Hunter-Reay Tops Honda Qualifying at Road America

  • Ryan Hunter-Reay to start third in Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race
  • Alexander Rossi qualifies fourth in his Andretti Autosport Honda
  • Four Honda drivers advance to final-round “Fast Six” qualifying

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 23, 2018) – Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi led the way for Honda Saturday at Road America in qualifying for Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix. The pair will share the second row of the starting grid – with Hunter-Reay third and Rossi fourth – for the start of tomorrow’s Verizon IndyCar Series race.

After leading the initial practice session on Friday, Robert Wickens will start his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda from fifth. Sebastien Bourdais rounded out the “Fast Six” final qualifiers, and made it four Honda drivers to advance to the final round of qualifying in his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda.

In addition to taking four of the top six qualifying positions, five other Honda drivers also advanced past the opening round of qualifying to give the manufacturer nine of the top 12 starting positions in tomorrow’s 55-lap race. Led by Takuma Sato in seventh, other second-round Honda qualifiers included Scott Dixon, eighth and Graham Rahal, ninth. Zach Veach will start from 11th, with Ed Jones 12th.

Sunday’s 10th round of the 2018 season begin at 12:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) Qualified 3rd“We didn’t test here [prior to the race weekend], so we were a bit behind the eight-ball; but we made the right changes and I think we put a good effort out today. I was hoping to go one better than in [morning] practice and be ‘P2’, but starting third is something we can work from tomorrow in the race. It’s going to be interesting with no warm-up [morning practice session] tomorrow and trying to get the right setup on the race car, but it’s the same for everybody. We have an idea with where we are with older tires, so we’ll try and estimate where we need to be with the setup and put our best effort out there. To fight at it from third is a good thing. We can do it from there.”

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Qualified 4th“We can do a lot from fourth [on the grid]. It’s always disappointing when you lead your two [knockout qualifying] groups and miss out on the pole [in Fast Six final qualifying], but it’s so close. It’s amazing that around a four-mile track, it’s so tight. It’s just a testament to get to the championship, but huge hats off to the whole NAPA Know How team. We really struggled yesterday afternoon, but made some good decisions overnight that paid off.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Kohler Grand Prix

Circuit:                             Road America (4.0-mile road course) Elkhart Lake, Wis.

2016 Winner:     Scott Dixon [Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 123.431 mph average

Weather:           Sunny, mild, 76 degrees F

 Top 12 Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
1. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 1:42.2026 140.020 mph
2. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 1:43.2508 +0.0482 seconds
3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.3811 Fast Six final qualifying
4. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.4361 Fast Six final qualifying
5. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:43.7121 Fast Six final qualifying
6. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan       Honda 1:43.7332 Fast Six final qualifying
7. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:43.1109 2nd round qualifying
8. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:43.1766 2nd round qualifying
9. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:43.1874 2nd round qualifying
10. Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 1:43.1995 2nd round qualifying
11. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.2265 2nd round qualifying
12. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 1:43.3544 2nd round qualifying

Other Honda Results

15. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 1:43.9843 1st round, Group 1
16. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:43.8591 1st round, Group 2
17. Zachary Claman De Melo-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 1:44.0189 1st round, Group 1