O’Ward leads Palou, Ericsson in first practice at Mid-Ohio

#5: Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Last year’s polesitter at Mid-Ohio, Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, was comfortably faster than his nearest pursuers in opening practice for the Honda Indy 200, ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson.

Unlike his fellow established aces, two-time Mid-Ohio winner Josef Newgarden went out early with the rookies in this 75-minute session, and on his fifth of six laps, he produced a 1m07.3573s effort in his Team Penske-Chevrolet. That’s an average of 120.682mph around the 2.258-mile 13-turn road course in Lexington, OH.

After 15 minutes, other race winners hit the track, and it was Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren-Chevy who first displaced Newgarden, albeit by just 0.0324s. Defending series champion Will Power had just moved into second when Helio Castroneves spun off exiting Turn 5 and into Turn 6 and stalled on the grass, bringing out the red flag with 49mins still to go.

After the session restarted, the dominant points leader, 2021 c

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