Kohler Grand Prix, Road America
June 24, 2018
12:30 p.m. EDT
NBC Sports Network
IndyCar Radio Network Broadcast and Live Stream
- Honda comes to scenic Road America having claimed victory – and eight of the top 10 finishing positions – at Texas Motor Speedway on June 9. Scott Dixon dominated the second half of the race to score his second victory in the last three races, and the 43rd of his career, which moved him into third place on the all-time IndyCar wins list, trailing only AJ Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52).
- Honda drivers also took third through ninth places in Texas, led by Alexander Rossi in third, followed to the checkers by James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Jones, respectively.
- The Texas win, third in a row and fifth of the season for Honda, solidified the company’s lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship. Honda now has 757 points to 625 for rival Chevrolet. Honda drivers have taken 19 of a possible 27 podium finishes in nine races this year.
- Heading into this weekend’s race at Road America, Honda drivers hold seven of the top 10 positions in the drivers’ championship. Dixon leads the way with 357 points, while fellow Honda driver Rossi stands second with 334. Hunter-Reay is fourth (308 points), while Rahal stands sixth (250). Robert Wickens (244), Bourdais (218) and Marco Andretti (213) round out the top 10.
- Earlier in June, Honda drivers swept both rounds the “Dual in Detroit” doubleheader race weekend on Belle Isle, Dixon led Honda’s first-through-sixth domination of Saturday’s race, playing a two-stop pit strategy to perfection to score his first win of 2018. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, with Alexander Rossi third. Fourth through sixth included Honda drivers Andretti, Sato and Jones.
- On Sunday, Hunter-Reay’s three-stop strategy proved superior, as he recorded his first victory of 2018 after chasing down and passing the two-stopping Rossi for the win. Rossi subsequently had to make a late-race pit stop after a tire puncture, though Honda drivers again dominated the finishing order, claiming five of the top six positions at the checkers. Jones took third, followed by Dixon, Rahal and Robert Wickens, respectively.
- Earlier this year, Sebastien Bourdais led a first- through sixth-place Honda sweep at the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March. In mid-April, Rossi dominated the Grand Prix of Long Beach from the pole for his first victory of the season. Honda drivers claimed five of the top six finishing positions at Long Beach.
- The 2018 season marks the seventh year of manufacturer competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series, following six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier from 2006-11. Chevrolet and Honda are again battling for supremacy throughout the 17-race season.
- Drivers using Honda engines have won 230 Indy car races and 12 Indianapolis 500s, both during years of multi-manufacturer competition (2004-05, 2012-present); and during Honda’s 2006-11 tenure as single engine supplier to the series.
- Since its founding in 1993, Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing arm of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc., has grown from just a handful of staffers to approximately 150 associates; and from an engine-rebuilding facility, focused on a single racing series, to a complete motorsports Research & Development organization, engaged in programs ranging from the Verizon IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to grassroots and entry-level categories including karting and the SCCA Formula 4 Championship.
HONDA AT ROAD AMERICA
- Honda Indy car drivers have scored four victories at Road America. Scott Dixon provided a master class in racecraft at last year’s race, taking charge of the Kohler Grand Prix midway through the 220-mile contest and fending off all challengers to claim the win.
- Alex Zanardi recorded Honda’s first Road America Indy car win in 1997, on the way to his first of two consecutive Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) titles.
- Dario Franchitti scored the first Indy car victory of his illustrious career at Road America in 1998, heading Zanardi home to a 1-2 finish for Honda, with Franchitti’s future teammate, Tony Kanaan, finishing fourth.
- Honda’s most thrilling Indy car win at Road America came in 2000, as now-television broadcaster Paul Tracy charged from last to first after a mechanical issue forced him to re-start his engine on the opening lap of the race.