#26: Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport Honda, Receives the NTT Pole Award

Pole for Herta, Honda in St. Petersburg

  • Colton Herta takes pole in Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg qualifying
  • Jack Harvey qualifies second in all-Honda front row

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 24, 2021) – Colton Herta prevailed in a typical fraught NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying, edging fellow Jack Harvey by just two-tenths of a second to secure an all-Honda front row for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Herta and Harvey were two of the seven Honda drivers to advance through the first round of INDYCAR “knockout” qualifying.  Behind the lead pair, defending series champion Scott Dixon will start eighth in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal and Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama race winner Alex Palou rounding out the top 10 for Honda. Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe also advanced to second-round qualifying, and will start 11th and 12th, respectively.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Qualifying Results

  •   1st  Colton Herta                   Andretti Autosport Honda
  •   2nd  Jack Harvey                   Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  •   8th  Scott Dixon                      Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  •   9th  Graham Rahal                 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 10th  Alex Palou                                   Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 11th  Alexander Rossi               Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 12th  James Hinchcliffe            Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 13th  Ryan Hunter-Reay                       Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 15th  Takuma Sato                   Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 16th  Marcus Ericsson               Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 18th  Romain Grosjean-R         Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
  • 21st  Ed Jones                          Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
  • 23rd Jimmie Johnson-R            Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Quotes

Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport Honda) Pole Qualifier, 1st NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole of 2021 and 5th career pole: “I knew [before the start of the race weekend] we had a good race car for here. Just had to get through those two [qualifying] stages nice and clean. Really happy for [my] guys. We’ve got the best seat in the house [pole] for the start, it’s been an incredible weekend so far. Can’t wait to get going again tomorrow.”

Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing Honda) Qualified Second, third career front-row start: “We felt confident coming into this weekend, as we’re run well here previously. We were strong all day, and happy to share the front row with our ‘pseudo teammate’ [Colton Herta]. With Colton, with Honda and the Andretti Autosport connection [MSR shares a technical partnership with Andretti Autosport], it’s a really good day for us all.”

Fast Facts

  • Honda claimed the initial lead in the 2021 INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship with Alex Palou’s victory Sunday at the season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. 
  • As a result, Honda holds a 17-point lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 90 points to 73 for rival Chevrolet.  The company is seeking its fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in 2021.
  • Palou also takes the early-season lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with 53 points to 41 for Team Penske’s Will Power.  Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, defending and six-time INDYCAR champion Scott Dixon, is third with 35 points.
  • The 24-car starting field at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will once again be led to the green flag by the Honda Civic Type R Pace Car.  The Civic Type R is the latest in a series of Honda Pace Cars utilized for NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition since 2006.

Where to Watch the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Sunday’s 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starts at 12 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on NBC.  Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on NBC Peacock, the NBC Sports App and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Honda Racing social media content and video links from St. Petersburg can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD).  Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).