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INDYCAR & MRTI: MID-OHIO RACE REPORT

VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES - SUNDAY, JULY 31

The 2016 Honda Indy 200 has come to an end, seeing Colombian Carlos Munoz with his second top-three finish of the season, taking the bottom step of the podium at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. After showing promising speeds and positions early on, teammates Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay finished 13th, 14th, 18th, respectively.

The Verizon IndyCar Series racing action will now rest for a few weeks, returning to Pocono Raceway on Aug. 21 to kick off the final stretch of the 2016 championship. In the meantime, keep up to date on Twitter with @FollowAndretti and #IndyCar.

 

Carlos Muñoz
No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda

“Finally we pitted at the right time – this year we’ve had a lot of bad luck. After qualifying we tried another setup for the warmup and I didn’t like it so we just went back on the setup. It’s nice to be back on the podium – it’s been a long time. Really happy to be third after how the weekend (went). I have to thank my team, Honda, everyone – they nailed the pit strategy. For Andretti (Autosport) it’s been quite a long time without (a podium finish) so it’s nice to be back. We had the track position and we had the pace – it was really physical, especially with the black (tires) I had to push a lot.”

 

Alexander Rossi
No. 98 Castrol EDGE / Curb Honda

“The opening part of the race was quite good. We got up to P8, I think. Then we had an issue in the pit stops. To have issues in the pits when you’re in yellow, you lose all track position. It’s almost impossible to pass and that pretty much sealed our fate. I think we had okay pace, but when you go to the back of the line on yellow flag, it’s pretty much your day set.”

 

Marco Andretti
No. 27 Snapple Honda 

“One of these days I’m going to catch a yellow to help us. We worked on strategy and had made it from P21 to P2, but that first yellow killed us. We had pace — after every time somebody pitted, we’d leap frog them and then we had to pit and then you’re green. So it didn’t work out for us in the end.”

 

Ryan Hunter-Reay
No. 28 DHL Honda

“I'm so infuriated and frustrated with today's result. I don't really want to get into details or discuss it. The DHL car started P4, was strong and should have have been on the podium today.”

 

 

INDY LIGHTS PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES RACE 1 - SATURDAY, JULY 30

Round 14 of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition is complete with Race 1 of the Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio in the books. Both Dean Stoneman and Shelby Blackstock battled with other drivers maintaining and fighting to gain positions. Dalton Kellett used today’s Race 1 as a learning experience for tomorrow’s 38-lap race in hopes of gaining more positions. 

The championship chase has tightened considerably, with Stoneman, who upon review of the Toronto event, was credited with an additional seven points from Race 2, now only 24 points out of the championship lead in third.

 

Dean Stoneman
No. 27 Stellrecht Mazda

• Lined up for Race 1 from the fourth position; will also start tomorrow's Race 2 from fourth

“Practice was difficult yesterday, but we seemed to make the car better. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to practice yesterday afternoon because of the rain. For qualifying this morning, we improved the car, but not quite where we wanted it. We had a quick car, but [Santiago] Urrutia was much quicker than everyone else; we knew we were going to have a good race car. We had a good start, but there was nowhere really to go. I went left, I went right, I went down the middle of the cars and there was just nowhere for me to overtake. I managed a good move down the inside of Turn 4 and ran down the outside of [Turns] 5, 6, 7, and into [Turn] 8 to pass for P3. I held the inside line in front of the No. 4 car and was able to maintain third for the remainder of the race. It was a tough, very physical race.”

 

Shelby Blackstock
No. 51 Starstruck Mazda

• Started from the outside of Row 3 - in sixth position - for the 30-lap race; will grid tomorrow from the sixth position again

“I got a good start in the beginning going into Turn 1, but I think someone in front checked-up the field, which stacked us up a bit. Then I got caught in the middle of two cars going into Turn 2 and I was bumped into the outside car and unfortunately that resulted in us falling back to P11. The team gave me a really good car – I would say it’s the best car all year and I was able to drive it back up to eighth. I was battling for position and unfortunately got stuck behind him and was pushed off track a couple times. Overall, I’m really proud of the team’s effort and really happy with where the car ended this race. Hopefully we can get a better start in the next race and gain even more points.”

 

Dalton Kellett
No. 28 K-LINE Insulators USA, Inc. Mazda 

• Began today's race in 11; will see the green flag from 12th for Race 2

“Race 1 here at Mid-Ohio was alright. Wasn’t exactly what we were looking for - definitely want to see the No. 28 K-Line car further up the field. Just need to work on consistency with the pace and trying to gain more positions off the start. I learned a lot from today’s race – both driver and set-up wise – so I think we should have a good direction heading into tomorrow.” 

 

 

INDY LIGHTS PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES RACE 2 - SUNDAY, JULY 31

The sun was shining and the cars were fast for today's Race 2 of the Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Dean Stoneman started today's race from the fourth position and landed on the podium for the second time this weekend finishing in second. Shelby Blackstock started sixth and drove an impressive race - setting the second fastest lap - before seeing the checkered flag from fifth position. Dalton Kellett, who started from the 12th position, ran as high as seventh in today's 28-lap race. Kellett was defending position when he and another car made contact on track that resulted in a ninth place finish. 

The Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network this Wednesday, August 3 at 1:00 am ET. Make sure to set your DVR's so you can watch all of today's action – you won’t want to miss it!

The trio next heads to Watkins Glen International to participate in the Verizon IndyCar Series test taking place on August 11. Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition will resume for Round 16 at Watkins Glen International Labor Day weekend.

 

Dean Stoneman
No. 27 Stellrecht Mazda

"It was a very good weekend! We struggled a little bit in practice, but continued to make the car better. It was a good two races, the points are closed up. Unfortunately Santi [Urrutia] has pulled away a little bit so all we can do is focus on the next two rounds and hopefully we can pull it all together. This was a very difficult track. Every time we go out, the track’s changed - it’s very difficult around here. We’ve worked really hard and the team has worked to improve the car, which we have, but it’s still not quite where we want it to be but we did good in two races and we moved forward in both races which is good for the championship and good points for the team."

 

Shelby Blackstock
No. 51 Starstruck Mazda

"Overall decent weekend for the Starstruck crew. I think in Race 2 we had the second fastest lap by just one one-thousandth of a second, so that shows that the car definitely had the pace in it. Unfortunately, we stuck to the inside and everybody went around to the outside and I lost a couple positions, but we were able to fire our way back up to finish fifth. The car was very racy, but it’s the best race car we’ve had all season. I think if we could have qualified a little further up the grid, it definitely would've helped us gain even more position - that showed for Dean. He started in Row 2 and was able to get a podium out of it. So overall a great result for the team. I’ll definitely take the points and move on to Watkins Glen. Thanks to the Andretti crew for giving us such a great race car."

 

Dalton Kellett
No. 28 K-LINE Insulators USA, Inc. Mazda  

"Starting from 12th and finishing ninth is still improvement. We were in P7 most of the race. The last couple of laps we just got into it with another car on track battling for position. I haven’t seen the video yet, so I don’t want to sit here and assign blame, but I’d say that both cars made contact. So, I’d chalk it up as more of a racing incident. Other than that it was good race. This weekend showed really good progression for all the Andretti cars and glad to see the K-LINE Insulators car moving up the field. "