Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda says it was an up and down qualifying session for Friday’s Harvest Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course where the Mayor of HinchTown will start the race from 18th place with a time of 01:10.9630s.
Speaking following the action he said:
It was an up-and-down day for us.W e still haven’t managed to set a single lap on the Firestone reds (alternate tires). We got a red flag in practice at the wrong time, and in qualifying, I tried something on my last lap on the black (primary) tires just to know if it was going to work on the reds , and I was on a lap that would have probably put us sixth in our group and then we didn’t get the chance on reds. I’m a little disappointed to be as far back as we are. I genuinely think we have more pace in the car. It’s tough jumping into a series that’s so competitive with so little track time. We’ve got 85 laps tomorrow to get the Gainbridge Honda to the front, and that’s where we plan to go.”
Colton Herta in the No.88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Honda is the best placed Andretti Autosport driver in third place with a 01:09.7048s and speaking following the action he said:
I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Obviously, we have a really good starting spot with third. It’s going to be an interesting race tomorrow with how the windows work and all the strategy that’s going to happen with the (primary) blacks and (alternate) reds. I’m interested to see what tires everyone starts on because I think it’s going to play a huge role in tomorrow’s race. Overall, a great starting spot of third for the Gleaners car, and I think we have a really good shot at a winning and creating even more awareness for the No One Runs On Empty campaign.”
Marco Andretti in the No.98 AutoNation Honda starts the race from fifth following a time of 01:09.7140s and speaking following the action he said:
We were on a pole lap for the second event in a row. Then it just snapped loose, and we lost that tenth (of a second) we needed. It’s a bummer to come that close but a good effort by the 98 AutoNation team, nonetheless. The colder weather is definitely unique with both qualifying this late in the day and racing here this late in the year. It goes both ways: The tires take a little longer to come up (to temperature), but there is so much downforce and grip that is favoring us. It’s actually better than when we were here in July.
Alexander Rossi in the No.27 NAPA Auto Parts AutoNation Honda starts the race from eighth place following a time of 01:10.6500s and speaking following the action he said :
“I’ve got to be honest: For the first time in five years around here, I feel like we have a pretty good car. I’m really happy about that. The team did a good job. This (IMS road course) has been a big weakness for us. The NAPA / AutoNation Honda was good. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get to do reds (alternate tires) because of the red flag rules, but I think the car is really good and I’m excited for tomorrow.”
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda says that it was not a straight forward day for him as he starts the race 13th with a time of 01:09.9822s and speaking following the action he said:
Today wasn’t a straightforward day. We started the day with a setup that just wasn’t clicking for us, and we had to bail on that for qualifying. I had to learn what this setup would give me as qualifying went on. I had the car snap loose on me coming out of Turn 13, and otherwise that would’ve put us at least in the top six or seven. The conditions are tough in the cold. Tomorrow will be interesting with cold tires; that’ll be a hotspot for everyone. I’m looking forward to working this 28 DHL Honda to the front.”