Scott Dixon has a lot of work to do in today’s opening Mid-Ohio Honda Indy 200 race, having only qualified 17th. Will Power meanwhile has claimed the 60th IndyCar Series pole of his career, ahead of former champions Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden.
Struggling for pace, Dixon was only quick enough to set the ninth-quickest time in group one of qualifying. His slump wasn’t foreseen, given he was a competitive fourth in morning practice. There were no apparent incidents in his qualifying run — the Kiwi simply unable to string a lap together.
The qualifying format placed the field into two groups, with Dixon’s group one forming one side of the grid and group two forming the other.
The dual-group qualifying format created the interesting situation of the second group, headed by names like Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud, being much slower than the first group. It bucked the traditional Mid-Ohio trend of the track getting quicker over time.
Dixon’s 1:07.141 would have been quick enough for third in group two.
Despite the disparity in times, the second session still had two standout performers in Hunter-Reay and Rossi. The two Andretti Autosport drivers were first and third in group two — a strong resurgence for the pairing after the slump they’ve both endured in 2020.
When the dust settled the two Andretti drivers would end up second and sixth — separated by Newgarden, a competitive Conor Daly, and Jack Harvey. Dixon’s teammate Felix Rosenqvist, Graham Rahal, and Rinus Veekay completed the top 10.
Dixon wasn’t the only top-tier driver to not have a poor run. He will be joined on the ninth row of the grid by recently crowned Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato.
Racing kicks off at