Dixon leads second practice

Surprise, surprise! Scott Dixon on top at Mid-Ohio

With a time of 1:05.9645, five-time Mid-Ohio winner Scott Dixon placed the #9 Target Chevrolet atop the time sheets in practice 2 for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Chevrolet cars swept the top-3 positions as session one leader Sebastien Bourdais was second followed by reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Will Power in third.

Graham Rahal was the lead Honda in fourth, with Takuma Sato rounding out the top-five. The first 8 cars were all within one-tenth of Dixon's fast time.

Dixon's lap of 1 minute, 5.9645 seconds on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in the 75-minute afternoon session was six-tenths of a second off the track qualifying record set by Dario Franchitti in 1999 and matched by Gil de Ferran in 2000.

"We went through a few different setup changes just to try to find our groove, but overall the car was pretty quick," said Dixon, who is driving the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. "We'll hopefully carry some speed into (qualifying) and try to start up front."

Sebastien Bourdais, the pole sitter for the 2014 race at Mid-Ohio, was quickest in the late-morning practice (1:06.2034) and second in the afternoon (1:06.0190) in the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet.

Five different teams were represented in the top five of the lap time chart, and the top 20 cars were separated by less than a second in afternoon practice.

Three rounds of knockout qualifying will be held at 3 p.m. ET Aug. 1 (NBCSN). The green flag for the 90-lap race flies at 2:05 p.m. ET Aug. 2 (CNBC).

Dixon is third in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings entering Round 14 of 16. Front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya of Team Penske has a 42-point advantage over Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Dixon is 48 points out of first.

Reigning series champion Will Power, who is fifth in the standings, was third quick in the second practice (1:06.0781) in the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet and Rahal (1:06.1049) was fourth in the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda. Takuma Sato, who this weekend will mark his 100th Indy car start, was fifth (1:06.1361) in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda for AJ Foyt Racing.

Montoya, who was limited to 12 laps in the morning practice because of an alternator issue, had a best lap of 1:06.9930 among 21 laps in the afternoon for 22nd on the combined time chart.

HONDA INDY 200 PRACTICE QUOTES:

STEFANO COLETTI (No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): "It's a very cool track. First time I have been to Mid-Ohio and haven't done any simulation so it's all totally new. The track was very dirty to start off with this morning and it was very complicated and hard conditions so I had to adapt a lot to the car and try to get used to the track at the same time. We are going faster and faster and getting closer and closer to the top all the time, so that's good and we will try and improve some more for tomorrow."

SAGE KARAM (No. 8 Comfort Revolution/Big Machine Records Chevrolet): "This morning we just went out and tried to get comfortable with the track really. I talked to Dixon and my teammates a lot after the first session. We didn't run an extra set of tires like the others did in the first session so we felt good about the afternoon practice. The second session was a bit of a struggle for us so we need to work hard tonight to figure out what we need to do to move up the speed charts."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): "Obviously a good start today for the Target team in P1. I don't know what it is about this track, but I like to drive this circuit and it seems to suit my style. When the car is loose it's at its best for me and the more laps you put in here the faster it goes. The team has had a tremendous amount of success here over the years and I hope we can continue the momentum tomorrow for qualifying."

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): "Mid-Ohio is just a really tough track and you have to get so many things right all at the same time. We struggled in the first session and I had a small spin that took away some track time, but we made some changes between practices that helped us out. We got caught out in a lot of traffic during the second session and we weren't able to put up the lap times we should've had early on. The car is good and you could see how fast it was at the end of the second session when we put on new tires and I had some open track in front of me."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Chevrolet): "A very good day for the Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing team, first and second in both practices. It is the same old Mid-Ohio, just massive improvement in lap times throughout the sessions. It is always very tricky at the beginning of the session, but the Hydroxycut machine seems to be strong whether it's early, late, new tires, old tires. We just have to find a little bit of front grip. One thing that has developed for us this year is we never seem to have issues making the car work on the black (primary tires), but we have a problem on the red (alternate) tires. If the Firestone reds behave for us tomorrow, I think we will have a shot at the pole."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda): "Today was good. The Steak 'n Shake car is a bit of a handful for sure but if we can be as close as we are with it like it is I feel good about where we can be, going forward. We've just got to keep working hard, keep our heads down and we'll be just fine. For sure we have a little bit of work to do tonight, but being the top Honda in fourth feels good but I want to be P1. This is the home race and there are only three races to go so I want to be up there."

RODOLFO GONZALEZ (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "The morning session was pretty good. I had to learn the track quickly and shake off the rust a bit. We seemed to be making some good progress for the second session but something strange happened and I lost lap time to myself compared to the morning. I think we had an issue with a damper. It seemed to lose compression or something and it hurt our whole afternoon practice. We will get it worked out and be ready for tomorrow."

TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "I had a pretty good pace today, but it is so tight. The little things make a big difference. If we fix a few things in a few areas, I think we will be really quick. It is so hard if all those little details aren't perfect, you are halfway down the field. That second session was a bit bumpy, I think it is safe to say. Overall, it was a good day and we will do some work for tomorrow."

LUCA FILIPPI (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet): "Our times were not as great as expected, but as we know Mid-Ohio is very close in terms of lap times. I made a couple of mistakes and because of that we weren't able to capitalize on our new tires at the right time. However today was productive and will help us get ready for tomorrow. We are very consistent. Now we need a little bit better performance for qualifying. Tomorrow will be very tight and we will have to do everything right, as well as having the right amount of luck."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda): "Tough session – we weren't as quick as we'd like, but we're trying lots of different things. Hopefully we can put it all together and be quick tomorrow. Lot of data to go over tonight, a lot of work to do, but hopefully we'll be there."

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 AndrettiTV/Cinsay Honda): "In today's second session we tried a few things, but I don't think it worked out for us; we have to go back to see what works best. Today is just practice. Everyone is really close to each other (in times), and tomorrow we have to be perfect to be in the top 10. We still have one more practice to get it right before qualifying."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda): "I'd say this is the closest we've rolled off (the trucks) pretty much anywhere this year. Normally we've had to reinvent the wheel, but I think we're a few tenths (of a second) off of being really good. We think we have a direction, so hopefully tomorrow we'll be even closer."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "It's been a bit of a struggle today trying to get the exact balance that we know we can have here and that we've had in years past. We have such a high bar to set from the cars we've had here where we've qualified on pole, we finished on the podium with. We still have quite a bit of work to do to get it

Results

Pos Driver Car No. Time Difference Gap In Lap Speed Laps
1 Scott Dixon 9 01:05.9645 –.—- –.—- 30 123.230 31
2 Sebastien Bourdais 11 01:06.0190 0.0545 0.0545 28 123.128 30
3 Will Power 1 01:06.0781 0.1136 0.0591 23 123.018 30
4 Graham Rahal 15 01:06.1049 0.1404 0.0268 24 122.968 27
5 Takuma Sato 14 01:06.1361 0.1716 0.0312 26 122.910 30
6 Tony Kanaan 10 01:06.1545 0.1900 0.0184 29 122.876 30
7 Jack Hawksworth 41 01:06.2551 0.2906 0.1006 32 122.689 34
8 Marco Andretti 27 01:06.3202 0.3557 0.0651 31 122.569 33
9 Josef Newgarden 67 01:06.4501 0.4856 0.1299 28 122.329 29
10 Ryan Hunter-Reay 28 01:06.4977 0.5332 0.0476 24 122.242 30
11 Helio Castroneves 3 01:06.5157 0.5512 0.0180 25 122.209 35
12 Ryan Briscoe 5 01:06.5463 0.5818 0.0306 29 122.153 33
13 James Jakes 7 01:06.6016 0.6371 0.0553 18 122.051 32
14 Stefano Coletti 4 01:06.6322 0.6677 0.0306 33 121.995 34
15 Tristan Vautier 19 01:06.6702 0.7057 0.0380 27 121.926 28
16 Gabby Chaves 98 01:06.7242 0.7597 0.0540 31 121.827 35
17 Carlos Munoz 26 01:06.7681 0.8036 0.0439 36 121.747 37
18 Luca Filippi 20 01:06.7883 0.8238 0.0202 33 121.71 33
19 Charlie Kimball 83 01:06.8429 0.8784 0.0546 32 121.611 32
20 Justin Wilson 25 01:06.9625 0.9980 0.1196 26 121.393 35
21 Juan Pablo Montoya 2 01:06.9930 1.0285 0.0305 21 121.338 21
22 Sage Karam 8 01:07.1196 1.1551 0.1266 26 121.109 31
23 Simon Pagenaud 22 01:07.3027 1.3382 0.1831 29 120.78 30
24 Rodolfo Gonzalez 18 01:08.1868 2.2223 0.8841 29 119.214 31

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