Dixon, Honda Claim Pole For 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500
- Scott Dixon, Colton Herta will start one-two with Honda power
- Seven Honda drivers take part in Top Nine final qualifying shootout
- Fastest field in Indy 500 history
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 23, 2021) – For the fourth time, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon will lead the field to green at the Indianapolis 500. The 2008 Indy 500 winner and six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion claimed pole in an electric Firestone Fast Nine final qualifying session Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a four-lap average speed of 231.685 mph.
Dixon will line up on the front row alongside Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta, who briefly held provisional pole with his own four-lap run of 231.655 mph.
Two of Dixon’s Ganassi teammates, Tony Kanaan and Alex Palou, also made the Fast Nine and will line up on row two, while row three is all Honda-powered, featuring Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay, Meyer Shank Racing’s Helio Castroneves, and Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson.
Honda’s HI21TT V-6 Indy car engine powered seven of the qualifiers in today’s Fast Nine session, as well as nine of the top 11 qualifiers on the grid for next Sunday’s Indy 500.
This year’s 105th running of the Greatest Spectacle of Racing will feature the fastest Indy 500 field in history, with an average qualifying speed speed of 230.325 mph, eclipsing the previous record set in 2014.
Honda Drivers and Teams in the 2021 Indianapolis 500:
- 1st Scott Dixon-W Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 2nd Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
- 5th Tony Kanaan-W Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 6th Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 7th Ryan Hunter-Reay-W Andretti Autosport Honda
- 8th Helio Castroneves-W Meyer Shank Racing Honda
- 9th Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 10th Alexander Rossi-W Andretti Autosport Honda
- 11th Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
- 13th Pietro Fittipaldi-R Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
- 15th Takuma Sato-W Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 16th James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda
- 18th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 20th Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda
- 23rd Santino Ferrucci Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 25th Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda
- 28rd Stefan Wilson Andretti Autosport Honda
W – Previous Indianapolis 500 race winner
R – Indianapolis 500 rookie
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Honda) Fastest in Indianapolis 500 first-round qualifying: “Huge shout-out to Honda, kudos to them for getting seven of the [Fast Nine] spots, as this series is just so competitive. The longer I’m involved in this sport, the more I appreciate the accomplishments we achieve as a team, as I realize just how hard they are. To have four Chip Ganassi Racing cars in the top nine, every team would dream of that. It’s hard work, and it’s never any one person singularly responsible, we have a great team and everyone works super-hard to make it all work.”
Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport Honda) Starting from the middle of the front row, second, in his second Indianapolis 500: “I’m so happy just to have the chance to [make the fast nine and] run for the pole today. I just can’t wait for next Sunday. I know we have a great race car, we just lacked that first and second lap [qualifying] speed that Scott [Dixon] had today. But I’m happy with how today went. I’m super happy for Gainbridge, the whole Andretti Autosport team, and proud to be powered by Honda. You saw how many cars were powered by Honda in the Fast Nine [seven], it’s incredible.”
Tony Kanaan (Chip Ganassi Racing) Starting from the middle of the second row, fifth, in his 20th Indianapolis 500: “The conditions today were pretty decent. I got a question [from his team] right before my run asking if I wanted to trim out more and I decided not to, and I regret it. But it was a great run for us, I was pretty comfortable. But I’m happy for Scott [Dixon]. We have such a great atmosphere on this team. Of course, I wanted it to be me [on the pole], but I’m really happy for Scott and the Ganassi team.”
David Salters (President, Honda Performance Development) on Honda’s pole and overall qualifying effort for next Sunday’s Indianapolis 500: “I’d just like to show our appreciation and massive admiration for Chip Ganassi Racing and Scott Dixon, and also the Andretti Autosport organization and Colton Herta. Both teams – along with Meyer Shank Racing – put on a tremendous show today, for our fans and the public. I’d like to massively thank our team of Honda engineers and associates at HPD, who push every day. It’s lovely to see their efforts rewarded. To sum it up as a native Englishman, this was the bollocks.”
Kelvin Fu (Director, Program Management, HPD) on Honda’s overall qualifying performance this weekend: “It was an incredible weekend for Honda and HPD. It’s a real tribute to all the hard work everyone [at HPD’s headquarters] in Santa Clarita [California]. Congratulations to Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing for getting all four of their cars in the Top Nine shootout, the perfect overnight repairs to Alex Palou’s car [damaged in a crash on Saturday] and running a flawless week.”
- This is Honda’s 14th pole in 21 races at the Indianapolis 500, and 7th pole with multi-manufacturer competition.
- This is Scott Dixon’s fourth Indianapolis pole in 19 Indianapolis 500s, with his previous pole runs coming in 2008 (when he also won the race), 2015 and 2017. Dixon also led the way in Saturday’s first-round qualifying. It is the sixth Indianapolis 500 pole for Chip Ganassi Racing.
- Following the conclusion of qualifying, INDYCAR held a two-hour practice session for the full, 33-car starting field. Once again, Honda drivers and teams led the way, claiming eight of the top-10 positions on the speed chart, led by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou at 225.649 mph.
- Other drivers in the top 10 of the Sunday afternoon practice included Marcus Ericsson, Tony Kanaan, pole qualifier Scott Dixon, defending race winner Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal, Stefan Wilson and Marco Andretti.
- Honda has won more Indianapolis 500 races than any major automaker: 13 victories from 20 races – a win ratio of 65% – since the company entered the INDYCAR competition in 1994. Honda has had more race starts at the Indianapolis 500 than any other auto manufacturer: 388 starts. Honda drivers also have completed more race laps at the Indianapolis 500 than any other carmaker: 67,789 laps.
- Honda and Honda Performance Development extends its deepest sympathies to the family, friends and many fans of Andre Ribeiro, who passed away this weekend in Sao Paulo, Brazil, age 55, following a battle with cancer. On August 20, 1995, Ribeiro recorded Honda’s first Indy car victory, winning from the pole in his Tasman Motorsports Reynard Honda at New Hampshire International Speedway.
Where to Watch the Indianapolis 500
Television coverage from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway starts at 9 a.m. EDT Sunday, May 30, on the NBC Sports Network, and will include a post-race show, also on NBCSN.
Live NBC network coverage of the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 begins at 11 a.m. EDT, with the green flag to start Sunday’s 200-lap contest at 12:45 p.m. EDT.
Honda Racing social media content and video links from Indianapolis 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).