Pato O’Ward Wins First Hybrid IndyCar Race At Mid-Ohio

Pato O'ward at Mid-Ohio
Credit: Penske Entertainment: Travis Hinkle

IndyCar’s hybrid era got off to an inauspicious start at Mid-Ohio, but finished strong.

After a multi-year delay the series introduced its new hybrid powertrains for the Honda Indy 200.

Based around IndyCar’s existing turbocharged 2.2-liter V6, the Honda and Chevrolet systems add an electric motor generator unit and a super capacitor pack that is charged under braking and offers drivers a 60 hp boost on demand.

Scott Dixon’s car stalled on the pace lap and the first three laps were run under yellow before his teammate, pole-sitter Alex Palou, took the green flag for the restart and pulled away to a four second lead by lap 12 ahead of second-place qualifier Pato O’ward.


The exact cause of Dixon’s issue wasn’t immediately reported, but Chip Ganassi Racing was able to get his car back on the track on lap 22, by which time Palou’s lead on O’Ward was more than six seconds with the rest of the pack another six seconds behind his Arrow McLaren.

Palou made his first pit stop on lap 29 and was back in the lead two laps later as other cars cycled through their stops.

O’Ward was able to close the gap to to Palou to less than a second when he pitted at the end of lap 55, and Palou reentered behind him after he stumbled briefly coming out of his stop a lap later.

Palou settled in and stayed within a second of O’Ward through the final stint, but wasn’t able to  make a pass for the lead as O’Ward claimed the first win of the hybrid era for Honda.

The win was also O’Ward’s first on the track since Iowa Speedway in 2022. He inherited the victory at this year’s Grand Prix of St. Petersburg from third place when race-winner Josef Newgarden and runner-up Scott McLaughlin were disqualified post-race for rules violations. 

“That was a hard fought race,” O’Ward said. 

“That was a proper win, we earned this one this weekend.”