Late Morning Update from Mid-Ohio (Update)UPDATE The morning warm up for the Izod IndyCar Series is coming to a close. The teams have had limited running due to two red flag sessions, one from Tristan Vautier. Vautier appeared to lose control of the #55 Angie's List Schmidt/Peterson Motorsports Honda as he spun in his own oil on the uphill climb to turn 4. EJ Viso also had a brief off, and I am searching for confirmation as to what exactly happened.
The session has now gone checkered with Justin Wilson posting a fast time of 1:06.99 in the #19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.
One thing I will note is that with more than four hours before the green flag, the crowd seems very robust. The hill over at turn 3 had many viewers for the IndyCar warm-up, and it was crowded in the paddock this morning. While I have no attendance numbers, the crowd "looks" good.
As for the race this afternoon, keep an eye on #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KVRT Chevrolet of Simona de Silvestro. de Silvestro will start the race 9th, and remember she finished 8th here in her rookie season of 2010. She was also second to Wilson in the morning warm-up.
Another driver who may be moving up is Josef Newgarden. The Hendersonville, TN native has struggled mightily with road and street course qualifying with an average qualifying effort of 20. However, Newgarden has posted good results from in the field on a few occasions. At Sao Paolo, Newgarden started 23rd, and finished 5th. In the first Detroit Race 1 he started 23rd and finished 7th.
The #67 Sarah Fisher Fisher Hartman Racing Honda rolls off 19th today.
In closing, I should note that I spoke with a crew members from a few teams this morning about the doubleheader weekends. Suffice to say, they don't like them. I will have more to pass along regarding that subject soon.
Brian C. reporting from Mid-Ohio
08/04/13 It's about 9:35 a.m. here at Mid-Ohio, and Race 3 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda has just gotten going after about a 20 minute red flag caused by an 11-car pileup on the first lap.
The Firestone Indy Lights race follows the USF2000 race. Colombian Gabby Chaves will start the Lights race from pole.
The Izod IndyCar Series will have its morning warm-up beginning at 11 a.m. One question I've been asked a few times is what the pit window for today's race. While many have assumed the window will be 3 stops (remember 5 laps have added to this year's race), Scott Dixon told the press he could do it on two stops yesterday. zzzz Now, Dixon could be playing mind games with everyone. Last year Dixon and Will Power, who finished second both made their final stop on lap 57. And if you go by that, yes we would have to presume the race will be a three stopper. But keep this in mind.
Last year's race was caution free. Dixon and Power made two stops and were able to complete 85 green flag laps. Thus, if you figure 3 caution laps for every 1 green lap, a two-stop race becomes realistic should there be any significant caution period.
That said, the smart money is on most of these teams approaching the race as a three stopper. Also, with passing incredibly difficult and some drivers that need good results buried deep in the field, expect some teams to go off sequence, and pit when the three stop window opens. My math tells me that window will open as early as lap 9.
Check in for more updates from Mid-Ohio throughout the day.
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