Hinchcliffe, Honda Head Opening Day Indianapolis 500 Practice

August 13, 2020 by Honda

• James Hinchcliffe leads Honda top-four sweep in first day of practice

•Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay complete top four for Honda

•First of three practice days prior to Indianapolis 500 qualifying this weekend

James Hinchcliffe led the way in 'Opening Day' practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, heading a Honda sweep of the top four speeds in the first day of track action in preparation for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. Hinchcliffe's Andretti Autosport teammates Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay ended the day second and fourth, respectively, while Scott Dixon slotted into third in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Running a partial-season program in 2020, Hinchcliffe posted an average speed of 224.526 mph around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis oval in the second of two 'full field' practice sessions to top the time charts for the day. Dixon led the morning session with a speed of 224.047, which ended up as third-fastest on the day. Hunter-Reay, third overall at 223.341 mph, also led the 'no tow' rankings with a traffic-free lap of 220.725 mph.

Jack Harvey ran seventh-overall with a speed of 223.178 mph in his Meyer Shank Racing Honda. The only Honda-powered rookie in the field, Alex Palou, completed all four phases of the required 'Rookie Orientation' by mid-day, and went on to record the 8th-fastest overall speed of 223.128 mph in the full-field afternoon session as Honda drivers claimed six of the top eight positions on the speed chart for the day.


Practice activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway continue through Friday, with qualifying action to set the field of 33 on the historic 2.5-mile oval scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

Honda Racing social media content and videos from practice and qualifying from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – and 104th running of the Indianapolis 500 on August 23 – will be available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD). Produced by the CoForce Digital Media, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.


James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport Honda) Fastest in opening-day practice: 'It's always nice 'rolling off the truck' here with a car that has good pace. Huge credit to everybody at Honda and Andretti Autosport; we've got a bunch of quick cars. It's got good single-car pace, it has good pace in traffic. You can't ask for much more for a first day. We have a lot of work to do still. There are lot of things we want to change and get through. Each car in the six-car Andretti team has got their list of things to try. But today was a nice, clean start for us.'

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 3rd fastest: 'We had a decent start in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda. We were trying to get through some setup choices that we have on the list to test. It's a pretty extensive list, especially with the condensed schedule. It's a totally new car for me this year with engineer Mike Cannon and with a few off-season projects. I definitely think the team and Honda are going in the right direction. First practice, we're just trying to get the car comfortable in traffic. So far, that seems to be pretty good. The aeroscreen, when we first tested it, seemed to affect the car a little different aerodynamically. I'd say today it actually felt more normal. No real difference from the previous full open cockpit, and the vision is good.'

Indianapolis 500 Opening Day Practice

Circuit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval), Indianapolis, IN

2019 Winner: Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) 175.794 mph average
Weather: Mostly cloudy, warm, 80 degrees F

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Photo credit: Honda
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