Mid Ohio allows Will Power & Colton Herta to shine

by The Earl of Indy, Robert Earl |

Two winners were crowned at the IndyCar Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course over the weekend during the 2020 NTT Series.

Will Power and Colton Herta took home first place honors for the two different reasons. Through 11 different races on the year, Herta and Power are now the sixth and seventh different winners throughout the series.

Herta led 57 of 75 laps and won after starting from the pole position, a day after Will Power had done the same on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course.

In the first race, Power led his team, Team Penske, to a 1-2 finish. Power edged out teammate Josef Newgarden. Power earned his 60th career pole earlier Saturday and trails only Mario Andretti (67) for the IndyCar record.

“That’s probably the first race I reckon in about 10 years that I’ve just gone hard,” Power said. “Every other race I save fuel or we try to play a strategy game. Today, I said, ‘Let’s just go hard, man. Screw this, we don’t want to get caught by a yellow. Let’s just go hard and use my pace and see what happens.’ It was a great strategy.”

Newgarden was able to take away 20 points off of Dixons first place lead.

“We just need to be a little sportier than we were,” Newgarden said. “We picked up some pretty good points, one spot higher [on the podium] would have been better.”

Alexander Rossi finished out the top three, grabbing his second podium of the season. It represented just the second time that the Andretti Autosport Organization grabbed a podium on the year.

But that turned around for Andretti in race number two. Herta got his third career win after crossing the finish line at  Honda Indy 200 Doubleheader.

Herta led an Andretti Autosport sweep of the podium from the pole in the No. 88, beating teammate Alexander Rossi in the No. 27 to the finish line by 1.3826 seconds. Fellow Andretti driver Ryan Hunter-Reay finished third.

“Im so happy,” Herta said. “Weve been knocking on the door almost every weekend. Weve had the pace. But for some reason or another, one thing has gone wrong or this thing has gone wrong. We finally put everything together. We got the pole this morning, had a stellar car. Everybody on the Capstone Turbine crew gave me an incredible car.”

The big loser on the weekend was Scott Dixon. He could have potentially clinched his sixth series championship by the end of the weekend. He qualified 17th and had to scramble to make up ground.

“We kind of took the conservative route, tough day with this qualifying,” Dixon said.

Mid-Ohio had originally been scheduled to run the first week of August, before the Indianapolis 500, but was postponed because of the coronavirus.

Thankfully, it was finally back on the schedule about two weeks ago, and state officials signed off on 6,000 spectators only this week.

At the end of the two-day double-header, there are three races to go. Scott Dixon still has the first place lead and is in the best position to take the IndyCar Series Championship.

Newgarden has the second position in place, trailing Dixon by just 72 points now. Here is what the rest of the top-10 looks like:

The rest of the top 10: Pato OWard 338, Colton Herta 327, Will Power 306, Graham Rahal 301, Takuma Sato 300, Simon Pagenaud 277, Ryan Hunter-Reay 260, Santino Ferrucci 249.

The next race will be on October 2nd and October 3rd. It is a  doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course before concluding the season Oct. 25 at St. Petersburg, Florida.