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Mid-Ohio Honda Indy 200 Qualifying Results for Ganassi and Rahal Teams

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Chris Jones/IndyCar Series

LEXINGTON, OHIO (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A mixed bag in qualifying for the Honda Indy 200 for Chip Ganassi Racing Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex.

Rookie Felix Rosenqvist will start sixth in the No. 10 Clover Honda after surviving the first two rounds of knockout-style qualifying.

“I think we had a great session and I’m really happy with the results,” said Rosenqvist.  “Obviously, you want to do better in the third round, but for whatever reason, the tires just weren’t there and there was nothing left to get from them.  I was happy with the second qualifying round on both primary and alternate (Firestone) tires and I felt we nailed that and the times we were able to achieve.”

Rosenqvist’s teammate, Scott Dixon, did not advance out of the second round of qualifying and will start eighth in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.

“I definitely felt off,” said Dixon.  “It was just hard for us.  On the initial turn-in for us, we had a lot of understeer and the car was very snappy off the corner.  We went fairly different as a result of how the practice went this morning, so the No. 10 went one route and we went another.  Maybe we just went a little too far.”

Three Rivers Karting

Despite the difficulties, the Ganassi team will start inside the top 10.  Bobby Rahal’s team will not.

Graham Rahal will start 15th in the No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda and his teammate, Takuma Sato, will start 17th in the Mi-Jack Honda.  Neither driver made it out of the first round of qualifying.

“Four cars were within six-hundredths of a second in our group and we weren’t on the right end of that to progress to Round 2,” said Rahal.  “Obviously, we’re disappointed to not be faster.”

“We’re just not quite there on the setup,” said Sato.  “We made some improvements from practice, but it seems like we need more speed.  We want to try a few things in the warmup to make the car faster, and then we will try to work our way forward in the race.”

Team Penske’s Will Power will start on the pole position with Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi will start alongside Power on the front row.

The morning on warmup on Sunday runs from Noon to 12:30 p.m. followed by the green flag at 4:05 p.m. The race will be televised live on CNBC and can be heard on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network.

IndyCar

Racing Notebook – Ohio Racing Gets Red Flagged; New Series from Stewart and Evernham plus Weekend Winner Recap

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Steve Skarupa Photography

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Monday’s Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on new restrictions placed on events in Ohio plus Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham are teaming up to start a new series and we look back at the winners on track this past weekend.

New Restrictions On Events In Ohio:

  • The Ohio Department of Health has mandated activities to be limited in the state of Ohio due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions are forcing Sharon Speedway to cancel this Saturday’s events, including the RUSH Late Model Series “Bill Forney Memorial”.  Sharon Speedway plans on resuming their 2020 schedule of events when the restrictions are lifted.

Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham Starting New Series:

  • NASCAR Hall of Famers Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham are teaming up to start a new racing series.  The Sports Business Journal first reported the deal, which includes former NASCAR executive George Pyne and sports agent Sandy Montag.  The Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) will feature six races on short tracks and will include top drivers from a variety of backgrounds.  The SRX will be similar in scope the defunct IROC Series and is set to debut in 2021 and will be televised by CBS Sports.

Cole Custer Gets 1st Career Cup Win At Kentucky:

  • Stewart Haas Racing’s Cole Custer picked up his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory Sunday at Kentucky Speedway winning a thrilling battle on the last lap with saw Custer four-wide with Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr and Ryan Blaney.  Truex held on for second and Matt DiBenedetto finished third.

Three Rivers Karting

Chip Ganassi Racing Sweeps Road America:

Larson and Conley Take Sharon Speedway wins:

Saturday Winners At Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway:

  • Chas Wolbert picked up his second straight win taking the RUSH Sportsman Modified 15-lap main event. Keith Barbara picked up his first win of the season in the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series 20-lap feature.  Jason Fosnaught was victorious in the PPMS Pro Stock division.  Stephen Shelpman continued to dominate the Keystone Coach Works Hobby Stock division with another victory. Philip and Noah Bubeck were each victorious in the Four Cylinder and Young Guns divisions respectively.

Saturday Winners At Jennerstown Speedway:

  • Defending Track Champion, Teddy Gibala won for the first time this season in the Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model division of racing, becoming the fourth different winner in four events. Also celebrating in Stoney’s Beer Victory Lane were R.J. Dallape (Stoystown Auto Wreckers Modifieds), Aaron Van Fleet (Ron’s Collision Center Street Stocks), Dale Kimberly (Farmers Union Co-Op Chargers), and Evan Nibert (Somerset Trust Company Fast ‘n Furious 4-Cylinders).

Matt Kenseth’s New Colors For All-Star Race:

  • Wednesday’s NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race at Bristol Motor Speedway is going to feature a different style paint scheme that fans are not used to seeing on race cars.  The number and some sponsor placement is moving.  Here is a look at the McDonald’s Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 of Matt Kenseth:

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Felix Rosenqvist Wins First INDYCAR Race At Road America As Chip Ganassi Racing Sweeps The Weekend

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Joe Skibinski

ELKHART LAKE, WI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist passed Pato O’Ward on the second to the last lap to grab his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES win Sunday in race two of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.

“It feels so good,” said Rosenqvist.  “It’s been a long time. We’ve been close so many times. This race was for my No. 10 car crew, the NTT DATA crew.”

Rosenqvist was trailing O’Ward by over 5-seconds following the final set of pit stops but made up that gap over the final 13-laps to grab the win.

“We had so much pace,” said Rosenqvist. “We kept closing in half a second every lap. And then when they said Pato (O’Ward) was on the used reds (Firestone alternate tires), you obviously get a lot of faith that he might drop off in the end, and that’s what happened. I’m really proud to be powered by HPD and Honda this year. It’s been really good.”

The victory was Chip Ganassi Racing’s fourth straight INDYCAR Series win to open the 2020 season and also gave CGR the weekend sweep following Scott Dixon’s win on Saturday in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.

“First off, huge congrats to Felix (Rosenqvist) for that drive,” said Dixon. “I’m so happy for him and NTT DATA. It’s another win for them at Road America. We all knew this moment was coming for Felix, and it was just a matter of time. What a start for CGR and Honda, though. Four-for-four on the season.”

“It’s four out of four for Ganassi, which is huge,” said Rosenqvist. “What amazing feeling. I’m so glad we had the John McCain tribute on the car, and to be able to do this for NTT DATA and the family really means a lot to us at the team.”

McCain is the late former Chairman and CEO of NTT DATA SERVICES who passed away in February after a battle with glioblastoma.

Three Rivers Karting

O’Ward held on for second place as his tires were wearing out and he was trying to save fuel to make it to the end.

“It was really tough,” said O’Ward. “The Ganassi cars and Felix (Rosenqvist) had a lot of pace. We did a really good job managing the whole race. I gave it every single little bit that I had. I was pushing, pushing, pushing but I couldn’t keep Felix behind me.”

Alexander Rossi’s nightmarish start to the 2020 season was tempered by a third place finish at Road America.

“After the last couple races, it’s good to finish on the lead lap,” said Rossi.

The newest member of the Ganassi team, Marcus Ericsson, came home fourth in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda.  Ericsson passed the most cars on the day, gaining 12-spots from his 16th starting position.

“It was a great race, and I feel we got a great result for the guys and Huski Chocolate,” said Ericsson. “We had a ton of pace and a lot of great overtakes. Honda and HPD power was fantastic, and we really had a great car.”

Dixon had an uncharacteristic finish of 12th.  Dixon started sixth and survived mayhem at the start when Will Power tagged Ryan Hunter Reay going into turn one and then tagged Graham Rahal in Turn 3, ending both of their days.

“Not the day we wanted with the PNC Bank car, but we fought balance and the rear tires just kept going away,” said Dixon. I guess you can’t win them all, but we sure tried to with the start to the season we’ve had.”

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES moves on to Iowa Speedway for another doubleheader on Friday and Saturday night.

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PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon Wins 3rd INDYCAR Race In-A-Row

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Chris Owens

ELKHART LAKE, WI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon won his third straight NTT INDYCAR SERIES race Saturday at Road America, holding off Team Penske’s Will Power on a couple of late restarts to grab the victory.

“I don’t know how that happened,” said Dixon in Victory Lane.  “Huge thank you to everybody on the PNC Bank team.  The car was really hard to drive this morning but we dialed it in a little better during the race.  That was awesome man”.

“It was a good drive,” said Team Owner Chip Ganassi.  “We didn’t start exactly where we wanted to today but he persevered.”

Dixon’s crew made a crucial decision during the second round of pit stops to call Dixon in early while he was stuck in traffic running sixth.

Dixon came out of the pits ahead of the traffic alongside a hard-charging Power, who pitted a lap before the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.  While Dixon and Power were battling it out, the leader of the race Josef Newgarden came to pit road.

Disaster stuck for Newgarden when he stalled the car on pit road. Team Penske got the PPG Chevy restarted and the defending series Champion returned to the field in 15th position.

The pit-stop cycle shuffled the running order and Power and Dixon found themselves at the front of the pack followed by Santino Ferrucci in the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Honda.

“We came out of the pits they’re (the team) like ‘you and Power first and second’ and I was like ‘how?'” marveled Dixon.

The trio had a 5-second lead on fourth place Ryan Hunter-Reay with 20-laps left in the 55-lap event.  Three laps later the caution flag came out for this week’s Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast guest Jack Harvey of Meyer Shank Racing. Harvey suffered brake failure, sending the No. 60 AutoNation SiriusXM Honda into the gravel trap.

“I went into the corner at Turn Three and my brakes locked up and the wheels spun,” said Harvey. “There wasn’t much I could do when the brakes failed in that way. All year we’ve had a fast car and that is what is frustrating because this was a weekend that we could have had a top five. Something randomly happened that took us out of contention which is greatly disappointing for myself and the whole Meyer Shank Racing team. I know that we have the speed and these guys will work hard to figure out exactly what went wrong so that we can come back equally as strong tomorrow.”

Three Rivers Karting

Dixon’s “Wolfpack” crew executed a flawless pit stop under caution giving the 5-time series Champion the lead off pit road ahead of Power.

Dixon took the ensuing green flag with 14-laps-to-go and held off Power going into Turn 1 but before the lap was even complete, the caution was back out when Conor Daly was sent off the track by contact with Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward as the pair went into Turn 7.

“It really hard to go 2-wide through there but I had enough of a run you’ve got to take a chance,” said Daly.  “I don’t really race with him that much but it was tough there, that’s probably on both of us.”

The subsequent restart saw Dixon get away from Power but the yellow came out again when rookie A.J. Foyt Racing driver Dalton Kellett ended up in the gravel in Turn 14.

The green flag came back out with 8-laps to go and Dixon beat Power into Turn 1 and rookie Alex Palou beat Hunter-Reay to get third place.

Dixon built a lead of 1.2-seconds in one lap, 1.6-seconds in two laps and maintained that lead with 5-laps to go. Dixon extended the lead to 1.8-seconds with 4-laps to go, 2.3-seconds with three laps to go and 2.5-seconds with one lap to go.

The win was Dixon’s 49th career win leaving him three shy of INDYCAR legend Mario Andretti for 2nd place on the all-time wins list.  The victory marks the 2nd time Dixon has won three races in a row.  The first time was in 2013 when Dixon won Pocono and both Toronto races.

“It’s not me man,” said Dixon.  “The team does such an amazing job to cover all the bases.  We’re in the business of winning so we’ve got to win.  Proud of everybody on this team and obviously our partners like PNC Bank and Honda.  It’s really cool to win today.”

Dixon goes into tomorrow’s second race at Road America with a 62-point lead over Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in the INDYCAR Championship standing.

Dixon will look to make it four-straight wins to start the NTT INDYCAR SERIES tomorrow in Race 2 of the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Doubleheader at noon (ET, NBC) from Road America.

Road America Race 1 Results

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