INDIANAPOLIS – Honda has had the best motor in the NTT IndyCar Series lately. While they got off to a bit of a slow start to the 2018 season in winning just two of the first six races, they have since made up for it. From the race at Texas last June up until now, they’ve been downright dominant.
Over the last 15 Indy Car races, Honda has won 12 of them including three in four tries this season. In the points standings, they have four of the top five drivers currently and eight in the top 10.
But, as we head to Saturday’s IndyCar Grand Prix (3 p.m. ET/NBC/IndyCar Radio Network), Chevrolet may be the ones to beat.
Team Penske has won this race in four straight years and should be among the ones to beat yet again. If Honda is going to stop them, they need more out of the Andretti Autosport group first.
Andretti has been so good in the Indy 500 though in winning three of the last five overall. Despite success on the 2.5-mile oval, they’ve struggled on the 2.39-mile road course.
Marco Andretti has failed to score a top 10 in all five of his tries. His best result is 13th last year. He’s also never started in the top 10 either.
Zach Veach finished 23rd in his debut in this race last year too.
Ryan Hunter-Reay has scored two podiums (2014, 2017) but those are his only top five finishes in five tries. His other results are 11th (2015), ninth (2016) and 18th (2018).
Alexander Rossi is trending in the right direction with finishes of 10th (2016), to eighth (2017) to fifth (2018). He’s only led two laps though in his career in this race.
Just look at their starting positions the last three years in this race – 12-15-17-19 in 2016, 8-9-11-20 in 2017 and 8-13-14-20 in 2018. Their results in those races?
9-10-12-15 (2016), 3-8-12-16 (2017) and 5-13-18-23 (2018).
It all starts in qualifying as nobody has won this race past a top four starting spot. Over the first four races to kick off 2019, all four race winners have come from a starting spot in the first 2 Rows. In fact, three of the four have come from the front row actually.
If you go back to last year, three of the last five races were won from the pole. Furthermore, nine of the last 10 races and 10 of the last 11 have been won from a starting spot of fourth or better.
See where Andretti needs to improve on to contend in this race?