Race Report: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, OH Aug. 5, 2012— At the picturesque Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course under overcast skies, Mike Conway started off the Honda Indy 200 with some bold passes that saw him climb from 16th to 12th in two laps setting expectations high for the ABC Supply team.

However, the excitement was short-lived as orders came over the radio that Conway had to be more aggressive in saving fuel as the team planned to make it on a two-stop race. Despite his best attempts to conserve fuel, when Conway pitted on lap 27, the data showed that the team would have to change strategy because the car couldn’t make it on two fuel stops.

Since Conway wasn’t running as fast on the primary tires in that second fuel stint--he had dropped to 17th and was losing ground to the leaders--the team pitted him early in the second stint—on lap 37. At that point Larry Foyt told Conway to use as much fuel as he had wished because they would have to stop again.

Problems on the final stop on lap 61 cost an extra 28 seconds in the pits. Conway sank to 22nd but he continued to run hard despite losing so much track position. For the second straight race, there were no caution periods which put a premium on trouble-free pit stops. Conway finished 21st.

“Tough race,” said Conway. “We were thinking a standard two-stop race but we wouldn’t have made it without a yellow so we came in early. The pace of the race was good, I drove hard all the way through the race but lost too much track position with the extra stop.”

Scott Dixon won his fourth race at Mid-Ohio after beating pole winner and race leader Will Power out of the pits on lap 57. Simon Pagenaud, Sebastian Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe rounded out the top five.

The IZOD IndyCar Series does not race again until August 26th at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. However, most of the teams, including the ABC Supply team, will be testing at the track on August 17th.