LEXINGTON, Ohio -- A Chip Ganassi Racing car has won the past five Verizon IndyCar Series races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The Aug. 3 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio would be the perfect time for the four-car team to extend the streak, which would end its 2014 winless drought.
Charlie Kimball, driving the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car, earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory last August at Mid-Ohio. Reigning series champion Scott Dixon has won in 2007, 2009, 2010 and ’11, while Dario Franchitti won in 2010 en route to earning the series title. Ryan Briscoe, driver of the No. 8 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing car, won the 2008 race while a member of Team Penske.
“You have to give a lot of the credit to the team for the success we’ve had," said Dixon, the lone four-time winner at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in Indy car racing dating to 1980. “The thing that is out of our control is that it changes each year -- the tires are a little different, we changed manufacturers to Chevy this year and development of dampers and the set-up is constant. There are always things you can improve on.”
Tony Kanaan, driver of the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, is on a hot streak with three podium finishes (third, third and second) in the past three races. He has three top-five finishes, with a best of fourth in 2007, in 12 starts at Mid-Ohio.
Former Team USA scholarship recipient Newgarden to participate in anniversary race
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver Josef Newgarden, the only American to win in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, will participate in the Sports Car Club of America Formula F 45th anniversary at Barber Motorsports Park.
Newgarden will race on Aug. 10 in a Honda-powered Piper Formula F, and participate as a speaker in the Formula F birthday celebration. As a Team USA scholarship recipient in 2008, Newgarden won the Formula Ford Festival (Kent class) and spent a season racing in the British Formula Ford series.
One Indy 500 winner honors another
Four-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Rick Mears will be the honoree at the third Safelite AutoGlass Rally for the Ranch on Aug. 1 in Columbus, Ohio.
Proceeds from the event, hosted by 1986 Indy 500 winner and Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Bobby Rahal, will be directed toward The Buckeye Ranch and its programs for central Ohio youths and families dealing with mental, behavior and substance abuse issues. In two years, the rally has raised $536,000.
Lawrence Buhl Jr., father of former Indy car driver and Racing For Kids national spokesman Robbie Buhl, died July 21. He was 80. ... Al-Fe Heat Treating, an associate sponsor on the No. 14 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing, will host 250 guests from God’s Friends Forever, which works with individuals with special needs from Medina and Cuyahoga (Ohio) counties, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind., Al-Fe Heat Treating has facilities in Defiance and Wadsworth (Ohio). … Alex Lloyd, the 2007 Indy Lights champion and 2010 Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year, will compete at Mid-Ohio in Pirelli World Challenge races. It will be his first road course race since 2010 at Sonoma with Dale Coyne Racing. ... Julia Ballario will drive this weekend in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in a Juncos Racing car at Mid-Ohio, where she made her series debut in 2013. Ballario is currently 10th in points this season. ... The Honda Performance Development CR-Z -- based upon the production Honda CR-Z hybrid sports coupe -- will make its debut as a Verizon IndyCar Series Safety Car.
Way back when, Rahal gave the command
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is the "home" track of Verizon IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal of New Albany, Ohio. The facility was his playground as a youth when his father was racing. At age 16 in 2005, Graham became the youngest driver to claim the SCCA National Formula Atlantic championship at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mid-Ohio. He also competed in the Star Mazda race in 2005 and made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut at the track in 2008 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.
Rahal and his siblings gave the command to start engines at the Miller Lite 200 on Aug. 9, 1998, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. His father finished third after starting 16th: