Honda Starts Strong in Chase for 13th Indianapolis 500 Victory

The front row of #30: Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, #9: Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, #98: Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda
  • Front-row qualifying sweep for Honda sets stage for exciting “500”
  • Honda lineup includes four former winners; 11 of 12 fastest qualifiers
  • Victory on Sunday would be the 13th for Honda since 2003
Front row qualifiers: #98: Marco Andretti, Andretti Herta with Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda, #9: Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, #30: Takuma Sato, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (August 18, 2020) – A powerful qualifying performance from Honda teams and drivers has set the stage for an exciting 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 as the manufacturer seeks its 13th victory at the famed “Brickyard” on Sunday.

            Led by pole qualifier Marco Andretti, Honda drivers swept the front row in qualifying, and claimed 11 of the top-12 starting positions.  Andretti’s pole was the 11th for Honda on the famed 2.5-mile oval, and the first Indy pole for the third-generation racer from the “first family” of American motorsports. 

            “Honda has a long history of success at Indianapolis, and everyone at Honda Performance Development has played an important role in our 12 previous wins,” said Ted Klaus, HPD president.  “Qualifying was a great success, and we were thrilled to have the pole and an all-Honda front row. Everyone at HPD worked hard through the off-season with our partner teams to improve our overall performance.  We all know that the race on Sunday is going to be a battle, and that’s why it will be fascinating and fun to watch.

            “Honda’s commitment to innovation through motorsports, remains just as strong today as when the company was founded in 1946. We’re proud of Honda’s success at Indianapolis, and our long history of participation in this great race.  We are looking forward to an exciting 500 miles, and to finishing in Victory Circle for the 13th time!”

            Two former “500” winners – Scott Dixon and Takuma Sato – fill out the first of the 11 rows of three that make up the field, and will start second and third, respectively.  Dixon is the current championship points leader with three previous wins this season, while Sato is Honda’s most recent “500” winner, from 2017.

            Another Honda-powered former race winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, will start fifth, with former pole qualifier James Hinchcliffe alongside in sixth.  Hunter-Reay was victorious at Indy in 2014; while Hinchcliffe returned from serious injuries in 2015 to claim the pole in 2016.

            The third row is also all-Honda, led by promising rookie Alex Palou in seventh, Graham Rahal in eighth and 2016 winner Alexander Rossi, ninth.  Continuing the Honda-dominated top half of the field, Colton Herta will start from the inside of the fourth row, 10th; with Marcus Ericsson 11th and returning Honda racer Spencer Pigot filling out the row in 12th.

            The remainder of the 15-driver Honda field at Indianapolis include 14th-starting Felix Rosenqvist; Zach Veach, who will start 17th; Santino Ferrucci and Jack Harvey, who will start 19th and 30th, respectively; and James Davison, who qualified 27th.

Honda is the most successful major car manufacturer at the Indy 500, winning more races, having more starts and completing more laps than any other major automaker in the 103 previous editions of the event. Since 1994, Honda has taken part in 19 Indianapolis 500 races, and powered 12 race winners at The Brickyard.

During 26 years of IndyCar competition, Honda has won 14 Manufacturers’ Championships, with Honda drivers winning 249 races and 16 series championships – a record unmatched by any other car company since Honda entered Indy car competition in 1994.

Honda’s Indianapolis 500 Highlights:

  • Honda has won more Indianapolis 500 races than any major automaker: 12 victories from 19 races; or a win ratio of 63%
  • Honda has had more race starts at the Indianapolis 500 than any other auto manufacturer: 372 starts
  • Honda has completed more race laps at the Indianapolis 500 than any other carmaker: 65,103 laps

2020 Indianapolis 500 Starting Field:

Ps.Driver      TeamManufacturerSpeed 
  1.Marco AndrettiAndretti Herta AutosportHonda231.068 
  2.Scott Dixon-WChip Ganassi RacingHonda231.051 
  3.Takuma Sato-WRahal Letterman LaniganHonda230.725   
  4.Rinus VeeKay-REd Carpenter RacingChevrolet230.704 
  5.Ryan Hunter-Reay-WAndretti AutosportHonda230.648 
  6.James HinchcliffeAndretti Autosport Honda229.870   
  7.Alex Palou-RDCR with Team Goh               Honda229.676 
  8.Graham RahalRahal Letterman LaniganHonda229.380 
  9.Alexander Rossi-WAndretti AutosportHonda229.234   
10.Colton HertaAndretti Harding AutosportHonda230.775 
11.Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi Racing Honda230.763 
12.Spencer PigotRLL with Citrone/Buhl AutosportHonda230.539   
13.Josef NewgardenTeam PenskeChevrolet230.296 
14.Felix RosenqvistChip Ganassi Racing            Honda230.254 
15.Pato O’Ward-RArrow McLaren SPChevrolet230.213   
16.Ed CarpenterEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet230.211 
17.Zach VeachAndretti AutosportHonda229.961 
18.Conor DalyEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet229.955   
19.Santino FerrucciDCR with Vasser-Sullivan     Honda229.924 
20.Jack HarveyMeyer Shank RacingHonda229.861 
21.Oliver Askew-RArrow McLaren SPChevrolet229.760   
22.Will Power-WTeam PenskeChevrolet229.701 
23.Tony Kanaan-WA.J. Foyt EnterprisesChevrolet229.154 
24.Dalton Kellett-RA.J. Foyt EnterprisesChevrolet228.880   
25.Simon PagenaudTeam PenskeChevrolet228.836 
26.Fernando AlonsoArrow McLaren SPChevrolet228.768 
27.James DavisonDCR with Ware/Byrd/BelardiHonda228.747   
28.Helio Castroneves-WTeam PenskeChevrolet228.373 
29.Charlie KimballA.J. Foyt EnterprisesChevrolet227.758 
30.Sage KaramDreyer & Reinbold RacingChevrolet227.099   
31.JR HildebrandDreyer & Reinbold RacingChevrolet226.341 
32.Max ChiltonCarlin RacingChevrolet225.819 
33.Ben HanleyDragon Speed RacingChevrolet220.946 

W – Previous Indianapolis 500 winner

R – Indianapolis 500 rookie