Josef Newgarden captured his sixth career Verizon IndyCar Series win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to take back-to-back winds in Rounds 12 and 13. Taking command of the Honda Indy 200 on Lap 13, the Tennessee native found his way around Will Power for the lead and never looked back on his was to his third victory this season.
Starting from pole, Power managed to open up a gap of nearly a second in the opening laps, but was not able to hold onto the top spot.
Graham Rahal earned the final spot on the podium in the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda. After starting fourth, he was held up by Carlos Munoz who was a lap down. After holding the home-town favorite up for over five laps, Munoz was finally passed by Rahal before the first round of pit stops.
Ed Jones brought out the only full course yellow on Lap 67 when he spun coming out of Turn 11. Most of the leaders had their pit stops completed by the time the yellow came out, but the field was set for a 20-lap showdown to the finish.
Power was set to challenge Newgarden in the run down to the checkers, but Dale Coyne Racing’s Esteban Gutierrez held position second in line as the race went green, another example of a back marker offering a significant impact to the race result. He held position for three laps before heading to pit lane for fuel.
Instead of battling for the overall lead, Power was forced to defend against Rahal in a real battle for position.
Simon Pagenaud and Takuma Sato completed the Top 5. The reigning champion was able to gain three positions after starting seventh.
Alexander Rossi ran as high as fourth in the race, but was the first driver to finish outside the Top 5. The Andretti Autosport driver was joined by teammates Sato and Ryan Hunter-Reay in the top 10 with the latter finishing eighth. Hunter-Reay recovered quickly from falling down to 12th place after a spin involving Rossi early in the race.
Helio Castroneves finished seventh with previous points-leader, Scott Dixon finishing just ahead of Conor Daly in ninth.
Finishing 5.156 seconds ahead of teammate Will Power, Newgarden is the first driver to claim a third win in 2017. The result puts him seven points ahead of Castroneves for the Championship lead, eight over third place Dixon.
The next round of the Verizon IndyCar Series commences on August 19 for the ABC Supply 500 from Pocono Speedway. Longpond, Pennsylvania plays host to Round 14 of the 2017 championship with the first session scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning with NBCSN’s coverage scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.