Honda sweeps podium, dominates Chevrolet in 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500
It was a case of smiles all around the Honda camp following the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Too bad the vendors, dealers and other usual guests of the manufacturer at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing weren't able to celebrate in the suites or the seats at IMS due to the coronovirus pandemic this year.
Takuma Sato's win was just the tip of the Honda avalanche on Sunday, as the manufacturer swept the podium with Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal finishing second and third. Honda went on to place eight drivers in the top 10, and its drivers led 180 of 200 laps. Leading the lap-leading brigade for the manufacturer was Dixon, who led 111 laps. Sato was next with 27 laps led, and he was followed by Alexander Rossi (17 laps led), Zach Veach (14), Feliz Rosenqvist (10), fourth-place finisher Santino Ferrucci (1), Colton Herta (1) and James Hinchcliffe (1).
Only defending race winner Simon Pagenaud (14), Oliver Askew (4) and Will Power (2) led laps for rival Chevrolet on Sunday.
"Huge congrats to Takuma," said Dixon, who started second and finished second. "He drove his pants off today. Rahal Letterman Lanigan, they were super fast, obviously finishing first and third. It was good day for Honda.I want to give a massive thank you to them. We’re very proud to be powered by HPD and Honda, and it’s nice to get some (championship) points. But it’s hard when the win slips away like that.”
Historically speaking, this marked the best overall Indianapolis 500 for Honda since it swept the first seven spots in 2004 and finished 1-2-3-4 in 2005.
Honda was the lone engine manufacturer in the series from 2006 through 2011.
"This was a very satisfying win," said Ted Klaus, president of Honda Performance Development. "On behalf of every HPD team member and everyone back at HPD in Santa Clarita (Calif.), who have all been pushing hard since last year’s race, thank you! Congratulations to Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal and the entire Rahal Letterman Lanigan team for their one-three finish today; to Scott Dixon and Chip Ganassi Racing for his dominant run to lead 111 laps and second-place result; and to all of our partner teams and their great drivers. Together we led all but 20 laps of today’s race, and scored an incredible 13th 500 win for Honda.”
Chevrolet most recently swept the podium at the Indy 500 in 2015 when the manufacturer took the top four finishing positions with Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power, Charlie Kimball and Dixon. Chevrolet also pulled off a 1-2-3-4 at the 500 in 2013 with Tony Kanaan, Carlos Munoz, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti.
Sato's win was Honda's first in the 500 since he won for Andretti Autosport in 2017. Honda took four of the top five spots and six of the top eight that year.