By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio and the Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH. The Open Wheel will be covering the action on site all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel
Indy Lights Preview: Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio (Entry List), Race 1 – Saturday, July 27, 2019 1:20PM (ET) & Race 2 – Sunday, July 28, 2019 12:45PM (ET) – The championship battle between Oliver Askew and Rinus VeeKay is heating up with just seven races to go in the season. Results from Indy Lights Race 1 and Race 2 from 2018 show Andretti Autosport should have a big advantage this weekend as they swept the podium in each race in 2018. That’s good news for the already fast Andretti Autosport trio of Askew, Robert Megennis, and Ryan Norman. Juncos Racing’s 2018 star Victor Franzoni was mid pack last year so VeeKay should at least have a say in the conversation, but I still expect the Andretti trio to dominate. My picks to win: Oliver Askew & Ryan Norman
NTT IndyCar Series Preview: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio – Sunday, July 28, 2019 4:00PM (ET) NBC – Previous driver experience at Mid-Ohio shows five former winners in the field in Scott Dixon (5), Josef Newgarden (1), Simon Pagenaud (1), Graham Rahal (1), and Alexander Rossi (1). The Top 5 in laps led are Dixon (223), Power (113), Newgarden (78), Rossi (66), and Sebastien Bourdais (38). Rossi and Newgarden have won over the last two years. Looking at the box scores from 2018 and 2017, only Newgarden and Will Power have finished in the Top 5 in each of the last two years. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, those two are joined by Rossi, Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Pagenaud, and Rahal. RC Enerson returns to the series this week in the Carlin No. 31 entry. My pick to win: Simon Pagenaud – When Pagenaud gets momentum, he’s as dangerous as anyone and that’s still the case now with another pole and Top 5 at Iowa after a dominant showing at Toronto. Pagenaud has finished on the podium in 50% of his Mid-Ohio starts and I think he’ll be on the top step this weekend.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Will Power, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal & RC Enerson – You know my thoughts on Pagenaud, but at $31 it’s hard to predict a team you really believe in before the weekend. We’ll swap in Will Power here and hope his speed finally translates to a strong race weekend as he’s made a bunch of errors this year. Dixon is known as the man to beat at Mid-Ohio for good reason and always a smart pick here. In addition to his five wins, he has six podiums, ten Top 5’s, and 12 Top 10’s at the circuit. Crazy! Rahal always drives well at Mid-Ohio and his RLL team has been fast almost everywhere this year. Enerson is a bit of a wild pick considering his extended time away from the NTT IndyCar Series, but he’s done well at Mid-Ohio in Road to Indy and tested with Carlin a bunch in the preseason. It may take him a session or two to get back up to speed, but I expect him to be racy this weekend.