Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Scott McLaughlin Wins the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

Scott McLaughlin wins at Mid-Ohio.
Scott McLaughlin claimed his second win of the season in a wild NTT IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Image courtesy of Chris Owens / Penske Entertainment

Scott McLaughlin fended off reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou to win the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

The 29-year-old New Zealander and driver of the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet took advantage of starting second and utilized strategy and track position to find the top spot, leading a race-high 45 of 80 laps en route to a 0.5512s margin of victory. It marks the second win of the season and career for McLaughlin, who is in his second full-time IndyCar season.

While Palou ended up claiming the runner-up spot, the attention was rightfully on third-place finisher Will Power. After starting a miserable 21st, the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet of Power spun at the start and fell to last (27th). Power recovered and began to methodically march forward, but the difference proved to be a timely caution on Lap 31 during a run on alternate strategy that dramatically reset track position during a pit stop sequence. From there, the 2014 IndyCar champion and 2018 Indianapolis 500 winner made the most of restarts, along with in-laps and out-laps on the final pit stop at Lap 53 to push through the rest of the top 10 and into the last spot on the podium.

Rinus Veekay collected fourth, his second top five of the season. Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon finished fifth.

Marcus Ericsson, Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves finished sixth, seventh and eighth. David Malukas, piloting the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda, finished off his strong weekend as the highest finishing rookie in ninth.

Simon Pagenaud collected 10th as Meyer Shank Racing put both of its cars, Castroneves being the other, in the top 10.

It was far from the day Arrow McLaren SP expect as Felix Rosenqvist, who started fourth, ended up retiring early with a mechanical issue after just eight laps. It was a similar story for pole-sitter Pato O’Ward, who led the opening 28 laps before reporting an issue over the radio. Ultimately, it proved to be costly as hopes for victory extinguished after 52 laps.

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