I'm pretty much out of pocket this weekend, so I'm going to have to be content with a lightning dash through some of the biggest stories we should see at Mid-Ohio for the Honda Indy 200:
Homecourse Advantage: Much has been made this week of Mid-Ohio being Graham Rahal's "home" race, an idea made all the more interesting by the perception Graham is pretty much due for another win in the series. Despite any homecourse advantage, Rahal's record here hasn't been that sterling, so we'll have to watch how he responds to the pressure.
Trois Riveres: Make sure you check out the festival of racing that is the Grand Prix of Trois Riveres. It will showcase series such as Firestone Indy Lights and Star Mazda in a setting independent of IZOD IndyCar. Star Mazda even gets two races in, which should be interesting, given how close that series is. The Lights race is on Versus on Sunday--make sure you check it out to see more of this unique setting for Lights--it's great they get to be one of the main events for a change!
Probation Time: By now, we've all heard Mike Conway, Alex Tagliani, and Ryan Hunter-Reay are on probation for avoidable contact and the like. What's going to be interesting is if any other names tangle up this weekend, will they join the probation list? What if Conway or one of the other does have an incident? Seeing how far the series plans to go with this is going to be quite intriguing.
Plowey's Debut: Martin Plowman makes his IZOD IndyCar Series debut this week. If he can qualify solidly mid-pack (not out of the question given the test here), it'll be a good start for him. All the guessing and speculation will be over; we're about to see what he can do.
Coyne Comeback: Sebas Bourdais has had two very nice finishes in a row for Dale Coyne Racing. It seems like this team is really ratcheting things up in the second half of the year. We'll have to see if they can make it 3 good ones in a row.
Pole Prediction: Will Power.
Winner Prediction: It's tough to ignore Ganassi's record here. I think Dario jumps in front and stays in front.
Enjoy the race, and we'll meet back next week to break it down!