Herta Makes It Two-In-A-Row for Honda

Herta Makes It Two-In-A-Row for Honda

26.04.2021: Colton Herta scores Honda's second consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory of 2021 at the Firestone Grand Prix St. Petersburg Follows last weekend's win by Honda's Alex Palou


    Colton Herta scores Honda's second consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory of 2021 at the Firestone Grand Prix St. Petersburg




    Follows last weekend's win by Honda's Alex Palou in season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama


    Jack Harvey turns strong start into fourth-place finish, defending champion Scott Dixon runs fifth as Honda drivers take five of the top-seven finishing positions




Colton Herta continued Honda's early-season winning streak in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES, with the Andretti Autosport driver starting from the pole and leading a race-record 97 laps en route to victory in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.



The win is the second for Honda in as many races this season, following Alex Palou's victory in last weekend's season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.  Starting on the outside of the front row, Honda-powered Meyer Shank Racing's Jack Harvey battled the Team Penske duo of Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud in the middle stages of today's 100-lap contest to finish fourth for Honda.



Today's results move Herta to fourth in the Drivers' Championship standings, five points behind Palou; while Honda increased its lead in the Manufacturers' Championship to 30 points (178-148).  Meanwhile, defending series champion Dixon backed up his third-place result at Barber with fifth today, leaving him just two points behind his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Palou.




Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Honda Driver/Team Results



    1st Colton Herta
    Andretti Autosport Honda

    4th Jack Harvey
    Meyer Shank Racing Honda

    5th Scott Dixon
    Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

    6th Takuma Sato
    Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda

    7th Marcus Ericsson
    Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

    13th Romain Grosjean-R
    Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

    14th Ryan Hunter-Reay
    Andretti Autosport Honda

    15th Graham Rahal
    Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda

    17th Alex Palou
    Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

    17th James Hinchcliffe
    Andretti Autosport Honda

    20th Ed Jones
    Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda

    21st Alexander Rossi
    Andretti Autosport Honda

    22nd Jimmie Johnson-R
    Chip Ganassi Racing Honda




NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship (unofficial, after 2 of 17 rounds)

Honda     178 pts
Chevrolet      148



NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers' Championship (unofficial, after 2 of 17 rounds)

1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda       67 pts. [1 race win]
2. Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet          65
3. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda     65
4. Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport Honda      62 [1 race win]




Quotes



Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport Honda) started 1st, finished 1st, led a race-record 97 laps for his first Indy car victory of 2021
“What a great job by everybody, my team, Gainbridge, Honda.  Sorry, I can hardly talk, I'm so winded.  I'm so happy that we did this, so happy that we rebounded from Barber [where an opening-lap crash sent him behind the wall for several laps for repairs].  


We've now got the momentum we need [to contend for the championship].  I was nervous [following a late-race restart] because Josef [Newgarden] is so good around here and was on [Firestone alternate] ‘Red' tires, but it turned out to be similar [to Herta's primary-compound ‘Black' tires], so I was able to hold him off.  Oh man, I can't even speak right now.  So happy to be powered by Honda, and my team, they did a hell of a job.”





Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing Honda) started 2nd, finished 4th
: “I think we had a solid day.  Any time you start on the front row, you want to finish on the podium.  So [finishing fourth] is slightly disappointing.  But it was a solid result, and that's what we needed to start the year off properly.


 We're just so close to [a qualifying] pole position and podium finish now, we just need to keep working hard and the results will come.  We were racing with some of the best drivers on the grid, and that's where we want to be. I just want to win.”



Kelvin Fu (Director, Program Management, Honda Performance Development) on today's Honda victory at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg: “
Two wins, from two different Honda drivers and teams, is just a fantastic way to start Honda's season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. It's great to see a pair of young drivers – Alex [Palou] and Colton [Herta] – come to the fore and end up on the top step of the podiums at Barber and St. Petersburg.



And encouraging to see Jack Harvey and Meyer Shank Racing have another strong run as their effort continues to improve.  Now we're excited to head to Texas for our first ovals races of the year, in what should be a preview for an exciting Month of May and Indianapolis 500.”




Fast Facts



    With its second win and first pole of 2021, Honda builds it's early-season lead in the INDYCAR Manufacturers' Championship with an unofficial total of 178 points to 148 for rival Chevrolet.  Honda is seeking the company's fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers' Championship in 2021.


    Alex Palou continues to lead in the Drivers' Championship standings after two races, with 67 points to 65 for his teammate, Scott Dixon, and Team Penske's Will Power.  Today's winner, Colton Herta, is fourth with 62 points.


    Seven wins in 2020 brought Honda the company's ninth INDYCAR Manufacturers' Championship, and third consecutive title, with Honda driver Scott Dixon prevailing to win his sixth Drivers' Championship, highest among all active drivers in the series.





Next


The string of consecutive season-opening NTT INDYCAR SERIES races continues next weekend, with the May 1-2 double-header oval event – the Genesys 300 and Expel 375 –  Saturday and Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.




- Honda photos IndyCar Levitt,Cantrell

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/herta-colton-two-in-a-row-honda---222341.html

26.04.2021 / MaP

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