IndyCar heads to Mid-Ohio
Lexington, OH (Sports Network) - Series: IZOD IndyCar. Date: Sunday, August 9. Race: Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Site: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Track: 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. Start Time: 2:50 p.m. (et). Laps: 85. Miles: 191.25. 2010 Winner: Dario Franchitti. Television: VERSUS. Radio: IMS Radio Network/SIRIUS XM Satellite.
After running its last two races in Canada, the IZOD IndyCar Series returns to the United States with this weekend's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Mid-Ohio is the seventh of nine road/street course events on this year's schedule. Sonoma, CA (August 28) and Baltimore (September 4) are the final two.
Last month's races in Toronto and Edmonton featured a rash of accidents triggered by avoidable contact, and IndyCar officials have since cracked down on the aggressive driving.
On Tuesday, the sanctioning body announced Mike Conway, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alex Tagliani have each been placed on probation for the remainder of the year for "multiple instances of initiating avoidable contact" in several races this season.
Conway was penalized for avoidable contact with Ryan Briscoe at Toronto and Oriol Servia at Edmonton. Hunter-Reay was cited for the same violation after his encounter with Briscoe in the April 10 race at Barber Motorsports Park and Takuma Sato at Edmonton. Tagliani was in violation of the rule for his contact with Will Power at Toronto and Graham Rahal at Edmonton.
"We are disappointed in these actions, which have exhibited a pattern of driving that endangers on-track safety and adversely affects competition," IndyCar president of competition and operations Brian Barnhart said in a statement.
Per rule 9.3 of the 2011 IndyCar rule book, a competitor must not initiate or attempt to initiate avoidable contact that results in the interruption of another competitor's lap time or track position.
Now that IndyCar has taken action against aggressive driving, it's likely we'll see a calmer race at Mid-Ohio than what we've witnessed during the last several weeks.
Most of the 27 teams entered for the Mid-Ohio race tested here on July 28.
"The competition is so tight, which is one of the reasons we were here for testing," Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon said. "What worked last year may not work this year."
Dixon won the inaugural race at Mid-Ohio in 2007 and then claimed his second victory here two years later.
His teammate, Dario Franchitti, is the defending race winner.
"It's a physical track, a very tough track," Franchitti said. "It's one of the last real traditional road courses we have in the U.S., along with Road America [in Elkhart Lake, WI]. I finally won there last year, and I'm very proud of that."
Franchitti currently holds a 38-point lead over Will Power.
08/02 23:40:47 ET