Pole for Herta, Honda in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Colton Herta prevailed in a typical fraught NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying, edging fellow…

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Colton Herta prevailed in a typical fraught NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying, edging fellow Jack Harvey by just two-tenths of a second to secure an all-Honda front row for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Herta and Harvey were two of the seven Honda drivers to advance through the first round of INDYCAR «knockout» qualifying.  Behind the lead pair, defending series champion Scott Dixon will start eighth in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal and Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama race winner Alex Palou rounding out the top 10 for Honda. Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe also advanced to second-round qualifying, and will start 11th and 12th, respectively.

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Qualifying Results

1st

Colton Herta

Andretti Autosport Honda

2nd

Jack Harvey

Meyer Shank Racing Honda

8th

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

9th

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda

10th

Alex Palou

Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

11th

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport Honda

12th

James Hinchcliffe

Andretti Autosport Honda

13th

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport Honda

15th

Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda

16th

Marcus Ericsson          

Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

18th

Romain Grosjean-R

Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

21st

Ed Jones

Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda

23rd

Jimmie Johnson-R

Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Quotes

Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport Honda) Pole Qualifier, 1st NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole of 2021 and 5th career pole: «I knew [before the start of the race weekend] we had a good race car for here. Just had to get through those two [qualifying] stages nice and clean. Really happy for [my] guys. We’ve got the best seat in the house [pole] for the start, it’s been an incredible weekend so far. Can’t wait to get going again tomorrow.»

Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing Honda) Qualified Second, third career front-row start: «We felt confident coming into this weekend, as we’re run well here previously. We were strong all day, and happy to share the front row with our ‘pseudo teammate’ [Colton Herta]. With Colton, with Honda and the Andretti Autosport connection [MSR shares a technical partnership with Andretti Autosport], it’s a really good day for us all.»

Fast Facts

  • Honda claimed the initial lead in the 2021 INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship with Alex Palou’s victory Sunday at the season-opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
  • As a result, Honda holds a 17-point lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship, with 90 points to 73 for rival Chevrolet. The company is seeking its fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in 2021.
  • Palou also takes the early-season lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with 53 points to 41 for Team Penske’s Will Power. Palou’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, defending and six-time INDYCAR champion Scott Dixon, is third with 35 points.
  • The 24-car starting field at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will once again be led to the green flag by the Honda Civic Type R Pace Car. The Civic Type R is the latest in a series of Honda Pace Cars utilized for NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition since 2006.

Where to Watch the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Sunday’s 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starts at 12 p.m. EDT, with live network television coverage on NBC.  Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on NBC Peacock, the NBC Sports App and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Honda Racing social media content and video links from St. Petersburg 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).

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SOURCE Honda Racing/HPD