindh. Kirkwood,who started out slowly, is now showing the form that got him his dominating 2018 championship in USF2000.

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Here is your happy podium - That’s Rasmus Lindh in P2 on the left, Kyle Kirkwood in P1 in the middle and Ian Rodriguez in P3 on the right:

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IndyProPodiumRace1

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Race 2 for Indy Pro 2000 will be on Sunday in the morning.

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Saturday afternoon at Mid-Ohio - the Stadium Super Trucks hold Race 1 of the weekend…

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…and the WINNER was Cole Potts, while P2 was Greg Biffle and P3 was Matty Brabham.

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We’ll feature the whole race in the “Off Season” thread when it is available but here’s a taste, in slo-mo:

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Here is your happy podium - That’s Matthew Brabham in P3 on the left, Cole Potts in P1 in the middle and Greg Biffle in P2 on the right:

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PodiumRace1Trucks

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The Trucks will hold Race 2 on Sunday, right before the IndyCar race. This was the last on-track activity of the day.

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IndyCar has released Qualifying highlights for the IndyCars…

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Spotter’s Guide - Changes in livery since Iowa…

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This weekend there were a few changes in look plus a few driver changes.

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Josef Newgarden handily WON Iowa in the black and white Hitachi car but for MId-Ohio he is in the same blue and white PPG Paints car that he drove at Circuit of the Americas:

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Felix Rosenqvist was in an orange and blue PNC Bank car at Iowa but comes to Mansfield in a new car, the black and green Clover car:

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Graham Rahal goes from the black and white One Cure car at Iowa to a blue and white 5/3rd Bank car for Mid-Ohio:

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Ed Jones is the pilot in the red and silver Autogeek car at Mid-Ohio, taking over the driver duties from Ed Carpenter, who was in the car at Iowa:

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RC Enerson is piloting the # 31 car for Carlin this weekend and the livery is all blue with sponsorship from the Lucas Oil School of Racing:

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Max Chilton is back in the # 59 Carlin car for Gallagher at Mid-Ohio, instead of Conor Daly who drove at Iowa:

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Jack Harvey returns to battle in the black and pink SiriusXM car for Meyer Shank, after the team has been absent for a few races:

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Marco Andretti was in his familiar red and white US Concrete car at Iowa but is in the green and white Unifirst car at Mid-Ohio:

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Sunday Morning at Mid-Ohio - The IndyCars hold the Morning Warm-up…

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This was the last chance to see who is ready to race this afternoon and a lot of the same guys who have shined all weekend were the top performers, here, as expected.

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Here was the order of speed for the IndyCars Morning Warm-up, with times for the TOP FIVE: [R] denotes rookie

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1 - Josef Newgarden, Team Penske - time of 01:06.6442s for a speed of 121.973mph

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2 - Felix Rosenqvist [R], Chip Ganassi Racing - time of 01:06.9027s for a speed of 121.502mph

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3 - Colton Herta [R], Harding Steinbrenner Racing - time of 01:06.9386s for a speed of 121.437mph

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4 - Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing - time of 01:07.1443s for a speed of 121.065mph

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5 - Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport - time of 01:07.1796s for a speed of 121.001mph

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6 - Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser Sullivan
7 - Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan
8 - Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
9 - James Hinchcliffe, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
10 - Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan

11 - Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing w/ Arrow SPM
12 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport
13 - Marcus Ericsson [R], Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
14 - Matheus Leist, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
15 - Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske
16 - Ed Jones, Ed Carpenter Racing
17 - Tony Kanaan, A.J. Foyt Enterprises
18 - Max Chilton, Carlin
19 - Will Power, Team Penske
20 - RC Enerson [R], Carlin

21 - Santino Ferrucci [R], Dale Coyne Racing
22 - Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport
23 - Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport

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Notable:

  • The guys at the top of the list are supposed to be there - their cars are working very well and that’s why they are there. But the same cannot be said necessarily for the guys at the bottom of the list. We cannot know for sure why they are there in a Warm-up, so don’t expect pole-sitter Will Power to be hopeless in the race, for instance.

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Sunday morning at Mid-Ohio - Indy Pro 2000 close out their weekend with Race 2…

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…and sweeping the weekend was Kyle Kirkwood for RP Motorsport Racing, taking his 2nd WIN from pole. P2 at the end was veteran Sting Ray Robb for Juncos Racing, while his teammate Rasmus Lindh came home P3.

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KyleWin

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The race started with a mid-pack incident as the cars were all bunched closely together prior to the green flag. Antoine Comeau, making his debut this weekend for the new Turn 3 Motorsport team, came away with a broken front wing. Title contender and P2-starter Danial Frost for Exclusive Autosport was called by the race stewards for failing to maintain a constant speed prior to the green flag and ordered to take the restart for the race from the back of the field.

On the restart, Kyle took off, with Parker Thompson for Abel Motorsports trying to stay in contact from P2. For 18 laps the field circulated without incident but on lap 19 Moises de la Vara for DEForce Racing spun in Turn 9, bringing out a caution to retrieve him.

On the restart on lap 22 Kyle pulled away clean as Sting Ray Robb got a great jump on Parker from P3 and got inside him in Turn 1. By Turn 2 he was into P2 with Rasmus Lindh also sneaking past Thompson to seal the podium. Kyle would WIN by 3.5 seconds.
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Notable:

  • This was Kyle’s 5th WIN in the last 6 races and he is again looking like the dominator from the 2018 season of USF2000. All it took was a little time for Kyle to gel with his RP Motorsport guys and he is running very strong.

  • While Kyle has earned top points, Rasmus has at least stayed close, with podiums in both races, so he still leads the points, but by a lot less than when the weekend started.
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Here is your happy podium - That’s Sting Ray Robb in P2 on the left, Kyle Kirkwood in P1 in the middle and Rasmus Lindh in P3 on the right:

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With these results, here are the TOP FIVE in points, leaving Mid-Ohio:

1 - Rasmus Lindh 284
2 - Kyle Kirkwood 271
3 - Parker Thompson 236
4 - Danial Frost 225
5 - Sting Ray Robb 215

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The next outing for Indy Pro 2000 will be at Gateway Motorsports Park, now called World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, August 23-24th, in support of the IndyCar race. But first, they will test at Gateway mid-August.

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