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What to watch for: IndyCar at Mid-Ohio (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Aug 4, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT

Honda Indy 200 At Mid-Ohio - Day 2 Getty Images

FOUR IN A ROW FOR “DIXIE”?

Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon is on the verge of becoming the first driver to win four consecutive races under INDYCAR sanction, and a fifth career win overall at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course can certainly be done from the inside of Row 2.

With Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, the guy in front of him in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship, having to start from 14th on the grid, Dixon is in prime position to cut into the Brazilian’s points lead (and for that matter, so is pole sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport, who needs a big day to bolster his hopes for a second straight series title).

THE UNFORGIVING MID-OHIO

Mid-Ohio has won a reputation for being one of the most challenging road courses in America. Outside of starts and restarts, it can be hard to gain spots on the track at this narrow, undulating 2.26-mile road course – but very easy to lose them.

Keeping track position toward the front will be especially critical, and the drivers will need their pit crews to be sharp. A position or two gained coming out of the pits could mean a lot in the end.

POWER CHARGED UP

Team Penske’s Will Power remains winless in 2013, which is still one of the year’s notable surprises. But while he’s not challenging for a title, that also frees him of having to worry about the big picture.

“I am able to be a little bit more aggressive since we are not in the hunt for a championship like some of the other guys [starting] around me,” he noted after qualifying on the front row yesterday.  And that makes me think he’ll have a say in today’s outcome…

HEY, MR. WILSON

…The same goes for Justin Wilson, who has been reasonably quick throughout the weekend. That was probably expected considering that he and Dale Coyne Racing tested at M-O in June (and did so again in the series’ Open Test on Wednesday).

He narrowly missed out on the Firestone Fast Six on Saturday, but will still start a reasonable seventh on the grid. It also bears noting that he was fastest in this morning’s practice session. A podium finish for Wilson is a distinct possibility this afternoon.

IZOD IndyCar Series – Honda Indy 200
Starting Grid/Tire Compound

Row 1
1-Ryan Hunter-Reay (ALTERNATE)
12-Will Power (ALTERNATE)

Row 2
9-Scott Dixon (ALTERNATE)
25-Marco Andretti (PRIMARY)

Row 3
83-Charlie Kimball (ALTERNATE)
10-Dario Franchitti (ALTERNATE)

Row 4
19-Justin Wilson (ALTERNATE)
77-Simon Pagenaud (PRIMARY)

Row 5
78-Simona de Silvestro (ALTERNATE)
16-James Jakes (PRIMARY)

Row 6
5-E.J. Viso (PRIMARY)
27-James Hinchcliffe (ALTERNATE)

Row 7
7-Sebastien Bourdais (ALTERNATE)
3-Helio Castroneves (ALTERNATE)

Row 8
14-Takuma Sato (PRIMARY)
18-James Davison (Rookie; ALTERNATE)

Row 9
4-Oriol Servia (PRIMARY)
67-Josef Newgarden (PRIMARY)

Row 10
11-Tony Kanaan (PRIMARY)
6-Sebastian Saavedra (ALTERNATE)

Row 11
*55-Tristan Vautier (Rookie; ALTERNATE)
15-Graham Rahal (ALTERNATE)

Row 12
20-Ed Carpenter (PRIMARY)
98-Luca Filippi (Rookie; ALTERNATE)

*Tristan Vautier has been penalized 10 spots on the grid for an unapproved engine change.

Watch today’s Honda Indy 200 from Mid-Ohio online and on your mobile device.

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