Sunday, July 3, 2022

Winners and Losers: Mid-Ohio

 Happy 4th everyone!

Racing on (or around) Independence Day is an American tradition, and IndyCar continued with that tradition Sunday with the Honda 200 at Mid-Ohio.

While there wasn't a lot of action at the front of the pack, with Scott McLaughlin dominating on his way to his second win on the season, there was a lot of it further back, which included a lot of drama. Who were the winners and losers as the IndyCar series officially crossed the halfway point of the season?


Scott McLaughlin: After a hot start to the season where he won at St. Pete and finished second at Texas, the Kiwi went through a rough patch with three finishes of P19 or worse between the Indy GP and Detroit. While he rebounded with a P7 at Road America, this was a great bounce back weekend for him. The 29-year-old Kiwi moved up two places in the standings to P7 and sits just four points out of P5. 

Will Power: One of the greatest qualifiers in IndyCar history, qualifying has been an issue for Power as of late. No problem, as he has done a great job moving up through the field. Sunday added an even bigger challenge. Starting P21, he was punted on the first lap and dropped all the way back to the tail end of the field in 27th before driving his way to a third-place finish. Power has been amazingly consistent this year, as this was his seventh Top 5 in nine races. He's now P2 in points, just 20 behind Marcus Ericsson.

Rinus "Rooster" VeeKay: Other than a P3 finish at Barber, VeeKay's season has been a disaster, with five finishes of P16 or worse, including a last-place finish at the Indy 500. It's been a tough stretch of races for VeeKay dating back to last year, but he finally got a much-needed good result.

Simona De Silvestro/Paretta Autosport: Let's just bask in their P18 finish for a minute, and then admire Simona and PA on a pretty solid accomplishment. What this team is doing isn't easy. Simona is back in an IndyCar for non-500 races for the first time in seven years, and PA is building a team from the very ground up. In the last two races, the team has finished both on the lead lap, and the P18 is Simona's best finish in IndyCar since New Orleans in 2015. 


Andretti Autosport: Not mincing words, but that organization is a shitshow right now. Mistakes, drivers crashing into each other, drivers not liking each other, poor finishes. It's really a miracle that they have two drivers (Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta) in the Top 10 in points. They all took turns hitting each other Sunday, and, surprisingly enough, rookie Devlin DeFrancesco didn't hit anyone, but was it by a teammate. Seriously, what in the world is going on there? When AA was one of the best teams in the paddock, they were somehow able to manage massaging egos and keeping everyone pointed in the right direction. That's not happening any longer. I have my opinions, which I'll share last week, but the entire team needs an attitude adjustment right now.

Pato O'Ward: With Ericsson and Josef Newgarden having ho-hum weekends finishing in P6 and P7, respectively, O'Ward, starting from the pole, had a chance to tighten things up with at lease a podium finish. That didn't happen, as a mechanical issue ruined his day, as well as the day of teammate Felix Rosenqvist. While it wasn't a horrible weekend as O'Ward is still P5 and just 65 points in arrears, to win a championship you have to pounce when your opponents give you that opportunity.

Felix Rosenqvist: Rosenqvist suffered similar mechanical issues as O'Ward, his teammate, and ended the day DFL in 27th place. While not a serious contender for the championship, he lost a ton of points and is now P11 in the standings. With O'Ward winning the pole and Rosenqvist starting fourth, it looked like Arrow McLaren was going to have a pretty good day. Didn't work out that way.

Daniel Ricciardo: No, not an IndyCar driver -- at least not yet -- but since we are piling on McLaren today (which pains me), let's add Danny Ric to the mix. He's 15th in the points in F1 and hasn't had a podium since winning at Monza last year. With teammate Lando Norris having much better results and sitting seventh in points, it's obvious he isn't getting it done, and at 33 who is going to give him another chance in F1? Looks a little bleak right now.

The Podcast

I had a blast doing a crossover podcast with Abby from Fast Cars Fast Girls this week, and you can listen to it here.

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