Andretti Autosport’s Herta just .0031 shy of pole-winning time
Marcus Ericsson to start third, Scott Dixon grids fifth in hunt for 7th Mid-Ohio win
Honda drivers claim eight of the top 10 starting positions
LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 3, 2021) – Colton Herta came up just three-thousandths of a second shy of winning the pole for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200, Presented by the HPD Ridgeline, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and will grid on the outside of the front row for the 80-lap race.
Herta led his opening qualifying session around the 2.231-mile Ohio road course and fought Josef Newgarden through the second round of qualifying before posting a best time of 1:06.677 in the final qualifying session, which left him trailing the Texan by a scant .0031 seconds. The session marks the third consecutive race where Newgarden and Herta have finished first and second in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying.
The Chip Ganassi Racing duo of Marcus Ericsson and Scott Dixon will start third and fifth respectively in their Hondas. Ericcson posted his best qualifying result of the 2021 campaign, while his teammate grids fifth as he seeks his seventh Mid-Ohio victory. Alexander Rossi made it four Honda-powered cars in the Fast Six as the Andretti Autosport pilot will start sixth Sunday.
An exciting second session of IndyCar qualifying saw INDYCAR SERIES point leader Alex Palou just miss a berth in the Fast Six, leaving the Chip Ganassi Racing driver to grid alongside hometown hero Graham Rahal, as the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver will look to reprise his 2015 win from the fourth row.
Honda also placed four additional drivers in the top 12, giving HPD an eight-to-four in the top-12 spots, as Palou and Rahal were joined the 12-car qualifying session by Andretti Autosport drivers James Hinchcliffe (9th) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (10th).
Honda Indy 200 Qualifying Results
2nd Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
3rd Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
5th Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
6th Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda
7th Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
8th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
9th James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda
10th Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda
16th Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
18th Romain Grosjean-R Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
19th Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
22nd Santino Ferrucci Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
23rd Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda
25th Jimmie Johnson-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
26th Ryan Norman-R Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
R – Rookie
Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport Honda) Qualified Second: “It’s very disappointing when you finish second by a margin that is that close. I think it is the third straight weekend I’ve finished second in qualifying, but it is always fun to battle with Josef. He’s one of the guys that is extremely clean in this series and he always races hard so it’s fun
Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing) Qualified Third: “It was a good session I think all in all it has been a bit of a tricky weekend but we have worked hard and the whole #8 Husky Chocolate #8 team has done a great job. I think Honda gave us great power today to get everything out of the car and we are definitely in a great position to fight for the win tomorrow.”
Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) Qualified Fifth: “A little bit sad about how it went in the Fast Six there. We changed a couple of small things around there but it’s a good starting spot for the PNC Bank #9. Honda’s doing really with their cars in the Fast Six and congratulations to Marcus for starting P3. We’ve won from here before and we’ll try to do it again tomorrow.
Honda-powered drivers and teams have won 16 of 23 races run at Mid-Ohio since the company entered Indy car racing in 1994, including 11 of 18 races run with engine manufacturer competition.
Led by race winner Colton Herta, Honda drivers swept the top five finishing positions in the second event of a doubleheader Mid-Ohio race weekend in 2020. Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay made it a 1-2-3 result for the Honda-powered Andretti Autosport team; with local favorite Graham Rahal and Marcus Ericsson rounding out the top five.
With five Honda-powered victories at Mid-Ohio, defending series champion Scott Dixon is the most successful IndyCar Series driver at this track. Dixon won with Honda in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and again in 2019. His Chip Ganassi Racing teammates, Dario Franchitti and Charlie Kimball, won in 2010 and 2013, respectively, giving the team eight total, and five consecutive Honda victories at Mid-Ohio.
Where to Watch Sunday’s Honda Indy 200 Presented by the HPD Ridgeline
Live NBC Network race coverage of the Honda Indy 200 Presented by the HPD Ridgeline begins at 12 p.m. EDT Sunday, July 4. Additional coverage can be found on the INDYCAR Radio Network and on Sirius/XM satellite radio.
Honda Racing social media content and video links from Mid-Ohio can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).