2016 Mid-Ohio: IndyCar Race Results - Pagenaud, Penske Win!
Simon Pagenaud has won the IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio.
Credit: PaddockTalk / Paul Hurley
By Mike Sulka
Championship run. Simon Pagenaud and his No. 22 Team Penske Chevrolet has won the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. It is his fourth win of the IndyCar season, and 8th of his IndyCar career. It was also his seventh podium of the year, and 19th of his career. He now leads the IndyCar drivers championship by more than a full race - 58 points.
Will Power would pick up his sixth podium of the year, and 48th of his IndyCar career. It is also his 54th major open-wheel podium. He is second in points.
Carlos Munoz would pick up his second podium of the year, and 7th of his career.
Graham Rahal would finish fourth with James Hinchcliffe fifth.
Under cloudy skies, it was a relatively clean start to the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio with no major contact. Simon Pagenaud led followed by the qualifying order of Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie Kimball.
On Lap 15, Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves came together after both cars had pitted early due to pit strategy. In order for Dixon to make up ground, he had to get past Castroneves. Dixon dove, Castroneves took the normal line. Dixon's race was ended due to a broken suspension as his left front hit the right rear of the Brazilian.
The race restarted on Lap 20 with Montoya at the front followed by Marco Andretti, Mikhail Aleshin, Max Chilton and Helio Castroneves. All five drivers on the alternate pit strategy. Castroneves would head to the rear of the field after losing it in Turn Two. The previous leaders of the race were well back in the field led by Pagenaud in 11th.
Montoya and Andretti would pit on Lap 26, and drop all the way back to 18th and 19th. Aleshin (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) would take the lead with a four lap pit window dis-advantage over the Pagenaud group - who was up to 8th - and a six second lead over Carlos Munoz.
Group Pagenaud had worked up to 7th - 14 seconds back - when the second round of pit stops began in earnest on Lap 37.
By Lap 44, all drivers had pitted a second time with the top ten drivers on ten different strategies - depending on the time of a yellow any driver could take an advantage. Aleshin would re-take the lead, but this time he was followed by Will Power - back by 9.5 seconds. Pagenaud was third (9.9 seconds back).
On Lap 61, Jack Hawksworth and his No. 41 piled head first into the barriers after dropping a wheel off coming under the bridge. All pit strategy games - except one - were nullified. But the distance to the end was two laps further than a full load of fuel.
On pit lane, Aleshin and Josef Newgarden made contact, Aleshin's car nudging the right front tire changer on Montoya's car. Aleshin would take a penalty - to the rear of the field - due to an unsafe release.
Conor Daly would lead the field back to the restart, the one car to gamble on more yellow. Behind was Power, Pagenaud, Munoz and Charlie Kimball - until Kimball cooked it into the Esses. Pagenaud would force his way past Power - his Penske Teammate - doing the bump and grind.
One lap later the order was Daly, Pagenaud, Power, Munoz and Sato. Daly would run flat out, while the field would save fuel, hoping to make it to the end.
With six to go, Daly would pit from the lead, and rejoin in 8th.
Sebastien Bourdais and Sato would make contact entering the Esses after Bourdais failed to complete a pass. The track stayed hot.
Pagenaud and Power would cruise to the end and claim a Team Penske one-two.
Next up, Pocono in three weeks.
LEXINGTON, Ohio - Results Sunday of the The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (1) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 90, Running
2. (2) Will Power, Chevrolet, 90, Running
3. (15) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 90, Running
4. (6) Graham Rahal, Honda, 90, Running
5. (9) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 90, Running
6. (22) Conor Daly, Honda, 90, Running
7. (19) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 90, Running
8. (5) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 90, Running
9. (20) Takuma Sato, Honda, 90, Running
10. (3) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 90, Running
11. (8) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 90, Running
12. (14) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 90, Running
13. (21) Marco Andretti, Honda, 90, Running
14. (12) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 90, Running
15. (7) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 90, Running
16. (13) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 90, Running
17. (10) Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 90, Running
18. (4) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 90, Running
19. (18) RC Enerson, Honda, 89, Running
20. (16) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 86, Off Course
21. (17) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 60, Contact
22. (11) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 27, Mechanical
Winner's average speed: 110.853 mph
Time of Race: 01:49:59.6875
Margin of victory: 4.1620 seconds
Cautions: 2 for 10 laps
Lead changes: 7 among 5 drivers
Pagenaud 1 - 16
Montoya 17 - 25
Aleshin 26 - 40
Power 42 - 44
Aleshin 45 - 62
Daly 63 - 84
Pagenaud 85 - 90
Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Pagenaud 484, Power 426, Castroneves 373, Newgarden 364, Dixon 357, Kanaan 357, Hinchcliffe 329, Munoz 328, Rahal 324, Kimball 318.