Newgarden leads final practice, Bourdais one to watch in race

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LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Four-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Sebastien Bourdais will literally start today where he left off at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Bourdais finished sixth in last year's Honda Indy 200, the same position he will take the green flag from in today's 90-lap race at 4 p.m. ET on NBC.

The difference? A year ago, Bourdais had to start from the final spot -- 24th -- and drive his way up to the sixth-place finish. He passed 17 different cars and, remarkably, wasn't passed once.

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One could easily call it the most impressive drive of the 2018 season, the kind of performance worth remembering.

"Those kind of races, if you've got a bad day (and) it's raining outside, maybe you watch it again," the Frenchman said.

The generally reserved Bourdais conceded it was "an awesome day."

"The conditions were perfect," he said. "We had three brand-new sets of red tires, which turned out to be the preferred tire because it got overcast and cooler (outside). So yeah, it was just the perfect scenario to try to recover from that mess I created in qualifying.

"Just an awesome day, (a) great memory. Now it's 2019."

Ahead of Bourdais today will be three Team Penske cars (pole sitter Will Power, No. 3 qualifier Josef Newgarden and No. 4 qualifier Simon Pagenaud), an Andretti Autosport car (No. 2 qualifier Alexander Rossi) and a Chip Ganassi Racing car (rookie Felix Rosenqvist, who qualified fifth).

Bourdais also had the sixth-fastest time in today's final practice. The top five: Newgarden, Rosenqvist, rookie Colton Herta of Harding Steinbrenner Racing, Spencer Pigot of Ed Carpenter Racing and Rossi.

In addition to today's Honda Indy 200 being seen on NBC, it can be heard on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network and SiriusXM on Sirius 98, XM 209 and SXM 970. Green flag will wave minutes after the TV broadcast begins, at 4:05 p.m.

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