Ericsson, Palou Earn Double Podium

  • Alex Palou increases his championship lead to 39 points with third-place run
  • Marcus Ericsson challenges for win in final laps, finishes second
  • Honda powers six of top seven finishers, increases Manufacturers’ Title lead

Honda’s Marcus Ericsson turned a career-best qualifying run on Saturday into a solid second-place result today to lead Honda drivers and teams to a double podium finish in the Honda Indy 200 Presented by the HPD Ridgeline at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Ericsson started third and vaulted into second when front row starter Colton Herta fell victim to a refueling issue during his first pit stop. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver was more than eight seconds behind eventual race winner Josef Newgarden at the time, but started closing the gap with each trip around the 2.231-mile Mid-Ohio layout.

The Swede had cut the lead to three seconds with 10 laps to go and shaved it to one second on the final lap before settling for a second-place finish. Ericsson led a phalanx of Honda-powered finishers in the top 10 as eight Hondas placed in the top 10 including six of the top seven.

Palou, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, started seventh but climbed through the field to claim the final spot on the podium, third. The result allowed Palou to increase his lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, and he leaves Ohio with a 39-point advantage over Pato O’Ward, and a 56-point margin over his teammate and defending champion, Scott Dixon.

Continuing the list of top-10 Honda-powered results today, Dixon would finish fourth ahead of Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, who in turn was chased home by Graham Rahal [sixth] and Romain Grosjean, eighth. Rahal Letterman Lanigan drivers Takuma Sato and Santino Ferrucci rounded out the top 10; giving Honda an unofficial 73-point Manufacturers’ Championship lead.

Honda Indy 200, Presented by the HPD Ridgeline Results

2nd Marcus Ericsson

Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

3rd Alex Palou

Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

4th Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

5th Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport Honda

6th Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda

7th Romain Grosjean-R

Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

9th Santino Ferrucci

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda

10th Takuma Sato

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda

13th Colton Herta

Andretti Autosport Honda

17th James Hinchcliffe

Andretti Autosport Honda

19th Jack Harvey

Meyer Shank Racing Honda

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship (unofficial, after 10 of 16 rounds)
Honda 863 points
Chevrolet 790

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers’ Championship (unofficial, after 10 rounds)

  1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 384 points [2 race wins]
  2. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP 345 [2 wins]
  3. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 328 [1 win]

Alex Palou
(#10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Finished Third: Championship leader: “Today the car was really good, Honda gave us great power and we were able to fight when the chances came. The only way that we are going to be able to win this championship is to go out and keep putting the car on the podium every week so that is what we are concentrating on.”

Marcus Ericsson (#8 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Finished Second: “I’m proud of the whole team. Everyone has done a great job, and it was a true team effort. The #8 Husky Honda was feeling great out there and we were pushing really, really hard to catch Josef [Newgarden, race winner]. I saw with about 10 laps to go that he was starting to struggle and I went after him with everything I had. I think in a couple more laps, we could’ve challenged for the win but, overall, second is a very good result today.”

Kelvin Fu (Vice-President, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race at Mid-Ohio: “First, congratulations to Roger Penske’s on his milestone victory today, 50 years after his first major race win. But also, congratulations to Chip Ganassi Racing, who led the way for Honda and HPD and gave the fans here an exciting finish. It was great to see all the fans at Mid-Ohio today, what an impressive crowd to come out here on Independence Day. We’ll continue to work hard, and we’re looking forward to going to Nashville for the first time in just a few weeks.”

Fast Fact

  • American Honda has a long history of involvement in central Ohio and at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Honda was the first Japanese company to establish auto manufacturing operations in the United States, opening Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville, Ohio, in 1982. The company has had an Official Vehicle relationship with Mid-Ohio since 1994.

After four races in the past four weeks, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES now takes a three-week break before resuming August 6-8 with the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, on the temporary street circuit in Nashville, Tennessee.