Defending St. Pete winner Colton Herta looks to repeat from the second row starting position. Romain Grosjean, Simon Pagenaud both make ‘Firestone Fast Six’ in first race weekend with new Honda teams. Honda claims six of top 10 qualifying positions Sunday’s 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opener.
Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta is once again leading the charge for Honda on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, qualifying third today for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the #26 Honda-powered Andretti Autosport machine.
Andretti Autosport’s newest driver, Romain Grosjean, also represented the team in the ‘Firestone Fast Six’ in the #28 Honda, qualifying fifth. Also making his debut with a new team for 2022, Simon Pagenaud, notched a sixth place starting position for Meyer Shank Racing.
Honda-powered drivers claimed six of the top 10 starting positions, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, Marcus Ericsson and reigning champion Alex Palou qualifying seventh, eighth and 10th respectively.
Honda-powered drivers have won 10 of the 17 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races at St. Petersburg since the event was revived for the 2005 season. The late Dan Wheldon led a Honda and Andretti Green Racing sweep of the top four positions in the inaugural 2005 event; while Colton Herta dominated in 2021 for Honda and Andretti Autosport.
Other Honda winners on the streets of St. Petersburg include local resident Sebastian Bourdais in 2017-18; Helio Castroneves in 2006 and ’07; Graham Rahal in 2008; Team Penske’s Ryan Briscoe and Will Power in 2009 and ’10, respectively; and Dario Franchitti in 2011.
Ten race wins in 2021 brought Honda the company’s 10th INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, and fourth consecutive title, a record for the company. Honda-powered Alex Palou scored three of those wins to claim his first INDYCAR Drivers’ Championship.