The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio gave us great racing, and a major shakeup in the Championship standings. It was also the second race in a row we have run without a single caution flag.
Scott Dixon continued his dominance at Mid-Ohio, winning the race by 3.4 seconds. Will Power dominated early, leading the first 57 laps. On the final pit stop though, Dixon beat him out after Power had to wait an extra second for fuel.
Dixon has won four of the last six races at Mid-Ohio, and has never finished outside of the top five.
While Power’s second place finish was good, he added another three points to his Championship total this weekend by winning the pole and leading the most laps in the race. He jumped from third to first in the standings. While it was a good day for Dixon and Power, it was quite the opposite for Helio Castroneves and Championship leader Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Ryan’s engine began to sputter with 32 laps remaining in the race. Takuma Sato tapped his right rear with about 25 laps remaining, sending him off course. He brought the car in with three laps remaining, officially retiring from the race in 24th position. Since he did not finish the race, he will not suffer a ten-spot grid penalty at Sonoma.
Helio was never a factor in the race, and finished 16th. He was sick this weekend, and had a crash here last week during testing. In the morning practice session before qualifying on Saturday, he made contact with the rear of Mike Conway. The wheel snapped back and struck his left hand. Though he didn’t break any bones, he was in considerable pain all weekend.
Dixon, Power, and Simon Pagenaud were the podium finishers. Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe both finished in the top five. Tony Kanaan, Ryan Briscoe, Marco Andretti, JR Hildebrand, and Alex Tagliani completed the top ten.
Coming into the weekend, Hunter-Reay was the points leader with Helio and Power behind him. Dixon was a distant fourth at the time. Power now has a five point lead over Hunter-Reay, with Helio 26 points behind in third. Dixon is still in fourth, but just 28 points out of the lead instead of 61.
There are three races remaining in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Season. The next event is three weeks away, the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on August 26. The race is scheduled for 4:30 pm ET and can be seen live on NBC Sports Network.