By virtue of claiming his second straight win this season, Josef Newgarden moved into the season points lead in IndyCar racing after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Sunday.
Newgarden dominated the race, leading 73 of 90 laps. Will Power, who finished second in the race, took pole position and led the opening 12 laps, but Newgarden took over on the 13th and held the advantage for all but five of the remaining laps. The only other driver to hold a lead at any point was Graham Rahal, who took third for the final podium spot. Newgarden led 46 of the final 47 laps to run away from the pack, finishing with a victory margin of 5.16 seconds.
The race was a clean one with only one four-lap caution when rookie Ed Jones spun out. However, that caution would have little effect on the final results, as Newgarden immediately jumped out to the lead when the race went green on lap 70.
After the win, he now has 453 points in the race for the season championship. Helio Castroneves, who finished seventh, is second overall with 446 and ninth-place finisher Scott Dixon fell to third place with 445.
The weekend at Mid-Ohio was a busy one for race fans, as there were plenty of support races over the three days. Overall, a total of 11 races served as complements to the IndyCar event.
Indy Lights drivers competed in a pair of races. In the first one, held Saturday afternoon, Santi Urrutia took first place, while Colton Herta was second and Nico Jamin ran third. Jamin finished first in Sunday’s race, while Urrutia was second and Shelby Blackstock placed third.
Despite finishing towards the back of the field in both races, Kyle Kaiser held a solid lead in the season points total with 297. Both Urrutia and Herta currently have 255.
There were three races in the Pro Mazda series, with one taking place on each day. On Friday, Anthony Martin finished first, while Victor Franzoni ran second and T.J. Fischer was third.
Franzoni was first and Martin took second on Saturday, with Carlos Cunha running third. On Sunday, Martin won his second race of the weekend to get his third podium finish. Franzoni also reached the podium for the third time, placing second, while Cunha got third.
The USF2000 series had races on Friday and Saturday. In the first race, which also was the first race held during the three-day event, Oliver Askew took the checkered flag, while Parker Thompson was second and Rinus VeeKay ran third. Thompson was first and VeeKay was second on Saturday, while Kaylen Frederick placed third.
Also there was the Pirelli World Challenge, which ran a total of four races — two in the GTS series and two in the GT-GTA-GT Cup series. Each race had multiple groups competing.
In Saturday’s GTS race, Lawson Aschenbach took first, Ian James was second and Harry Gottsacker third in the GTS classification. In the GTSA class, George Kurtz was first, Jason Bell claimed second and Bob Michaelian ran third. Sunday saw James, Aschenbach and Gottsacker take the top three spots in that order. Kurtz claimed another GTSA win, with Tony Gaples taking second and Michaelian was third.
In the first GT-GTA-GT Cup race, held Saturday, James Sofronas won the GTA class, while Michael Schein was second and Tim Pappas ran third. Yuji Harata was the GT Cup winner, as well as the only finisher. On Sunday, the GTA race went to Sofronas again, while Schein was second and Pablo Perez Companc ran third. Harata finished first again in the GT Cup, while Marko Radisic ran second.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS