With the 2022 Indycar season kicking off this weekend, let’s revisit 2021’s Honda 200 – Indycar at Mid-Ohio.
A fine weekend for Indycar here in central Ohio. The general admission seating is plentiful all weekend long, with good hills surrounding all the good turns on the course. If you’re looking for starting line and finish line seating (yes, they are different lines here) you’ll have to point up a little extra for bleacher seats.
It’s a packed agenda full of four-wheeled action. Let’s talk about the different races that make up the race weekend.
I first encountered this racing series at the Grand Prix of Portland last year. Founded by Indycar and NASCAR racer Robbie Gordon, these powerful trucks trade paint and fly off ramps that are set up around the course.
Before they hit the track, we walked over to their area of the paddocks. Get up close and personal with the trucks here and you can even poke your head in and take a look. If you’re up to it, maybe even strike up a conversation with the racers.
During the race, I continue to be amazed at the delight I feel when watching these trucks hit the jump. The racing is really tight as the trucks clash on the course in between the various ramps set up on the straights.
With a paddock pass (which is an extra charge when you purchase your ticket), you can walk pretty freely around the garages and trailers for the various racing teams.
Not all teams take a spot in the garage buildings. Some spread out in the paddock parking area, like the Rahal-Letterman team seen below.
Graham Rahal chats with friends and family on Saturday afternoon.
The Felix Rosenqvist team has a little fun with their communications antenna topper.
The paddocks offer a great view of the pits, too. While we didn’t have pit passes (an additional charge), we could see the crews working to get the cars ready to race when walking on the paddock’s elevated walkway.
As you can see, the second level of the paddock offers a really great view of the pits.
A sharp eye will spot drivers and car owners roaming around. Here we see famed team owner Chip Ganassi talking with his driver Marcus Ericsson.
Driver James Hinchcliffe scoots with his wife scoot from the pits to the paddock. I was able to catch James outside of his trailer for an autograph that I sent to my nephew who is crazy about Indycar.
Most of the Indycar drivers seemed very open to signing autographs as they walked around.
Here’s Felix Rosenqvist, 2019’s Indycar Rookie of the Year, who strolls the pits with his girlfriend.
A crew member hitches a ride on the race car as he gets towed back to the paddock.
Not without mention are the Indylights and USF2000 series races. These open-wheel cars look a lot like the main series, but are smaller and feature engines with less power. Nonetheless, compelling and entertaining racing happens all day.
Race day in Central Ohio! It’s the Fourth of July here at the track, so we get a nice flyover…
…and some festive costumery.
The green flag drops and Indycar at Mid-Ohio has begun.
This view from the grandstands affords a view of the starting line and turns one and two, where we witnessed this early spin by Will Power.
The rest of the race, I walked around the circuit and snapped some photos of the action.
The winner, Josef Newgarden, crosses the line. He led 73 of 80 laps. Congrats Josef on your decisive win and eventual championship.
Mid-Ohio provides an excellent fan experience with plenty of room to roam to find your perfect vantage point. On race day, it was very easy to get in and even to get out from one of the deepest areas of the infield.
Best experienced with a tailgate, the infield parking pass is the way to go so you can walk back to your car and eat some pepperoni rolls, drink a beer and wait for the next round of racing. As evidenced by this photo of my dad during the annual Mid-Ohio Vintage Motorcycle Days.
Check out all the latest dates for racing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course website.