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RaceDayScore IndyCar: Honda Indy 200

C.J. Radune

Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2015 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Honda Indy 200

Location: Lexington, Ohio
Course: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Format: 2.25-mile road course
Laps: 90

Race Preview

Penske Racing asserted themselves again in Toronto, taking the top two spots. It was Scott Dixon who Will Power toppled at the street course after the Chip Ganassi Racing driver led 56 of the 85 scheduled laps. This week Dixon will hope to convert that speed at a track where he has been the driver to beat recently. Dixon has won five times at Mid-Ohio in the last nine visits. The natural-terrain circuit in rural Ohio is the home track for Graham Rahal, who took a popular win there last season. The season has been a showcase for Penske drivers so far, and it will take a significant effort to knock them off of their perch this week in the Honda Indy 200.

Key Stats at Mid-Ohio (since 2007)

Number of previous races: 9
Winners from pole: 1
Winners from top-5 starters: 6
Winners from top-10 starters: 7
Lowest starting position to win: 22
Fastest race: 117.825 mph

Previous Winners at Mid-Ohio (since 2007)

2007 - Scott Dixon
2008 - Ryan Briscoe
2009 - Scott Dixon
2010 - Dario Franchitti
2011 - Scott Dixon
2012 - Scott Dixon
2013 - Charlie Kimball
2014 - Scott Dixon
2015 - Graham Rahal

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a 2.25-mile road course set in the hills of central Ohio. The course features a long, kinked, back straight that leads drivers to a sequence of blind turns featuring significant elevation changes. Drivers will seek to find a rhythm while out on the flowing course that will enable them to click off fast lap times and pull away from the competition. Passing is difficult due to the nature of the course. There are very few opportunities to pass opponents, and most will come at the end of the back straight as drivers push their braking to the last possible moment. A slower car with a mistake-free driver can often hold off faster machines, and that can make pit strategy a race-winning decision. Qualifying will be an important factor in determining the outcome, and all eyes will be on whether the field can make it through the first turn without contact.

RACE DAY SCORE VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

Tier 1 Values

Will Power - $11,800
Simon Pagenaud - $11,700
Scott Dixon - $11,000

Tier 2 Values

Josef Newgarden - $10,900
Ryan Hunter-Reay - $10,400
Juan Pablo Montoya - $10,200
Graham Rahal - $10,100

Tier 3 Values

Charlie Kimball - $9,900
Takuma Sato - $9,600
James Hinchcliffe - $9,000

Long-Shot Values

Sebastien Bourdais - $8,500
Max Chilton - $8,400
Conor Daly - $8,100
Spencer Pigot - $7,400

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Simon Pagenaud - $11,700
Scott Dixon - $11,000
Takuma Sato - $9,600
James Hinchcliffe - $9,000
Sebastien Bourdais - $8,500

Pagenaud leads the lower-risk lineup option this week at Mid-Ohio despite finishing ninth in Toronto after a third-place start. He has been the best road course driver so far this season, and he also has four top-10 finishes in his five Mid-Ohio visits including three podiums. Mid-Ohio has favored Scott Dixon over the years, and that earns him the second spot this week. He led 56 laps in Toronto before finishing eighth and has five wins at the Ohio road course. Mid-Ohio is one of Sato’s preferred circuits and he said it reminds him of circuits he raced on in Europe. He has raced six times on the track in IndyCar and has a best finish of fourth. Hinchcliffe should feel a boost this week after driving to his second podium of the season in Toronto. He also has three consecutive top-10s at Mid-Ohio including third last season. Remarkably, Bourdais comes at a bargain basement price this week. He’s suited for these types of courses, started from pole here in 2014, and has two top-five finishes at the track. His addition to this roster is a very easy decision.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Helio Castroneves - $11,800
Ryan Hunter-Reay - $10,400
Juan Pablo Montoya - $10,200
Marco Andretti - $9,500
Conor Daly - $8,100

Castroneves will be our top choice in the higher-risk lineup this week mainly because he’s winless in 2016. He finished second in Toronto, which was his second runner-up of the season. He’s slowly gaining more consistency and could break through to the top step of the podium this week. Hunter-Reay struggled in Toronto but has just one finish outside of the top 10 in nine IndyCar visits to Mid-Ohio. Montoya has only been to Mid-Ohio in IndyCar equipment twice, but he does have a victory here under the CART banner in 1999. Another driver searching to improve his season is Andretti, and Mid-Ohio could help him do that. He finished 10th in Toronto, and has six top-10s from nine career starts at Mid-Ohio. The lineup is finished off with Conor Daly, who makes his first stop at this track in an IndyCar. His time spent racing in Europe will play directly into his hands at this circuit. As Takuma Sato mentioned how this track reminds him of European circuits, the same will be true for Daly. He cut his teeth on these tracks, and should be in store for a positive weekend for fantasy owners as a result.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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