Honda IndyCar Fontana Race Report

8/30/2014

Nil: Honda Racing Report

Saturday, August 30, 2014

 

MAVTV American Real 500

Circuit:                             Auto Club Speedway (2.0-mile oval) Fontana, Calif.

2013 Winner:     Will Power (Team Penske) 154.867 mph average

Weather:           Clear, warm, 87 degrees F

 

Top 10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver      

Team

Engine - Chassis

Laps

Average Speed/Notes

  1.

  7.

Tony Kanaan

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet Dallara

250

196.111 mph avg.; led 64 laps

  2.

  5.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet Dallara

250

+3.6750 seconds; led 5 laps

  3.

14.

Ed Carpenter

Ed Carpenter Racing

Chevrolet Dallara

250

Led 3 laps

  4.

  2.

Juan Pablo Montoya

Team Penske

Chevrolet Dallara

250

Led 85 laps

  5.

10.

James Hinchcliffe

Andretti Autosport

Honda Dallara

250

Led 17 laps

  6.

  4.

Takuma Sato

A.J. Foyt Racing

Honda Dallara

250

 

  7.

12.

Ryan Briscoe

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet Dallara

250

 

  8.

18.

Carlos Munoz-R

Andretti Autosport

Honda Dallara

250

 

  9.

20.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet Dallara

250

2014 IndyCar Series champion

10.

  3.

Josef Newgarden

Sarah Fisher Hartman

Honda Dallara

250

 

Other Honda-powered Results:

11.

17.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda Dallara

249

Running; Led 1 lap

13.

15.

Justin Wilson

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

249

Running

15.

16.

Jack Hawksworth-R

Bryan Herta Autosport

Honda Dallara

249

Running

16.

  8.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda Dallara

248

Running; Led 26 laps

19.

  9.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

244

Running

20.

12.

Simon Pagenaud

Schmidt Peterson Hamilton  

Honda Dallara

243

Running

21.

21.

Carlos Huertas-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

  21

Did not finish – illness

NS.

NS

Mikhail Aleshin-R

Schmidt Peterson

Honda Dallara

    0

Did not start – crash in practice

 

 

Hinchcliffe Recovers for Fifth Place Finish at Fontana Finale

·       Handling issues end Pagenaud championship challenge

·       500-mile 2014 season finale slowed by only a single caution

·       Carlos Munoz claims Rookie of the Year honors

 

Honda-powered Andretti Autosport drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe featured in Saturday night’s MAVTV American Real 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, but penalties for pit lane violations – and a spin by Hunter-Reay that brought out the only caution of the night – ended their hopes for victory in the 18th and final race of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship.

 

Hinchcliffe recovered with a strong second-half run to finish fifth, his fourth top-five result of the season, while Takuma Sato also moved up in the final laps to take the checkers in sixth.  Eighth-place was enough to secure season Rookie of the Year honors for Carlos Munoz, while Josef Newgarden rounded out the top ten finishers.

 

Handling issues, which became apparent in the opening laps of tonight’s 250-lap contest, also ended the title hopes of Honda-powered Simon Pagenaud, who came into the race third in the drivers’ championship, but fell to fifth in the final tally after finishing a disappointing 20th.

 

Pagenaud’s Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate, Mikhail Aleshin, was injured in a multi-car crash during practice Friday night.  Aleshin is listed in stable condition at a local hospital, where he is being treated for chest injuries including fractured ribs, a broken collarbone and concussion.

 

Video News Releases from this weekend’s Indy car season finale at Auto Club Speedway are being posted on the “Honda Racing/HPD Trackside” YouTube channel produced by the Carolinas Production Group.  The video packages can be found at: youtube.com/hondaracingtrackside.

 

Final Verizon IndyCar Series Drivers’ Championship (after 18 of 18 rounds):

1. Will Power                671 points (3 wins)                    6. Ryan Hunter-Reay             563 (3 wins)

2. Helio Castroneves     609 (1 win)                      7. Tony Kanaan                  544 (1 win)

3. Scott Dixon               604 (2 wins)                              8. Carlos Munoz        (R)                    483

4. Juan Pablo Montoya586 (1 win)                      9. Marco Andretti               463

5. Simon Pagenaud      565 (2 wins)                 10. Sebastien Bourdais         461 (1 win)

 

Manufacturers’ Championship:     

1. Chevrolet                              2,393 (12 wins)                   

2. Honda                         1,542 (6 wins)                     

 

James Hinchcliffe (#27 Andretti Autosport Honda) started 10th, finished 5th:  “It was a roller-coaster of a race. Obviously, the car was bad-fast early, and we were able to go to the front. We probably stayed out too long on the first stint and lost a little track position. Then we got the drive-through [penalty, for speeding in pit lane], but luckily, we were able to stay on the lead lap and got the [caution flag] we needed to battle back a bit. The car was good on long runs, and luckily we had a lot of that tonight. George (Klotz, strategist) made a great call on pitting us early on that last stop and we were able to leap-frog some guys. We didn’t have anything for the top four, to be honest, but to come back after the penalty with a top five, we’re pretty pleased with that. Our thoughts are still with Mikhail [Aleshin], we missed him tonight and wish him a speedy recovery, and big thanks to all the fans for a season full of support."

 

Simon Pagenaud (#77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda) started 12th, finished 20th:  “It was a long night and disappointing result.  We came in with very high hopes for the championship.  But when you reflect on the year, we’ve been strong at every race, won races, and had great results for the last three years with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports.  We had a shot at the championship, but tonight was not our night. We’ve been quite strong on ovals this year, apart from tonight.  To win the championship, we need to improve our finishing average, and that’s what we’ll work on for next year.”

 

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on tonight’s season finale:  “We had several fast cars in the field tonight, so it was disappointing that we were unable to capitalize on that speed.  But reflecting on the full 2014 season, we can take pride in the performance and reliability of our all-new twin-turbocharged engine, highlighted by our victory in the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport and Ryan Hunter-Reay.  Congratulations to Ryan and Simon Pagenaud for their successful, championship-contending seasons and thanks again to all of our associates at Honda Performance Development for their efforts all season long.  We’ll put our heads down and come back faster and stronger in 2015.”

 

For a photo from tonight’s race, go to:

http://broadcast.sportssystems.com/hosting/display.cfm?key=101729

 



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