2022 IndyCar Recap: Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

IndyCar Mid-Ohio 2022

On the legs of a fantastic British Grand Prix, the 2.25-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course served as the second leg of a big third of July motorsports day. Josef Newgarden, who picked up his first win of 2021 here a year ago, entered the weekend with a win at Road America which played host to NASCAR this weekend. After winning a cool million dollars, could the Nashville native make it two in a row? To do so he would have to overcome a start outside the top 10.

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Wickens Back on Top

Over the break and this weekend, there was an incredible moment for former IndyCar driver Robert Wickens. If you are unfamiliar with Wickens, the Canadian suffered a near career-ending spinal injury at Pocono after he went into the catch fence off of turn two. Since then he has made an inspiring journey back to racing, via the Michelin Pilot series. Not only did he pick up his first win at Watkins Glen, but he won again in his home country of Canada this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Just an all-around remarkable story, here’s to hoping he can keep rattling off wins now.

Power Outage

Things did not start according to plan for Will Power. Not even a full lap in, he spun out going into the Thunder Valley section, trying to making a diving inside pass on Takuma Sato. That ended up putting the former Series and Indy 500 Champion at the tail end of the field in a matter of seconds. Speaking of power, one Felix Rosenqvist, who was just re-upped by McLaren to run either IndyCar or Formula E (still TBA) lost his. More specifically, his engine gave way on lap nine, ending his day early. A bummer for Rosenqvist, who qualified on row two. In addition to having four straight top 10s entering the weekend. Reasonably, this had his teammate Pato O’Ward concerned as he was out in front at this point.

Sped Up Pit Cycle

The opening set of green-flag pit stops began around lap 25, but things picked up when Kyle Kirkwood was dead in the proverbial water, grass in this case, which brought everyone else down around lap 30 with the anticipation of a caution. To no surprise, one did arrive, which ended up hurting O’Ward the most. Scott McLaughlin, Alex Palou, and Colton Herta all cycled ahead of him as a result, two of those three even pitted after him as well. Of that grouping, Palou was the lone driver then running on the Firestone reds.

The saying ‘cautions breed cautions’ also took another win, as one came out no more than 20 seconds into the next run. Jack Harvey got into the back of Callum Illott into turn two and dumped him into the inside grass. For Harvey and the No. 45 team, he would get sent to the tail of the field for avoidable contact.

Then for the second time inside 30 laps, a stopped car in the grass brought the field to pit road under green for Tatiana Calderona. More so, a massive issue for O’Ward came ahead as he was exiting pit road. Those engine issues they feared for the entire race finally came to pass and he was done for the day. But wait, there’s more, because Herta, who inherited the lead under green never pit before the caution came out. Meaning he would drop upwards of 20 spots with a stop under yellow, and he was furious in the car as you could imagine.

Power Restored

A developing story after his first lap spin was the comeback Power was on. He had made major inroads on the leads in the last run and found himself in fourth on lap 59. Granted, he burned a ton of his push to pass in the process, but that is a ‘worry about that later’ deal. Even better was that Power was going to get a restart starting in third. That was because Andretti Autosport teammates Romain Grosjean and Alexander Rossi made contact multiple times en route to Grosjean getting put in the tire barriers in turn two. And in simple terms, that is beef, because Grosjean was red hot. The biggest loser here was Herta, who had to come down pit road now after opting to stay out last go around.

Return of the Mac

Things hadn’t been going the best for McLaughlin after his season-opening win at St. Petersburg. After losing out at the buzzer to Newgarden at Texas, the New Zealander didn’t score a top-five in his next six outings, including four finishes outside the top 10. That turned around in a big way on Sunday, as he completed a big late-race stint, holding off Palou and Power to pick up win No. 2 in 2022. Better yet, this was his first IndyCar win with his mom and dad in attendance. Due to the pandemic, they weren’t at his St. Pete win, but they were live and in living color on Sunday. No back-to-back for Newgarden, but it’s back-to-back for Team Penske.

2022 Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Top 10

1st No. 3 Scott McLaughlin

2nd No. 10 Alex Palou

3rd No. 12 Will Power

4th No. 21 Rinus VeeKay

5th No. 9 Scott Dixon

6th No. 8 Marcus Ericsson

7th No. 2 Josef Newgarden

8th No. 06 Helio Castroneves

9th No. 18 David Malukas

10th No. 60 Simon Pagenaud

IndyCar Series Points Standings after Mid-Ohio

1st No. 8 Marcus Ericsson 321 Points

2nd No. 12 Will Power 301 Points (-20)

3rd No. 2 Josef Newgarden 287 Points (-34)

4th No. 10 Alex Palou 286 Points (-35)

5th No. 5 Pato O’Ward 256 Points (-65)

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images 

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