David Malukas

A highly competitive NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice welcomed Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course fans Saturday morning.

The top six drivers were separated by less than two-tenths of a second on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course, which hosts The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by The All-New 2023 Civic Type R on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. (ET). Live coverage of the 80-lap race will be on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.


Colton Herta (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda of Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian) led the way with a lap of 1 minute, 7.0275 seconds, with Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) and last year’s race winner, Josef Newgarden, third in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet.

Rookie David Malukas (shown above) was fourth in the No. 18 HMD Honda of Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports.

Up next is qualifying for the NTT P1 Award. The session begins at 2:45 p.m. (ET), with live coverage on Peacock Premium and INDYCAR Radio Network.

The drivers faced changing conditions, as this practice session was held on a cooler morning following rain that had washed much of the tire rubber off the track. Friday, the track was hot and steamy.

Simon Pagenaud (No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda of Meyer Shank Racing) was the first driver off the track, but others soon followed. Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco (No. 29 PowerTap Honda of Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport) brought out the red flag when his car nudged into the tire barrier at Turn 2.

From there, nearly a half-dozen others went off course without stopping the action until Dalton Kellett (No. 4 K-Line/AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) did in the final corner with 15 minutes left. Power ended the session when he drove off the track at Turn 4.

Newgarden won last year’s race from the top qualifying position. Power leads all drivers at Mid-Ohio with five poles. Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) and Helio Castroneves (No. 06 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda of Meyer Shank Racing) have won two each at the track.

Dixon is a six-time race winner on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course. Newgarden has won twice.