Honda Baltimore Talking Points
Grand Prix of Baltimore
2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, August 25, 2013
NBC Sports Network
ENGINE MANUFACTURER COMPETITION
- Honda drivers and teams have won four of the last five IZOD IndyCar Series events. The run began at the Pocono Indy 400 in July, continued through the doubleheader race weekend at the Honda Indy Toronto, and also included the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier this month.
- Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon was in contention to extend the Honda winning streak to five in a row last weekend at the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, until a late-race pit lane safety violation cost him his chance of victory.
- Of Honda's seven wins this year, four have included podium sweeps:
- Long Beach, a one-through-four finish led by Takuma Sato, Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson and Dario Franchitti;
- The second of two races at Detroit, a one-through-five result led by Simon Pagenaud, James Jakes, Mike Conway, Dixon and Franchitti;
- Pocono, won by Dixon with Charlie Kimball second and Franchitti third;
- Mid-Ohio, with Kimball winning, followed home by Pagenaud and Franchitti
- Dixon's Pocono win in July was Honda's 200th victory in Indy car competition. With three wins, Dixon is second in the driver's championship, 39 points behind current points leader Helio Castroneves.
- Honda's 203 Indy car victories include 104 race wins in seasons with manufacturer competition, as well as 99 victories in the six-year period (2006-2011) when Honda supplied engines to the entire IndyCar Series field.
- Honda's remaining race win this season, in the first Detroit race, was recorded by Dale Coyne Racing's Mike Conway. Teammate Wilson finished third, with Dixon fourth.
- In the battle for the 2013 INDYCAR Manufacturers' Championship, Honda trails rival Chevrolet by just three points with four races remaining. A Honda win in Baltimore would again tie the championship going into October's doubleheader race weekend in Houston, Texas. Honda-powered drivers have already swept the previous two double-header race weekends in Detroit (Conway, Pagenaud) and Toronto (Dixon, both wins).
HONDA AT BALTIMORE
- In 2011, during Honda's final year as engine supplier to the full IZOD IndyCar Series field, Team Penske's Will Power used a Honda Indy V-8 engine to win the inaugural Grand Prix of Baltimore. Oriol Servia finished second, followed by Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon. All five drivers will return to Baltimore for this year's race.
- In last year's race, 2013 Rookie of the Year Pagenaud led 14 laps en route to a third-place finish in a race won by eventual series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.
HONDA ACCORD SAFETY CAR
- The new 2013 Honda Accord Coupe, which will be utilized as the IZOD IndyCar Series Safety Car this weekend, made its debut at this year's season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. This Accord was originally built by Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville, Ohio, and developed into a series Safety Car at Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, Calif.
- Modifications installed on the Accord by HPD include Sparco seats and four-point racing harnesses; an HPD high-performance brake system, with four-piston calipers, competition rotors, racing pads, and stainless brake lines; a Honda Genuine Accessory aerodynamic body kit; Firestone Firehawk high-performance tires mounted on Enkei alloy wheels; and an IndyCar Series graphics package.