Honda takes a beating from Team Penske IndyCar, Duel 2 at Detroit
Helio Castroneves and Will Power of Team Penske drove their Chevrolet powered Dallara IndyCars to victory Sunday. Honda powered James Hinchcliffe and Simon Pagenaud finished 5th and 6th respectively.
Not a good day for Team Honda: A.J. Foyt Racing and Andretti Autosport lost field position, as minimal pit stop and fuel saving strategy was rendered ineffective by multiple cautionaries early in the race. Adding to the competitive angst were multiple accidents involving pole sitter Takuma Sato of A.J. Foyt racing, Ryan Briscoe and Marco Andretti.
No getting around the facts…Team Honda was hammered in Detroit by Chevrolet power despite dominating the front row at the start of the race. As stated by Mark Crawford of Honda Performance Development... “ The yellows came at the wrong time for them, “I believe qualifying was a more accurate indicator of our performance” said Crawford.
True enough, Honda power dominated qualifying as Sato and Hinchcliffe took pole and second position. We consider this to be a bi-week performance as Honda comes of off the epic win at the Indy 500. Team Andretti Autosport will lick its collective wounds and return to the Fort Worth, Texas, Firestone 600 as a force to be reckoned with.
Round 8 will bring with it a surprise or two as Honda power regains a dominate position in the series with Honda eventually taking the manufactures trophy.
With 11 races remaining in the series the top 3 drivers are separated by a mere 29 points, with Chevrolet and Honda battling for the manufacturer’s trophy. That’s what makes IndyCar series exciting. The difference between 1rst and 2nd place in Indycar is often less than .01 seconds. Being “ forced to the outside” can make or break you in open wheel racing. Brushing the wall with a tire sidewall at 180 mph can cost you more than the race.
*As James Hinchcliffe of Andretti Autosport puts it:” Forth or fifth really doesn’t matter, we’re here for podiums, we’re here for wins.”
* Honda World Wide News.