Chevy Sweeps Qualifying For GP Of Indy

The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will have an American feel to it as Chevy dominated qualifying today. From the very beginning, it was Chevy’s day. The first group of the first round of qualifying saw no Honda transfer to the second round. In Group Two, the Honda of Jack Hawksworth was the only one to advance into the second round.

In the second round, the only car that Hawksworth was quicker than was the Chevy of Josef Newgarden, who went off early in Turn Seven and never seemed to regain his footing. The lone Honda of Hawksworth was eleventh in the group of twelve. The Firestone Fast Six was comprised of the usual suspects – all four Penske cars and the top two Ganassi cars.

Will Power set a track record with a pole speed time of 1:09.4886. Scott Dixon will start alongside Power on the front row. Helio Castroneves and teammate Juan Montoya will fill out Row Two. Simon Pagenaud and Tony Kanaan completed the Firestone Fast Six.

The Top Ten of the starting grid are all Chevys. Hawksworth will be the highest starting Honda in the eleventh starting position. Newgarden will roll off twelfth in a Chevy. Then James Hinchcliffe’s Honda will start thirteenth. Honda makes up the final ten starting spots on the grid.

Last night on Trackside, Kevin Lee and Townsend Bell were trying to be kind by saying that Chevy isn’t really dominating, but they have had slightly better results. After today, there is no other way to put it. The road course aero kit for Honda is a pig. I take no joy in saying that. I drive a Honda and I pull for them personally. Not only is it decidedly uglier than the Chevy – it is much, much slower. After today’s embarrassment, I think Honda’s only prayer for tomorrow is for it to rain – hard.

Fortunately for Honda, that is the forecast. There is a significant line of storms that will go through here overnight. The forecast for tomorrow is rain around 10:00 am, then partly cloudy skies for most of the afternoon. But the Verizon IndyCar Series race doesn’t go off until 3:30. Unfortunately, the rain is to show up again at 4:00. That could serve as the equalizer that Honda is searching for.

But is Honda going to go through the entire season hoping for rain? Their oval kit seemed more competitive at last weekend’s open test. Too bad that there are only six ovals on the schedule. The Honda teams are to be commended for keeping their mouths shut to this point. That won’t last for long if tomorrow’s results mirror today’s qualifying results. it should be an interesting race, however – rain or dry; even if it is between the usual culprits between Penske and Ganassi.

That will do it for us today. Susan and I are actually going to venture out to a new spot for dinner. We will be here early tomorrow for a full day of racing. Please check back then.

George Phillips

9 Responses to “Chevy Sweeps Qualifying For GP Of Indy”

  1. Bent Wickerbill Says:

    Great day for Chevy, Penske and Ganassi, but not so much for the series…

  2. George, I was in 7 for practice and in E (14) for Quals and I’m anxious to read your thoughts on the crowd size….

    • Diane Oaks Says:

      We too were astonished to see how few people were at quals!! No promotion or just 500 only snobs?

      • Phil Kaiser Says:

        I was there Thursday and Friday and the “crowds” have been absolutely dismal. I’ll bet there weren’t 3,000 folks on Thursday when admission was free and I’ll bet there weren’t 6,000 there Friday. Wow!

        I keep saying it over and over to anyone who will listen: Indianapolis is just not a road course town. Period. I hate to say that but it’s true, unfortunately….

        • Diane Oaks Says:

          Hubby says fans showed up for F 1. Seems like it’s a third or less of last years attendance. Something’s amiss. Hoping for a better turnout today!!

          • I think your Hubby is right, although I know a huge part of that crowd were folks from around the world flying in for the event.

            I sure do hope it’s better today, but I’m afraid that casual fans here in Indy are so inculcated by the rain=no racing mentality that it might be a struggle with the present forecast.

  3. I have to disagree that the Honda road course aero kit is uglier than the Chevy kit. I won’t forget how disappointed I was when I first saw the Chevy kit.

  4. The question I have is what happened to Andretti? They aren’t even the top Honda team. Far from it. Did all their talent go to Formula e?

    • That is a question I have not heard anyone answer. Justin Wilson is leading the group and good for him. No one seems to be talking. Like George said, the team is keeping quiet on the issue. At least up until today.

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