Hitting the Apex: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

IndyCar’s back on track in the Midwest! ATRL’s Eline Luna takes a look at Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio race this weekend.

Eline Luna

July 1, 2023

This weekend IndyCar travels to Mid-Ohio for the second race on their Midwest swing, the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Since its first races in 1962, the layout has remained relatively unchanged. 

Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment

 

The only recent major change came in 1990 when a straight was added right before Turn 4, also known as the Keyhole, to bypass the Turn 2 and 3 chicane. IndyCar now utilizes the alternate layout with the straight, creating great overtaking opportunities going into the Keyhole. 

After the Keyhole comes the backstretch/starting straight which has a slight kink that accounts for Turn 3. It ends with the slow corner complex of Turns 4, 5 and 6. The esses follow, which are a fast-flowing sequence of corners resembling the letter S.

Turns 10 and 11 are two quick corners leading into the carousel which is a slow hairpin that brings the drivers back onto the pit straight. Just like Road America, this track is a natural-terrain road course. It has elevation changes, high-speed corners, flowing corners and tight corners. 

Scott Mclaughlin winning at Mid-Ohio in 2022 (Travis Hinkle/Penske Entertainment)

 

Team Penske Dominance

A Team Penske driver has won Mid Ohio three out of the four past races. The only outlier was Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta in the second race of the 2020 doubleheader. 

This weekend could be Team Penske’s big chance to try and start closing the gap to Chip Ganassi’s Alex Palou, the current championship leader.

 

Track Layout for 2023:

Championship Fight

Alex Palou continues to lead the championship after his win at Road America. He now leads the championship by 74 points over CGR teammate Marcus Ericsson. 74 points is the biggest margin anyone has led the championship by in three years. 

At the midway point of this IndyCar season, Palou has clearly emerged as the championship favorite. And there seems no way to put a break to his consistency – he hasn’t finished lower than 8th yet this season and is currently on a 7-race-long top-5 finish streak.

Track Information:

  • Race Length: 80 laps | 180.64 Miles
  • Turns: 13
  • Track Length: 2.258 miles (3.634 km)
  • Most Wins: Scott Dixon (6)
  • Race Lap Record: 1:05.2600 (Will Power)

Past Winners in Mid-Ohio

  • 2022: Scott McLaughlin 
  • 2021: Josef Newgarden 
  • 2020 (1): Will Power 2020 (2): Colton Herta

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eline follows a variety of motorsports from Formula E to IMSA to Nascar to WEC. They hope to study Mechanical Engineering to work in motorsports one day.

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