Romain Grosjean scores second podium of rookie season on Indy road course. Andretti Autosport scores 3-4 finish with Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi. Honda powers seven of top-10 finishers during Brickyard Weekend.
Romain Grosjean and Colton Herta scored a double podium finish for Honda this weekend on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – with Grosjean taking second in his #51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda, ahead of Herta’s #26 Andretti Autosport Honda in third.
Grosjean started the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix in the third position, dropping back behind Herta during the first pit sequence. Running third and fourth, Herta and Grosjean would work their way around the #5 of Pato O’Ward during the next stint, utilizing their [softer compound Firestone] “Red” tires to pass O’Ward.
The first full-course caution of the race gave Grosjean his chance to get around Herta on the restart with 14 laps to go. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie, and former F1 driver was able to hold off the charge from the young Californian during a second restart, but neither had the power-to-pass to catch race leader Will Power.
Grosjean would maintain second place at the finish, with Herta third. Herta’s Andretti Autosport Teammate Alexander Rossi also claimed a top-five finish, his second of the season, finishing fourth.
Jack Harvey, for Meyer Shank Racing, would come home sixth; with Graham Rahal for Rahal Letterman Lanigan seventh, Marcus Ericsson for Chip Ganassi Racing took the checkers in eighth, and Takuma Sato also for RLL finished ninth.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship leader Alex Palou suffered a mechanical issue, forcing him out of the race with 18 laps to go. However, the two-time race-winner this season maintains a 21-point championship lead.
Today’s second-place result marks back-to-back podiums on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for Grosjean, who also finished at the GMR Grand Prix in May. Grosjean has been making his home at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway [in a motorhome] between races. The Formula One veteran also closes to within seven points of four-time Australian SuperCars Champion Scott McLaughlin (213-206) in the battle for INDYCAR Rookie of the Year honors. Thus far, Grosjean has only competed on road courses in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. He will tackle his first oval next weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway.
The Grand Prix marks the first double-header for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the NASCAR Cup series running on the same course layout in the history of the two series.
Honda continues to hold the lead in the 2021 INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, with seven victories from 11 races this season. Returning to St. Louis for the final oval race of the season, Honda holds a 68-point advantage (1,034-966) over rival Chevrolet. The company is seeking its fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in 2021.
Next weekend, NTT INDYCAR SERIES continues with the third of three consecutive race weekends, running at World Wide Technology Raceway outside of St. Louis Saturday, August 21.