Race Report: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 2, 2023) -- The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is in the rearview mirror for AJ Foyt Racing but they will be analyzing the data to see what they can learn from this character-building weekend.
Starting 23rd and 26th respectively, both Benjamin Pedersen and Santino Ferrucci knew they had their work cut out for them. With just one caution period for four laps due to a first lap accident involving the Swedes, Marcus Ericsson and Felix Rosenqvist, the chance to capitalize on an alternative fuel strategy didn't really pan out either.
On the positive side, pit stops went well, the cars ran all day and both young drivers gained race experience.
Ferrucci, who had been running 23rd, was called into the pits on lap 66 when it was determined that he couldn't finish without a splash of fuel. If there had been a caution in the final stages of the race, armed with fresh rubber and enough fuel, he might have been able to make something happen. However, the race ran to its 80-lap completion without an additional caution.
After finishing 24th in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet, Ferrucci said, “Long day in the office. I thought we obviously had found a better race car than it looked, also wrong strategy trying to run the three (pit stops) instead of the two, but at the end of the day we took a gamble hoping for a later yellow and it just never came. So either way, we need to go and understand why we were so quick at Road America and not so quick here at Mid-Ohio and bring that [understanding] into Portland and Laguna.”
Finishing 26th in the No. 55 Sexton Properties Chevrolet, Pedersen explained, “When you look at the weekend as a whole, we as a team with both cars struggled quite a lot most of the weekend with our actual pace. We actually made the car feel a lot better throughout the weekend, but we were just struggling as a team to get pace out of the car here. Gave it everything I had in the race to fight for position for the team, and yeah, just gave it everything I could. We’re working really hard to figure out how we can get more pace at tracks like this and understand why, on the other hand, we have very strong pace at places like Road America and other places like that. All in all, we’re working really hard to get better.”
Alex Palou continued to pad his points lead in the NTT INDYCAR Series championship race with his victory. His teammate Scott Dixon finished second while third place Will Power joined them on the podium. Christian Lundgaard and Scott McLaughlin rounded out the top five.
The teams get next weekend off before heading north to Canada for the Honda Indy Toronto in two weeks.