Pato O’Ward resisted pressure from Alex Palou to win the IndyCar Indy 200 race at Mid-Ohio, with Scott McLaughlin ending up P3.

Pato O’Ward resisted constant pressure from NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship leader Alex Palou over the closing laps to win The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Presented by the 2025 Civic Hybrid on Sunday. O’Ward slid his No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet sideways through the final corner on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to hold off Palou’s No. 10 Ridgeline Lubricants Chip Ganassi Racing Honda by .4993 of a second, the closest finish this season on a road or street circuit.

This was the sixth career NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory for O’Ward and his second this season. But he inherited the first win from the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding after Josef Newgarden, who crossed the line first ahead of O’Ward, was disqualified in April after it was discovered Team Penske illegally used the Push to Pass system.

Scott McLaughlin finished third in the No. 3 Sonsio Team Penske Chevrolet, his second podium place in the last three races. Colton Herta placed fourth in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda fielded by Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian. Marcus Ericsson rounded out the top five finishers in the No. 28 Delaware Life Honda of Andretti Global.

While all eyes were focused on the debut of the new hybrid system on the engines of all 27 cars, this race evolved into a tale of two tires. NTT P1 Award winner Palou and fellow front-row starter O’Ward both began the 80-lap race on Firestone primary tires. Palou established his superiority quickly on the harder, more durable rubber, building a lead of approximately six seconds before O’Ward’s first pit stop at the end of Lap 27.

O’Ward took the softer, grippier Firestone alternate tires on his first stop, and Palou followed suit on his stop one lap later and stayed out front after the first pit cycle concluded. Two-time and defending series champion Palou built a lead of 4.2 seconds over O’Ward by Lap 43, but then O’Ward’s car came to life on the red-sidewall Firestone alternate tires. O’Ward trimmed the lead to just five-tenths of a second by Lap 54, and the race and dueling pit strategies were on.

O’Ward made his second and final stop for new Firestone primary tires at the end of Lap 54, while Palou pitted a lap later for scuffed Firestone primary tires. Those stops were crucial. O’Ward’s was clean, while Palou stumbled exiting his pit box and lost a second. That delay dropped Palou just behind O’Ward when Palou exited the pits on Lap 57, and O’Ward kept the lead for the rest of the race.

But nothing came easily for the popular Mexican driver over the closing 24 laps. Palou hounded the rear of O’Ward’s car, staying within a second or less the entire way. O’Ward also managed the turbulent air from the cars of Agustin Canapino and rookie Kyffin Simpson ahead of him, both battling to stay on the tail end of the lead lap.

It looked like Palou might dive for the lead at any time in the last five laps. But he lost vital momentum on Lap 76 when the left-side wheels of his car left the track and kicked up a dust cloud. Still, Palou rallied from that slight miscue and pulled to within four-tenths of a second with one lap to go. But O’Ward maintained his cool – and speed – and gave Palou no chance to attack on the final lap.

Palou recorded his eighth top-five finish in nine races this season and expanded his points gap. Palou leads second-place Will Power by 48 points. Power finished 11th in the No. 12 Verizon Business Team Penske Chevrolet. O’Ward climbed to third in the standings, 70 points behind Palou.


[Note: The story is as per press release]