This weekend is set to see the NTT IndyCar Series return to action as it heads to Mid-Ohio for the latest race of the 2021 season.
Spaniard Alex Palou is at the top of the driver standings after he won last time out at Road America. It was his second win of the season after Palou also won the season opener at Barber Motorsports Park. The Chip Ganassi driver has a 28 point advantage over second placed Pato O’Ward who after finishing third and then taking a race victory in the double header at Detroit, finished ninth last time out.
Completing the top three in the driver standings, and 25 points behind O’Ward, is reigning champion Scott Dixon. The Kiwi finished fourth last time out and has a 35 point advantage over fourth placed Josef Newgarden.
Newgarden, and to a greater extent Penske, ran once again into bad luck at Road America with victory slipping through their fingers once more. This after Newgarden suffered a mechanical issue whilst leading during the very latter stages of the race at Road America.Embed from Getty Images
With Mid-Ohio being a road course, it means IndyCar is due to see the full compliment of 2021 rookies competing.
Scott McLaughlin continues to be the leading rookie, the Penske driver is currently twelfth in the driver standings, 24 points behind eleventh placed Will Power and nine points ahead of thirteenth placed Alexander Rossi.
McLaughlin finished fourteenth at Road America, his highest finish since finishing eighth at the GMR Grand Prix. This after the Penske driver went on a three race run of finishing at the bottom end of the top twenty.Embed from Getty Images
Romain Grosjean is the next rookie in the driver standings. The Frenchman heads into this weekend eighteenth in the championship, two points behind Conor Daly in seventeenth and five points ahead of teammate Ed Jones who is nineteenth.
Grosjean put in another strong performance last time out. This after the disappointment of failing to finish either race in Detroit. The Frenchman finished fifth at Road America, and considering his performance at the GMR Grand Prix as well, it will be interesting to see what Grosjean can achieve this weekend.
Lastly there is Jimmie Johnson who is thirtieth in the driver standings. The NASCAR legend is 17 points behind Max Chilton after finishing Road America in twenty second place, while Chilton finished tenth.
Mid-Ohio was one of the venues that held a double header last season with Will Power winning ‘Mid-Ohio 1’ ahead of Newgarden and Alexander Rossi. The ‘Mid-Ohio 2’ race was won by Colton Herta ahead of Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Dixon claimed a pair of tenth place finishes at Mid-Ohio last season, O’Ward was classified eleventh and then ninth. Palou meanwhile was twelfth and failed to finish the second race, but was classified twenty third.