Alexander Rossi collects second podium finish of 2020 in opening race of the weekend
Graham Rahal runs fourth as Honda drivers claim five of top-seven finishes
Second 75-lap race in doubleheader weekend runs Sunday at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, Ohio (September 12, 2020) – Alexander Rossi held off a strong challenge from hometown favorite Graham Rahal to secure the final step on the podium Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as their battle for third was a highlight in the opening race of a doubleheader Honda Indy 200 weekend.
Exiting the pits after the final round of stops on Lap 54, Rossi and Rahal battled to the finish of today 75-lap contest, while a trio of Honda drivers filled out the rest of the top seven positions. Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the day fifth, after starting and running as high as third in the opening stint, with Felix Rosenqvist sixth and Jack Harvey equaling his best result of 2020 with a seventh-place finish.
Recovering from a disappointing qualifying session that left him starting deep in the field, 17th, at the start, championship points leader Scott Dixon went to work right from the green flag, gaining six position in the opening laps and eventually making the largest gain in the 23-driver field, to finish 10th. After 10 of 14 races, Dixon maintains a 76-point lead in the drivers’ championship over Josef Newgarden, who finished second today.
Today’s race was the opening round of a doubleheader Honda Indy 200 weekend at Mid-Ohio. Tomorrow’s 75-lap finale starts at 1 p.m. EDT, with live coverage on NBC.
Honda Racing social media content and videos from the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will be available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD). Produced by the CoForce Digital Media, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.
Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started sixth, finished third (second podium finish of 2020): “It’s good. We haven’t had a lot of things go our way this year, so now we’re just trying to go out and make the most of every opportunity we get for the rest of this year. The Andretti Honda guys did a great job. Had we been able to clear Ryan [Hunter-Reay] and get Josef [Newgarden], I think we might’ve had a shot at the win. Our pace was really good, but starting sixth it was always going to be a little bit of a challenge. But it was a good day for us, and we get to do it all over again tomorrow.”
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) Started eighth, finished fourth: “It feels good to get a good result after St. Louis, which was kind of a bruiser. But our pit stops were fast today, strategy was good, and we were right there in contention [for the win]. I gave Alex [Rossi] as much as I could [in the battle for third]. I think tomorrow’s going to be interesting. It’s going to be hot, and physical, and I think some guys are going to ‘fall out of the saddle’. Thanks to Honda for all their support in putting on this event, it should be a great day tomorrow.”
Ted Klaus (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s opening race in the Honda Indy 200 doubleheader race weekend: “Today wasn’t the win everyone at HPD was working to achieve, but there were several individual accomplishments that we can cheer. It was great to see Alexander Rossi back on the podium, and to watch Graham Rahal recover from a disappointing weekend in St. Louis to finish fourth today. The battle between Rahal and Rossi for third was one of the highlights of the race. Scott Dixon gained seven positions on the day, and remains in charge of the championship. So, there’s a lot to take away from today’s race, and we get to do it all again tomorrow.”