|Circuit:||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2.258-mile road course) Lexington, OH|
|2015 Winner:||Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) 105.720 mph average|
|Weather:||Mostly sunny, warm, humid, 80 degrees F|
Top-10 Race Results:
|1.||1.||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Chevrolet||90||110.853 mph average|
|2.||2.||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevrolet||90||+4.162 seconds|
|3.||15.||Carlos Munoz||Andretti Autosport||Honda||90|
|4.||6.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Honda||90|
|5.||9.||James Hinchcliffe||Schmidt Peterson Mtspts||Honda||90|
|6.||22.||Conor Daly-R||Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||90||Led 22 laps|
|7.||19.||Spencer Pigot-R||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||90|
|8.||5.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||90|
|9.||20.||Takuma Sato||A.J. Foyt Racing||Honda||90|
|10.||3.||Josef Newgarden||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||90|
Other Honda-powered Results
|13.||21.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport||Honda||90||Running|
|14.||12.||Alexander Rossi-R||Andretti/Herta Autosport||Honda||90||Running|
|17.||10.||Mikhail Aleshin||Schmidt Peterson Mtspts||Honda||90||Led 33 laps|
|18.||4.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda||90|
|19.||18.||RC Enerson-R||Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||89|
|21.||17.||Jack Hawksworth||A.J. Foyt Racing||Honda||60||Did not finish – contact|
Podium Finish for Munoz, Honda at Mid-Ohio
- Climbs from 15th to third to lead Honda effort
- Honda drivers lead 55 of 90 laps
- Aleshin stars, leads 33 laps until delayed by pit lane incident, penalty
- Daly leads 22 laps before fuel gamble comes up short
Taking advantage of strong car and a well-timed caution flag, Carlos Munoz vaulted from 15th on the starting grid to finish third in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Munoz was one of several Honda drivers to feature in the “home” race for Honda, which has more than 15,000 associates in facilities throughout central Ohio, with many in attendance throughout the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend.
Mikhail Aleshin led a race-high 33 laps for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, at one point holding more than a 10-second advantage over the field. But a collision with Josef Newgarden while exiting pit lane on Lap 61 led to a drive-through penalty, ending the Honda driver’s chance of victory and resulting in an unrepresentative 17th-place finish.
Following the Aleshin-Newgarden incident, Conor Daly took advantage of an “off-sequence” pit strategy to lead the next 22 laps. But the handful of caution laps Daly needed to make it to the finish never came, and he finished sixth after a quick pit stop for a splash of fuel with just six laps remaining. He finished sixth.
Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe fought back after early issues to finish fourth and fifth, respectively. IndyCar debutant RC Enerson produced impressive lap times throughout practice and qualifying – and turned the third-fastest race lap – before running out of fuel on his way to pit lane mid-race and losing a lap as a result.
Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda Verizon IndyCar Series and Acura Motorsports activities at Mid-Ohio – as well as Honda Red Bull Global Rallycross action from Washington, D.C. – are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
The Verizon IndyCar Series now takes two weekends off before resuming August 21 with the ABC Supply Company 500 at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway oval in Long Pond, PA.
Carlos Munoz (#26 Andretti Autosport Honda) started 15th, finished 3rd: “Finally, we pitted at the right time – this year we’ve had a lot of bad luck. It’s nice to be back on the podium, it’s been a long time. I’m really happy to be third after how the weekend started out. I have to thank my team, Honda, everyone – they nailed the pit strategy. For Andretti Autosport, it’s been quite a long time without [a podium finish] so it’s nice to be back. We had the track position and we had the pace – it was really physical, especially with the [standard] black [tires]. I had to push a lot.”
Conor Daly (#18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda) started 22nd, finished 6th, led 22 laps: “We kept locking the right front up [early in the race], and I kept sailing off [course]. As soon as I sorted the brake bias, the car was amazing. We had to pit [early] because the right front tire was destroyed [due to brake lockup]. Because of that, we were about seven laps short [of fuel]. We knew we couldn’t make it to the end, so why not keep going and pushing? I tried to nail every single lap. We had a good enough car to stay up front and pull the gap that we needed. Sixth is about as good as we could’ve done in that scenario. I was just happy to pull away and lead like that for a stint. These guys kept their faith in me. I’m just glad we could have a good finish.”
Mikhail Aleshin (#7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) started 10th, finished 6th, led 33 laps: “The car was amazing. The team did a fantastic job to bring the SMP Racing car up to speed. No one was really faster than we were. I felt quite competitive up at the front. Everything was going proper, perfect and I was saving fuel but at the same time, I was the fastest car on the track so obviously, the car was pretty good. I think the [pit lane] incident was unfortunate. I want to just say that sometimes these things happen in the race. We were ready to win, but we got a little bit unlucky today.”
Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: “This is one that ‘got away’. Mikhail [Aleshin] was clearly the class of the field, and led the most laps completely on merit. But for the second time this season, a pit lane incident took our top-running car out of contention. Kudos to Carlos [Munoz] for a very smart race, to Graham [Rahal] for fighting his way towards the front after getting shuffled back and to James [Hinchcliffe] for his great recovery from last [after his pit lane penalty] to finish fifth. Finally, I’d be remiss to not complement Conor Daly and the whole Dale Coyne Racing team for a bold gamble that could have won race. In the end. it was an very entertaining race, and thanks to the thousands of Honda associates for coming out this weekend and showing their support for our racing effort.”