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Sowery shines on IndyCar debut at Mid-Ohio

Days before he took part in his first NTT IndyCar Series race, Toby Sowery didn’t know what to expect from the experience. Signed for a single race with Dale Coyne Racing in the No. 51 Honda, the race-winning Indy NXT veteran hoped to have a clean run but couldn’t predict where he’d finish.

Starting 24th, the Briton made multiple passes in the opening laps, stuck to a two-stop strategy that most of the field used, and was rewarded with a strong performance to claim 13th, which ranks as the best of the season for DCR’s No. 51 entry.

“Super proud with that result,” Sowery told RACER. “To be honest, I didn’t know how we’d stack up in the race, just purely from a qualifying position standpoint. I knew it kind where we should have started. The Dale Coyne team made some really good steps with the car over the weekend, so I was excited for qualifying, and I think today proves that we’re competitive. Today has been a very, very good day.”

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Sowery was the biggest mover of the race along with Santino Ferrucci as the two improved 11 positions across the 80-lap race. Given another chance to drive, Sowery is confident there’s a lot more for him to show next to DCR’s Jack Harvey, who dealt with an ailment on the way to placing 26th.

“There’s a lot of improvements on my end, and with the pit stops I can do,” he said. “Because I think if we were clean on them, we could have potentially been in front of Ferrucci who was 10th, but I’m really happy with the team. They’ve done a fantastic job all weekend. They’ve been super welcoming and helpful in guiding me. And you know, Jack’s been amazing as well. It’s a shame he’s had his neck problems this weekend.”

If there were any question before Mid-Ohio as to whether Sowery belongs in IndyCar, the answer was provided in the affirmative on Sunday.

“I had a good little ding-dong with (Romain) Grosjean before he slid off,” he said. “Had a good little battle with David (Malukas). The start it was, it was good on my end; we went forward. It was hectic at times, but I was calm. I’ve always felt like I could mix it up in this paddock, and I got to prove to myself that It’s not a wish, but a bit of more of reality. And fingers crossed everyone else sees it that way too.”

Story originally appeared on Racer