Ericsson Runs Third as Ganassi Leads Honda Effort in Texas
- Marcus Ericsson battles to a third-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway
- Jimmie Johnson has career-best INDYCAR result with sixth-place finish
- Scott Dixon runs fifth, and defending series champion Alex Palou seventh as Chip Ganassi Racing places all four Honda entries in the top seven
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 20, 2022) – Chip Ganassi Racing led the way for Honda today in the XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway, with Marcus Ericsson fighting his was from 14th on the starting grid to a third-place finish, with his three teammates also all finishing in the top seven.
Scott Dixon, a five-time previous winner at Texas, finished fifth today, passing fellow Ganassi Honda driver Jimmie Johnson in the final laps. Meanwhile former seven-time NASCAR champion Johnson’s sixth place is his career-best NTT INDYCAR result. Defending series champion Alex Palou rounded out the Ganassi quartet, finishing seventh.
Contact ended strong runs for Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal and Helio Castroneves, while Simon Pagenaud faded to eighth in the closing laps as his handling deteriorated late in the race.
XPEL 375 Honda Race Results
- 3rd Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 5th Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 6th Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 7th Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 8th Simon Pageaud Meyer Shank Racing Honda
- 9th Santino Ferrucci Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 11th David Malukas-R Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda
- 12th Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
- 19th Christian Lundegaard-R Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda [did not finish – contact]
- 20th Takuma Sato Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda [did not finish – contact]
- 22nd Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda [did not finish – contact]
- 23rd Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Honda [did not finish – contact]
- 24th Devlin DeFrancesco-R Andretti Autosport Honda [did not finish – contact]
- 26th Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport Honda [did not finish – mechanical]
- 27th Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda [did not finish – mechanical’
- R – Rookie
- NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers’ Championship Standings (unofficial, after 2 of 17 rounds)
- 1. Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske 97 points
- 2. Will Power, Team Penske 69
- 3. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 67
- 4. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske 65
- 5. Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing 58
- 6. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing 55
- 7. Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport Honda 50
- 8. Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing 50
- 9. Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing 39
- 10. Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport Honda 35
Marcus Ericsson (#8 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 14th, finished third, his career-best oval track finish and first oval podium: “It was a really good day for us. We had good pace at times, but car could become quite tricky to drive and we really had to stay on top of it. It was fun out there, the track was a lot better than in recent years, so thanks to INDYCAR for making it a lot more race-able. There were some fun wheel-to-wheel battles out there. So to get my first oval podium feels really, really good. I spent a lot of the off-season working on my oval performance, so to start off with a third is very good for us.”
Jimmie Johnson (#48 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 18th, finished sixth his career-best INDYCAR result: “I really felt like, once I started running the ovals, I’d be able to prove my competitiveness. I took my time in the race, and as the race developed I grew more confident in the car, with traffic, with my [adjustment] tools, all the little pieces that you need to do well. This equipment at Chip Ganassi Racing is ‘spot-on’, it was just me trying to figure it out. About mid-race today, I finally felt connected to the car and what to do with the adjustments and traffic, and off I went.”
David Salters (President and Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: “Racing can be pretty brutal. We all work hard to get to the top step. But today, we didn’t quite do that. I guess it’s a good sign to be a little disappointed with a podium finish. It shows the progress we’ve made and the standards we have set as a team over the past few years. However, this game is pretty straightforward, we re-group, look to progress and move forward. On to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.”
Following Jack Harvey’s crash Saturday in practice at Texas Motor Speedway, he was not medically cleared to take part in today’s race. Former Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Santino Ferrucci stepped in to drive the teams #45 HyVee Honda, finishing ninth.
This weekend’s EXPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway was the first of five oval races in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. The next oval on the schedule will be the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29th.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES now moves to Southern California for one of the signature events on the 2022 calendar, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, on Sunday, April 10.
Honda Racing social media content and video links from Texas 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).