Rookies Lead the Way for Honda on Indy Road Course
- Romain Grosjean backs up May pole with third-place start at Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix
- Rookie Christian Lundgaard shocks with second-row grid slot on debut
- Honda takes five of top seven in qualifying
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (Aug. 13, 2021) – Dale Coyne with RWR’s Romain Grosjean led the charge for Honda in today’s qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, qualifying third for Saturday’s Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix.
The Grand Prix marks the first double-header for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the NASCAR Cup series running on the same course layout in the history of the two series. It also marks the first race weekend in INDYCAR for Christian Lundgaard, a current Formula 2 driver, making his series debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
The young Danish driver set the seventh fastest time in today’s practice session, and backed that performance up with fourth in qualifying.
Honda also claimed the fifth, sixth and seventh positions, with Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta, Chip Ganssi Racing’s Alex Palou, and Meyer Shank Racing’s Jack Harvey, respectively.
Last week’s Nashville race winner, Marcus Ericsson will start 11th, just behind Alexander Rossi, who rounds out the top 10.
Big Machine Music City Grand Prix Honda Qualifying Results
- 3rd Romain Grosjean-R Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
- 4th Christian Lundgaard -R Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 5th Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
- 6th Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 7th Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda
- 10th Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda
- 11th Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 13th Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda
- 16th Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 17th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 18th Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
- 22nd Jimmie Johnson-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 23rd Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Honda
- 24th James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda
- 26th Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 27th Cody Ware-R Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
R – Rookie
Romain Grosjean (Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda) Qualified third: “Yeah, it’s amazing to be coming here for a second time. Finishing in the top three in qualifying is always great. I think I had a pole lap [time] on my last lap, but I chickened out in Turn 8-9. I took them a little bit too carefully. That’s my mistake, but I think we’ve got a good base for tomorrow, and that’s what matters now.”
Christian Lundgaard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda) Qualified Fourth, Making INDYCAR Debut: “At the moment, I’m very confused! I wasn’t quite ready for qualifying to be over, as I thought we had a “Fast Six” [final qualifying round, not used this weekend]. But we are P4, and let’s just say I did not expect to [qualify this well] when I learned I was coming here to race! This [Indy car racing] is amazing. It is so different from Europe. So many people! [in the paddock and grandstands]. I’m really happy to be here.”
- Honda continues to hold the lead in the 2021 INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, with seven victories from 11 races this season. Returning to Indianapolis, Honda holds a 119-point advantage (959-840) over rival Chevrolet. The company is seeking its fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in 2021.
- In addition to Helio Castroneves’ historic win at the Indianapolis 500 in May, Honda race winners this year include championship leader Alex Palou at Road America in June and at the season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama; Marcus Ericsson last weekend in Nashville and at the first race of the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader weekend; defending and six-time champion Scott Dixon (Texas Race 1); and Colton Herta (Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg).
Where to Watch Saturday’s Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix
Live NBC Sports Network race coverage of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix begins at 12:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, August 14. Additional coverage can be found on the INDYCAR Radio Network and on Sirius/XM satellite radio.
Honda Racing social media content and video links from this weekend 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).