Honda Milwaukee IndyFest Talking Points
Milwaukee IndyFest, The Milwaukee Mile
June 16, 2012
1 p.m. EDT
For the third consecutive race, Honda-powered drivers finished 1-2 in Saturday night's Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. Justin Wilson came from 17th on the starting grid to chase down late-race leader Graham Rahal, then claim the lead and the victory after Rahal brushed the Turn 4 wall with just two laps remaining. Despite sustaining rear suspension damage, Rahal held on for a second-place finish.
The previous week, Scott Dixon dominated the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, qualifying on the pole and leading every lap for his first victory of 2012, followed by his teammate and Indianapolis 500 champion, Dario Franchitti. The pair also finished 1-2 at last month's Indianapolis 500, with Franchitti winning ahead of Dixon.
The 2012 season marks the return of manufacturer competition to the IZOD IndyCar Series after six years of Honda serving as single engine supplier. Chevrolet and Lotus now join Honda in providing engines to the 25-car starting field.
Honda comes to this weekend's race second in the Manufacturers' Championship, with 51 points, to 54 for Chevrolet. Lotus is third, with 28 points.
Saturday night, Dixon led 133 laps before crashing out of the event without injury. He remains second in the drivers' championship standings, with 222 points to series leader Will Power's 256 points. Rookie points leader Simon Pagenaud is fifth with 199 points, followed by Indy 500 winner Franchitti with 192 points.
Dixon has led an IZOD IndyCar Series-high 329 laps this season more than double the laps-led total of any other driver. Dixon led all 60 laps at Detroit, and race-high totals of 133 at Texas, 37 at St. Petersburg and 38 at Barber Motorsports Park. Power is ranked second with 135 laps led.
Honda-powered drivers have led 521 laps this season, while Chevrolet drivers have led a total of 163 laps. Race lap leaders for Honda include Dixon (329), Takuma Sato (58), Franchitti (29), Rahal (28), Pagenaud (26), Wilson (26), Alex Tagliani (22) and Charlie Kimball (3).
HONDA HISTORY AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE
Honda has powered nine winners in 16 IndyCar races at The Milwaukee Mile, both as the single engine supplier to the series and against other engine manufacturers.
Honda scored its first victory at Milwaukee in June 1998, with Jimmy Vasser winning for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Other Honda-powered winners at Milwaukee include Paul Tracy (1999 and 2002); Dario Franchitti (2004 and 2011); Tony Kanaan (2006 and 2007); Ryan Briscoe (2008) and Scott Dixon (2009).
HONDA CIVIC Si PACE AND SAFETY CARS
A fleet of new 2012 Honda Civic Si coupes and sedans is being utilized for Safety Car and Pace Car duties in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series. The Civic Si Safety Car and Pace Cars will make their next IZOD IndyCar Series appearance at this weekend's Milwaukee IndyFest in West Allis, WI. The Civic Si Coupe make its debut as an IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Car at last year's Honda Indy Toronto. That first Civic has now been joined by additional coupes and sedans, replacing the Honda Accords formerly used by the series.
Cars start out as standard Civic Si models, and one coupe has been developed into an IndyCar Series Safety Car by Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, Calif.
Modifications installed at HPD include Sparco seats and four-point racing harnesses; an HPD high-performance brake system, with four-piston calipers, competition rotors, racing pads, and stainless brake lines; a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit, consisting of front, side and rear under spoilers; Firestone Firehawk 225/40 R18 tires mounted on Enkei alloy wheels, and an IZOD IndyCar Series graphics package.