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The Indiana Daily Student

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NTT IndyCar Series returns to action Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

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The NTT IndyCar Series heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou was victorious at Road America on June 18 before the Series went on break last weekend.  

Winning three of the past four races, Palou enters the weekend with a 74-point lead in the championship standings over his teammate Marcus Ericsson. The stars of the IndyCar Series will look to tackle the 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course located in Lexington, Ohio.  

In 2022, Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin was victorious at Mid-Ohio after leading 45 of the 80 total laps. Heading into this weekend there are a few drivers and storylines that could be a factor in the outcome of Sunday’s race. 

Personal thoughts: 

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou 

The 2021 IndyCar champion has dominated the series this season with an astounding 74-point lead over Ericsson, but the championship isn’t yet secured. If Palou has a couple of slip-ups mixed with strong finishes from Ericsson and Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, the nearly 80-point lead could vanish. 

Although he didn’t dominate at Road America and didn’t have the fastest car, Palou found a way to overtake Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta late to secure the victory. If he can keep his No. 10 Honda out of trouble this weekend, Palou will likely finish in the top five yet again, as he already has seven top-five finishes this season.  

Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean 

Romain Grosjean enters this weekend in a bit of a rough spell. The French driver finished as the runner-up in consecutive races at Long Beach and Barber, but has struggled since then, especially at Road America two weeks ago. Virtually every time Grosjean was mentioned on the TV broadcast, he was off track. 

A victory seemed to be coming, but after a difficult past few months, a strong showing at Mid-Ohio could improve Grosjean’s confidence as the series heads into the second half of the season.  

Team Penske’s Will Power  

Team Penske has controlled Mid-Ohio by winning the last three annual races in the IndyCar Series. Will Power was victorious in 2020 and was followed by a Josef Newgarden victory in 2021. Although teammate Scott McLaughlin is the defending winner at Mid-Ohio, a strong showing from Power could be in the cards for Sunday. 

Power’s weekend at Road America was tumultuous, involving the collision between himself and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in practice. Power was able to salvage the weekend with a 13th-place finish while Dixon went on to finish fourth. If Power can stay out of trouble this weekend, a victory wouldn’t shock Sunday evening. 

My prediction to win: Team Penske’s Will Power 

My longshot to win: Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Armstrong 

The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is set for 1:30 p.m. EST Sunday and will be televised on USA Network. As different types of corners and straights cover the entire track, Sunday’s race will surely be intriguing.  

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