Herta Heads Honda Contingent in INDYCAR Season Opener at St. Petersburg

  • Colton Herta finishes fifth in Andretti Global #26 Honda at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
  • Reigning champion Alex Palou advances from 13th to sixth in season-opening NTT INDYCAR SERIES event
  • Felix Rosenqvist, Scott Dixon notch top-10 results to start the 2024 season

Colton Herta was the top-finishing Honda in the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, crossing the line fifth after 100 laps of racing in his #26 Andretti Global Honda machine. 

Herta crossed the line just ahead of two-time and reigning champion Alex Palou. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver started a disappointing 13th, but marched his way through the field to sixth place on the tight and twisting St. Pete street circuit. 

Felix Rosenqvist finished seventh in his first race with Meyer Shank Racing, while Palou's teammate and INDYCAR legend Scott Dixon finished ninth—just days before his induction into the Motorsport Hall of Fame for his achievements. 

Kyffin Simpson was the series top rookie finisher, advancing from 23rd on the grid to 14th at the line in his #4 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. 

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Honda Race Results

5th Colton Herta       Andretti Global Honda
6th Alex Palou            Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
7th Felix Rosenqvist            Meyer Shank Racing Honda
;9th Scott Dixon            Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
12th Kyle Kirkwood            Andretti Global Honda
14th Kyffin Simpson-R            Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
15th Pietro Fittipaldi            Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
16th Graham Rahal            Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
17th Tom Blomqvist Harvey-R            Dale Coyne Racing Honda
20th Christian Lundgaard            Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
22nd Colin Braun-R       Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
23rd Linus Lundqvist-R            Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
25th Marcus Ericsson            Andretti Global Honda [Did not finish – mechanical]
27th Marcus Armstrong            Chip Ganassi Racing Honda [Did not finish – contact]

R – Rookie

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship (unofficial, after 1 of 17 rounds)
Chevrolet                      96 points
Honda                             58 points

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers' Championship Standings (unofficial, after 1 of 17 rounds)
1. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske                               54 points
2. Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren                                 -14
3. Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske                             -19
4. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske                              -22
5. Colton Herta, Andretti Global Honda                -23

Colton Herta (#26 Andretti Global Honda) finished fifth: "So, a top-five finish to start off the year – it's overall a solid finish. Obviously, we would've liked to have finished higher up, but given the circumstances I'm happy with fifth. We'll try to build on that and improve."

Alex Palou (#10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) finished sixth: "It's not an amazing day at the office, but I'm happy finishing two positions better than we did last year. We were struggling at the start of the weekend, so it was an amazing recovery by Chip Ganassi Racing, the #10 car team, Honda and everyone. I'm happy that we finished in the top six. It's great, a great start. Looking forward now to Thermal, but especially the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach."

David Salters (President, HRC US) on today's season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg: "Not a great day in the office. Sometimes racing is like that. We'll regroup, analyze and see where we can improve."

Fast Facts

  • Honda-powered drivers have now won 11 of the 20 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races at St. Petersburg since the event was revived for the 2005 season.  The late Dan Wheldon led a Honda and Andretti Green Racing sweep of the top four positions in the inaugural 2005 event; while Colton Herta dominated in 2021 for Honda and Andretti Autosport.
  • Other Honda winners on the streets of St. Petersburg include local resident Sebastian Bourdais in 2017-18; Helio Castroneves in 2006 and '07; Graham Rahal in 2008; Team Penske's Ryan Briscoe and Will Power in 2009 and '10, respectively; and Dario Franchitti in 2011.

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES next heads to The Thermal Club in Riverside County, CA, for the Thermal $1 Million Challenge, March 22-24.

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