- Alexander Rossi fights his way forward for career-best result on IMS road course
- Colton Herta leads 29 laps, finishes fourth; Honda drivers claim seven of the top 10 finishing positions
- Honda maintains solid Manufacturers' Championship lead
Alexander Rossi and his Andretti Autosport team found a chassis setup that worked well in today's cool conditions on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, then overcame a track limits penalty and a series of wheel-to-wheel battles to finish second in today's opening race of the Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader weekend.
From the second row of the starting grid, Colton Herta slashed his way into the lead at the start of today's 85-lap race, and went on to lead 29 laps before fading late in the race with handling issues to a fourth-place finish. Following the final round of pit stops, several multi-car battles kept fans entertained, including a fight for second involving Rossi, Felix Rosenqvist and Herta; and a scrap for sixth place that included Will Power, along with Honda drivers Graham Rahal, championship leader Scott Dixon, Jack Harvey and Marcus Ericsson.
The second-place finish for Rossi helped Honda to maintain a 67-point lead over Chevrolet in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship [982-915] with two races remaining in the 2020 season. Dixon, one of several drivers to struggle with tire wear on long runs in the caution-free race, nevertheless held on for a ninth-place finish in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Dixon now has a 40-point lead over today's race winner, Josef Newgarden [478-438], heading into tomorrow's second race of the weekend.
Today's race was the opening round of a doubleheader Harvest Grand Prix weekend on the road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tomorrow's 75-lap finale starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT, with live coverage on NBC.
Honda Racing social media content and videos from the Harvest Grand Prix weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are available on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).
Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started eighth, finished second: "The car was great, hats off to the #27 AutoNation Honda boys. We've never been good here [on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course] previously, so to finish on the podium is fantastic. It's a great testament to Honda, I'm proud to be powered by them. It's been a huge effort by the team to find some sort of pace here, and I'm extremely grateful for all their hard work to get us on the podium today."
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 12th, finished ninth; leads drivers' championship by 40 points with two races remaining: "We just really struggled on the primary tires with the PNC Bank Honda today. We had a really bad start where Rahal just moved us out of the way. Once that got us out of line, we started to fall back and that really hurt. The other stint on blacks [Firestone primary tires] just really hurt us again for some reason. We must have lost 15-20 seconds [to the leaders]. But that's the way it goes some days I guess. It was just really weird, and we need to get it figured out fast before Race Two here tomorrow."
Ted Klaus (President, Honda Performance Development) on today's opening race of the Harvest GP weekend: "It was great to have fans back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and they were treated to some great racing action today. Unfortunately, we didn't quite get the results we were hoping for today, but Alexander Rossi and the #27 Honda team did a great job coming home second after some great racing with Colton Herta, Felix Rosenqvist and Graham Rahal as well. We'll learn all we can from today's race and refocus for the 75-lap run tomorrow."
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Harvest Grand Prix
Circuit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.439-mile road course) Indianapolis, IN
Weather: Cloudy, cool, 59 degrees F
Top-10 Race Results:
|1.||2.||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevrolet||85||119.060 mph average|
|2.||8.||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Honda||85||+14.2940 seconds|
|3.||1.||Rinus VeeKay-R||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||85|
|4.||3.||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||Honda||85|
|5.||7.||Felix Rosenqvist||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||85|
|6.||4.||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevrolet||85|
|7.||11.||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Honda||85|
|8.||6.||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda||85|
|9.||12.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||85|
|10.||15.||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||85|
Other Honda Results
|14.||18.||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport||Honda||85||Running|
|15.||20.||Santino Ferrucci||DCR with Vasser-Sullivan||Honda||85||Running|
|17.||17.||Alex Palou-R||DCR with Team Goh||Honda||85||Running|
|18.||24.||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan||Honda||85||Running|
|19.||14.||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda||85||Running|
|20.||5.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Herta Autosport||Honda||79||Did not finish – mechanical|
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