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Rossi Dominates Honda Indy 200

Rossi Dominates Honda Indy 200

  • Alexander Rossi scores second victory of 2018, climbs to second in drivers’ title fight
  • Robert Wickens completes 1-2 finish for Honda
  • Third consecutive IndyCar Series victory for Honda, eighth win of 2018
  • Multiple battles highlight race, including Sebastien Bourdais’ charge from 24th to sixth 

LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 29, 2018) – Alexander Rossi and his Honda-powered Andretti Autosport crew successfully pulled off a two-pit stop strategy Sunday to win the Honda Indy 200.  Rossi’s second victory of the season moves him to second in the Drivers’ Championship after 13 of 17 races, 46 points behind fellow Honda driver Scott Dixon (494-448), who finished fifth today.

While several teams and drivers started today’s race looking to complete the 90-lap distance on just two fuel stops, all but Rossi were forced to switch to a three-stop strategy as the multiple fights for position intensified throughout the contest.  Rossi, however, was able to remain clear of most of the individual battles, enabling him to pull out a 12.8285-second victory over Robert Wickens at the checkers.  Rossi’s fourth career Indy car victory was also the third time he has won from the pole, with the others coming at Watkins Glen in 2017 and at the Grand Prix of Long Beach earlier this year.

A large crowd, including approximately 11,000 Honda associates from multiple central Ohio Honda facilities, filled the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio road circuit as multiple battles raged throughout the 24-car starting field.  

Wickens caught and passed the Team Penske duo of Josef Newgarden and Will Power, as well as Ryan Hunter-Reay, to make it a 1-2 finish for Honda.  Dixon fought his way from ninth to fifth, and continues to be the man to beat for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship; while Sebastien Bourdais once again thrilled with multiple passes to finish sixth after starting 24th and last due to a crash in qualifying.

Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series activities at Mid-Ohio are available on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.  

The Verizon IndyCar Series now takes two weeks off before the final super-speedway race of the 2017 season, the August 19 ABC Supply Co., Inc. Pocono 500, at the unique, 2.5-mile tri-oval Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA.

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started first, finished first, second win of 2018 and fourth career Indy car victory: “It’s what we needed.  We said coming into this weekend that we had to execute for five weekends in a row. This is the start of that, hopefully.  It was great [pit stop] strategy. We knew we could two-stop if we committed early and that’s what we did.  We’re thinking about [the championship], but we’re also focused on just race wins. We’ll take a very well-deserved break before Pocono.  We’ve been strong there the last two years and just try to do [there] what we did today.”

Robert Wickens (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) Started fifth, finished second, fourth podium finish of 2018 and seventh top-five result: “We stuck to our guns, and I thought our [three pit stop] strategy worked well. The problem is, on my third stint, I just got stuck in a whole gaggle of [slower] cars. Unfortunately, they were on reds [Firestone softer compound, alternate tires] and I was on ‘blacks’ [more durable, but slightly slower, primary tires].  I couldn’t make it through, and just lost loads of time. I was probably losing about a second a lap for a good 10-15 laps. It’s unfortunate. Nevertheless, the Lucas Oil car went from fifth on the grid to finish second, so I can’t complain.”

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s Honda IndyCar Series win at Mid-Ohio: “It’s always fun to win your ‘home’ race.  It’s gratifying when you have both the fuel save and non-fuel save strategies covered, as we did today.  Alex [Rossi] showed amazing pace while saving fuel and, if not for getting hung up in the middle of the race, Robert [Wickens] would likely have been nipping at this heels at the end.  Congratulations to both teams for successfully executing very different approaches today.  With four races remaining, continuing to win is the way we’re going to win the [IndyCar Manufacturers’] Championship.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy 200

Circuit: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2.258-mile road course) Lexington, Ohio

2017 Winner: Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) 114.677 mph average

Weather: Mostly cloudy, mild, 76 degrees F

Rossi, Honda Claim Pole in Mid-Ohio Qualifying

Rossi, Honda Claim Pole in Mid-Ohio Qualifying Alexander Rossi will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 Third pole of 2018 for Rossi Ryan Hunter-Reay to start third, Robert Wickens fifith for Honda   LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 28, 2018) – Alexander Rossi took his Andretti Autosport Honda to the pole…

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Hunter-Reay, Honda Head Indy Car Field at Mid-Ohio

  Ryan Hunter-Reay tops the time charts in opening day of practice for Honda Indy 200 Sebastien Bourdais leads morning practice sessions for Honda, sixth overall Local favorite Graham Rahal runs third   LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 27, 2018) – Ryan Hunter-Reay headed the time sheets in the second – and generally quicker – of two…

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Honda IndyCar Series Mid-Ohio Message Points

Honda Indy 200 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio 3 p.m. EDT Sunday, July 29, 2018 NBC Sports Network IMS Radio Network Live Stream and Broadcast MANUFACTURER COMPETITION   Honda comes to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Honda Indy 200 having scored seven victories from 12 races in 2018, and leads the Verizon…

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Dixon, Honda Win in Toronto

  Scott Dixon scores his third victory of 2018 at the Honda Indy Toronto, extends championship lead Hometown favorites Robert Wickens finishes third, James Hinchcliffe fourth Honda records seventh Indy car win of the season TORONTO, Ont., Canada (July 15, 2018) – Continuing his mid-season charge towards a possible fifth championship, Scott Dixon took control…

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Front-Row Start for Dixon, Honda at Toronto

Front-Row Start for Dixon, Honda at Toronto Scott Dixon qualifies second for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay also advance to final qualifying round Sporadic rain, changing track conditions challenge teams and drivers TORONTO, Ont., Canada (July 14, 2018) – Sporadic light rain showers and the resulting ever-changing track conditions threw constant challenges…

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Dixon, Sato Head Honda Attack in Practice at Toronto

Scott Dixon dominates practice, leads both sessions for Honda Takuma Sato ends day second quickest Honda drivers, teams claim top five positions for the day TORONTO, Ont., Canada (July 13, 2018) – Scott Dixon headed the time charts in both practice sessions today in preparation for Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, as Honda drivers claimed the…

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Hinchcliffe, Honda Charge to Victory in Iowa

Hinchcliffe, Honda Charge to Victory in Iowa

Late-race domination nets James Hinchcliffe first win of 2018
Takuma Sato claims third with his own late-race effort
Robert Wickens continues to impress with fifth-place finish

 

NEWTON, Iowa (July 8, 2018) – Making the correct calls throughout ever-changing track conditions, James Hinchcliffe worked his way to the front of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, then dominated the final 50 laps to win Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway. The win is the first for Hinchcliffe in 2018, and the sixth for Honda.

 

Starting 11th after a brief slide during his qualifying run on Saturday, Hinchcliffe gained seven positions in the first 35 laps around the 7/8th-mile Iowa oval, the shortest track on the IndyCar Series schedule.  He worked his way up to second by the first round of scheduled pit stops, and remained among the leaders as he and his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team made adjustments to compensate for hotter conditions throughout the race.  

 

Following the final round of pit stops on Lap 224, Hinchcliffe rapidly chased down race leaders Josef Newgarden and Spencer Pigot, taking the lead on Lap 256 and pulling away to a seven-second lead over the field on Lap 285.  Contact on Lap 294 between a sliding Ed Carpenter and Takuma Sato resulted in the race ending under the caution flag, but with Hinchliffe still 2.6 seconds clear of the field at the checkers.

 

Despite the light contact with Carpenter, Sato completed his own charge in the final 50 laps to finish third, his best finish since winning the Indianapolis 500 in 2017.  Completing a near-perfect day for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Hinchcliffe’s rookie teammate, Robert Wickens, finished fifth.

 

Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda IndyCar Series racing activities in Iowa – as well as Acura Motorsports action from Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – are available on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.  

 

Next week, the Verizon IndyCar Series returns to one of the most popular stops on the schedule at the July 15 Honda Indy Toronto, which will be contested on a temporary street circuit on the grounds of Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) Started 11th, finished 1st; 6th career win; 6th Honda IndyCar Series win of 2018A very good day. The best day. You know, it’s so nice to be back up top after the month of May that we had [not qualifying for the Indianapolis 500]. But we’ve had a couple good [race] weekends in a row now, strong performances from the whole team, and we kind of felt some momentum coming in here.  We didn’t qualify particularly well, had a bit of a problem. But we got through a bunch of cars in that first stint, [then] got through a couple more in the pit cycle. Then, at that last [pit] stop, the Arrow crew just nailed it, gave us a really good change, and the car just came alive. I was able to put it wherever I needed to get through traffic, and the reason I was able to catch Josef [Newgarden] and ultimately get by him was just our ability through traffic.  I can’t thank the guys enough for such a great car and great job in the pits. Overall, it was a great result for the Arrow car and for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in general.

 

Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda)Started 10th, finished 3rdYeah, I’m really, really pleased. In fact, Spencer [Pigot] and I had a lot of great, side-by-side racing, but I think we respected each other all the time. I think we gave a great show for the fans, put on a really good race. For me particularly, obviously I’m very happy to be on the podium, but this was a great achievement from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. We really struggled [early in the race weekend], but I think all the engineers did a fantastic job improving the car, and in the end, I think we pulled a really great car. So, a big thank you to the whole team, the No. 30 car was fantastic today.

 

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development)on today’s Honda IndyCar Series win at Iowa Speedway:This was an interesting result that attests to the unpredictable character of Iowa Speedway.  The [setup] changes that James [Hinchcliffe] and his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team made during the race demonstrated [team owners] Sam Schmidt’s and RicPeterson’s commitment to building a championship-caliber team.  The fifth-place finish for [teammate] Robert Wickens is just further proof of the advancements made by SPM this year.  Also, congrats are in order to Takuma and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for his best result since winning Indianapolis in 2017, and to everyone at HPD for another exciting Indy car victory today.”

 

 

Hunter-Reay To Start Third for Honda in Iowa

Hunter-Reay To Start Third for Honda in Iowa

  • Three-time Iowa race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay leads Honda qualifying effort
  • Alexander Rossi, Scott Dixon complete third row of starting grid
  • Honda drivers claim six of top 10 qualifying spots

NEWTON, Iowa (July 7, 2018) – Already a three-time winner at Iowa Speedway, Ryan Hunter-Reay led the Honda field in qualifying today for Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300.  Hunter-Reay will start on the inside of the second row, third, as the Andretti Autosport driver seeks to add another Verizon IndyCar Series trophy to the wins he scored in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Hunter-Reay’s teammate, Alexander Rossi, qualified fifth for what will be his third race start at the Iowa Speedway short oval, while Drivers’ Championship points leader, Scott Dixon, will line up sixth.  Dixon currently holds a 393-348 edge over fellow Honda drivers Hunter-Reay and Rossi in the battle for the drivers’ title, after 10 of 17 races.

In his first visit to the 0.894-mile Iowa oval, Robert Wickens will start seventh for Honda and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, with Ed Jones eighth in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.  Takuma Sato rounds out the top 10 for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Honda.

Sunday’s 300-lap race, the second short-oval race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, starts at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport Honda) Qualified 3rd“We just missed [the setup for qualifying] a little bit, but a good job by the team. The car was decent. We got a little bit light [on downforce] overall.  I couldn’t commit to full throttle leaving the corner, [there was] just a bit too much understeer. It’s unfortunate to not be on pole, but when we miss it and we are still starting third, it’s not too bad. Tomorrow is where all the points are paid, and I think we can get the DHL team a fourth Iowa Corn 300 win.”

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Championship points leader, Qualified 6th“I think last year we qualified around 17th or 18th here, so I’m much happier this time around. We didn’t get to test here like several of the other teams, so we were kind of the ‘best of the rest’ who didn’t test here, in the PNC Bank car today. But it’s not bad at all. We have a really good race car and that’s pretty much what we worked on this morning, and what we’ll focus in on again for tonight [in final practice].”

 

Verizon IndyCar Series Iowa Corn 300 

Circuit: Iowa Speedway (0.894-mile oval) Newton, Iowa

2017 Winner: Helio Castroneves (Team Penske) 139.172 mph average

Weather: Sunny, warm, 79 degrees F

Top-10 Qualifying Results:

Ps. Driver Team Manufacturer Speed mph Notes
  1. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet  182.391
  2. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet  181.160
  3. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda  180.681
  4. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet  180.313
  5. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda  179.801
  6. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 179.526
  7. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports  Honda  178.883
  8. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing Honda  178.720
  9. Ed Carpenter Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet  178.717
10. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan  Honda  178.708

Other Honda Results

11. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports  Honda  178.478
12. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda  178.410
14. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda  177.809
15. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda  177.681
19. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda  174.548
20. Zachary Claman De Melo-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda 174.339

Honda IndyCar Series Iowa Message Points

Iowa Corn 300
Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa
2 p.m. EDT Sunday, July 8, 2017
NBC Sports Network
IMS Radio Network Live Stream and Broadcast

MANUFACTURER COMPETITION 

  • Honda comes to Iowa Speedway having scored five victories in 2018, and leads the Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship with 832 points, to 707 points for rival Chevrolet.
  • Honda’s most recent victory came at Texas Motor Speedway last month, as Scott Dixon dominated the second half of the race to score his second victory of 2018, and the 43rd of his career, moving him into third place on the all-time IndyCar wins list, trailing only AJ Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52).
  • Honda drivers also took third through ninth places in Texas, led by Alexander Rossi in third, followed to the checkers by James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Jones, respectively.
  • Heading into this weekend’s race in Iowa, Honda drivers hold the top three – and seven of the top 10 – positions in the drivers’ championship.  Dixon leads the way with 393 points, while fellow Honda drivers Hunter-Reay and Rossi are tied in second with 348.  Rahal stands sixth (278) and Robert Wickens is seventh (274). Bourdais (235) and Marco Andretti (232) round out the top 10.
  • Earlier in June, Honda drivers swept both rounds the “Dual in Detroit” doubleheader race weekend on Belle Isle, Dixon led Honda’s first-through-sixth domination of Saturday’s race, playing a two-stop pit strategy to perfection to score his first win of 2018. Hunter-Reay finished second, with Rossi taking third.  Fourth through sixth included Honda drivers Andretti, Sato and Jones.
  • On Sunday, Hunter-Reay’s three-stop strategy proved superior, as he recorded his first victory of 2018 after chasing down and passing the two-stopping Rossi for the win.  Rossi subsequently had to make a late-race pit stop after a tire puncture, though Honda drivers again dominated the finishing order, claiming five of the top six positions at the checkers.  Jones took third, followed by Dixon, Rahal and Wickens, respectively.
  • At the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March, Sebastien Bourdais led a first- through sixth-place Honda sweep. In mid-April, Rossi dominated the Grand Prix of Long Beach from the pole for his first victory of the season.  Honda drivers claimed five of the top six finishing positions at Long Beach.
  • The 2018 season marks the seventh year of manufacturer competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series, following six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier from 2006-11.  Chevrolet and Honda are again battling for supremacy throughout the 17-race season.
  • Drivers using Honda engines have won 230 Indy car races and 12 Indianapolis 500s, both during years of multi-manufacturer competition (2004-05, 2012-present); and during Honda’s 2006-11 tenure as single engine supplier to the series. 
  • Since its founding in 1993, Honda Performance Development (HPD), the racing arm of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc., has grown from just a handful of staffers to approximately 150 associates; and from an engine-rebuilding facility, focused on a single racing series, to a complete motorsports Research & Development organization, engaged in programs ranging from the Verizon IndyCar Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to grassroots and entry-level categories including karting and the SCCA Formula 4 Championship.

HONDA AT IOWA SPEEDWAY

  • The Verizon IndyCar Series visits Iowa Speedway for the second of three short-oval races this season.  With a lap distance of just 0.89 miles, the banked Iowa track is the shortest circuit on the 2016 schedule.  
  • Honda drivers have scored seven wins in 11 races at Iowa Speedway.
  • In 2015, Honda’s Ryan Hunter-Reay won for the second consecutive year, successfully battling Josef Newgarden as the pair repeated its 1-2 finish from the previous season.
  • As the engine supplier to the IndyCar Series from 2006-2011, Honda powered the winner of the first five races at Iowa Speedway, beginning with Dario Franchitti at the inaugural 2007 event.  Franchitti won again in 2009.  
  • Other Honda-powered race winners at Iowa include the late Dan Wheldon (2008), Tony Kanaan (2010) and Marco Andretti (2011).

HONDA RACING/HPD VIDEOS

  • Video recaps from this weekend’s Honda Indy car racing action in Iowa, and Acura Motorsports activities in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD” YouTube channel.
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