Honda Takes Top Two Spots in 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500

June 6th, 2016 by

Honda Racing

Honda and Alexander Rossi Victory at 100th Indianapolis 500

Honda, the winningest automaker ever at the Indianapolis 500, earned a record-extending 11th victory of the 100th running of the iconic race. Hondas have always been known for their exceptional fuel economy, and for the 2016 race, Indy rookie Alexander Rossi stretched his final tank of fuel for 36 laps to the checkers — four more laps than any other competitor — to secure the victory. On a similar strategy, Carlos Munoz ran an impressive 32 laps after his final fill-up to make it a 1-2 finish for Honda and the Andretti Autosport team. 

READ MORE: James Hinchcliffe and Honda Claim Indy 500 Pole Position

Fuel-Saving Pit Strategy for Alexander Rossi

A series of mid-race incidents led several teams – including those of Rossi, Munoz and Tagliani – to go “off-sequence” on their pit strategy. That proved to be the correct call when Takuma Sato brushed the wall on Lap 163, bringing out the caution flag just inside the final pit window for both Rossi and Munoz. Restarting in seventh and eight, respectively, the pair cycled up the order as the leaders made their final stops for a splash of fuel in the closing laps.

Honda Racing

It was only on Lap 197 that Rossi assumed the lead, taking the checkers one lap later as the newest American winner of the Indianapolis 500. But Sunday’s victory for Rossi and Honda wasn’t just about saving fuel. He also turned the fastest lap of the race, at an average of 225.288 mph, with his Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti producing the second-fastest race lap, at 224.772 mph.

Indy 500 Success for Honda

The victory was a record-extending 11th for Honda in 16 attempts at the “500”, starting in 1994, the most of any major automobile manufacturer. Rossi was one of seven Honda drivers to lead portions of today’s race. Pole qualifier James Hinchclife and outside front-row starter Ryan Hunter-Reay combined to lead all but two of the first 30 laps. Other Honda leaders included Munoz, Townsend Bell, Bryan Clauson and Alex Tagliani.

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Posted in Honda Racing