Josef Newgarden celebrates his Mid-Ohio victory last year.

LEXINGTON — Fireworks will be flying at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course over the July Fourth weekend.

The NTT IndyCar Series will make its annual stop at 2.258-mile, 13-turn permanent road course outside of Lexington this weekend for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

On-track activities begin Thursday morning with USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 testing. The Indy cars take the course for practice Friday afternoon. Qualifying is set for Saturday and the race goes green at 12:53 p.m. Sunday.

The 2022 event, the ninth of 17 stops on the NTT IndyCar Series schedule, marks the 39th visit to Mid-Ohio by the open-wheel series and is the second of three straight spectator weekends. The stretch started with the Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio and concludes when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes its debut at Mid-Ohio on July 8 to 9.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring our fans world class racing,” Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course President Craig Rust said. “From vintage race cars … to IndyCar to NASCAR, there really is something for everyone. This is truly a great time to be a race fan in Ohio.”

Ohio State tight end Cade Stover will serve as the race’s grand marshal. Stover graduated from Lexington High School and was Ohio’s Mr. Football in 2018.

“It’s such a great opportunity and an honor to be a part of this great race and tradition in my hometown,” Stover said. “As someone who grew up here, I know how much Mid-Ohio means to our community, so I’m really excited to be part of the action on race day.”

Indianapolis 500 champ Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing finds himself atop the points standings at the season’s midway point. Ericsson, who was a runner-up at Mid-Ohio last year, has 293 points. Team Penske’s Will Power (266) is in second while Penske teammate Josef Newgarden (261) is in third.

Newgarden is the defending champ at Mid-Ohio. The entry list also includes Scott Dixon, who has six previous wins at Mid-Ohio.

In addition to the NTT IndyCar Series and its three Road to Indy development support series (USF2000, Indy Pro 2000, Indy Lights), the Porsche Sprint Challenge Series and the Stadium Super Trucks Series will also be in action this weekend. The schedule includes a fireworks show after dusk Saturday.

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