Harvest Grand Prix: Saturday Notebook

By: Spencer Neff
October 3, 2020

Official Results: Race 2 of the inaugural INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR

Capping off Roger Penske’s first event with fans as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Owner, Will Power made it a weekend sweep for Team Penske in a wire-to-wire victory during Saturday’s second race of the Harvest GP.

Holding off Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport’s Colton Herta by .8932 of a second, he earned his second win of 2020 and the 39th of his career. With his victory, Power ties Al Unser for fifth on the all-time win list.

In finishing third, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi became the only driver to record a a podium finish in both races of the weekend doubleheader. Following a disappointing start to 2020, Rossi has earned four consecutive podium finishes but has yet to win this season.

(from left to right): Herta, Power and Rossi celebrate in Victory Lane (James Black/INDYCAR)

Like Friday’s race, Saturday’s 75-lap event was run without a caution.

By finishing in fourth Josef Newgarden cut Scott Dixon’s points lead to 32 headed with one race left. In this event, Dixon finished eighth. He and Newgarden are the only drivers m mathematically eligible for the championship.

Power nabs 61st career pole

Race 2 Qualifying Results Starting Grid

Image By James Black/INDYCAR

Continuing his dominance on the IMS Road Course, Power earned his 61st career pole position during qualifying Saturday morning. It is Power’s fourth pole of 2020 and his fifth on the IMS Road Course. In July, Power also started on the pole for the IndyCar Grand Prix.

With his effort, Power now has 61 poles to his name. He is currently six behind Mario Andretti, who holds the all-time mark with 67. No other driver in series history has more than 57.

Chevrolet, Honda extend partnership

Saturday morning, IndyCar’s two engine partners reaffirmed their commitment to the series, as Chevrolet and Honda will continue to manufacture engines for the series.

“To be able to announce a long-term, multi-year extension with our two great partners is phenomenal,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “It’s an exciting time in INDYCAR with the innovations in the car, the new 2.4-liter engine and hybrid technology.”

The agreement was announced in conjunction with the news that the 2.4-liter, V6 engines will be delayed until 2023 amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

The new engines will increase horsepower to approximately 900, 100 more than the current 2.2-liter V6 models. With the upgraded engines, drivers will be able to restart a stalled car on their own, reducing the risk for safety workers and the possibility of cautions to address stalled cars on the track.

“Fast, loud, and authentic,” Frye said, “along with a history of innovation – that’s our racing roots and will continue to be the sport’s legacy. This announcement keeps that in mind while celebrating a stable and bright future.”

In 2012, Chevrolet returned to IndyCar after a six-year absence when the current engines were introduced. Since then, they have won six manufacturers and six drivers titles, as well as four Indianapolis 500s.

“Chevrolet has enjoyed great success since joining the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2012 with our 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected V6 engine,” said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors.

“We are thrilled to be moving forward with INDYCAR because it’s the perfect showcase for our engine technology, in the only open-wheel racing series in America, a high-tech, growing series that Roger Penske and his team are absolutely taking to the next level.”

Jay Frye (center) photographed with General Motors President Mark Reuss (left) and Honda Performance Development President Ted Klaus (JJoe Skibinski/INDYCAR)

Chevrolet’s history with IndyCar dates back to the inaugural running of the Indianapolis 500. Arthur Chevrolet, brother of founder Louis, participated in the 1911. In 1920, their brother Gaston won the event.

Honda has competed as part of IndyCar since 1994, including a run from 2006 to 2011 as the sole engine manufacturer. During their time as part of IndyCar, they have won 13 Indianapolis 500s and 252 race victories. They have also won 16 drivers’ championships and been the manufacturers champion eight times, including the last two.

“Honda welcomes this step to the future by INDYCAR, action that mirrors Honda’s efforts to develop and manufacture high-performance, electrified products that will meet industry challenges and delight our customers,” said Ted Klaus, president of Honda Performance Development.

“At Honda, we race to develop our people, to innovate technologies and to engage fans. We are proud of our uninterrupted, 27-year leadership in INDYCAR, and look forward to delivering a next-generation Honda 2.4-liter hybrid power unit with more than 900 horsepower.”

Along with Chevrolet and Honda, IndyCar will continue to work on welcoming additional OEM (Original Engine Manufacturers) to the series. Since 2013, Chevrolet and Hon da have been the only engine suppliers in the wake of Lotus’ departure after the 2012 season.

Up Next

With the final doubleheader weekend of 2020 completed, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the last race on the calendar.

After being cancelled during its opening weekend slot on March 13, the race will be the only street course event of the season. Practice begins on October 23, with the race scheduled for October 25.

Stay with IndyCar1909 for all the latest throughout the NTT Indycar Series.

Header Image By James Black/INDYCAR

Published by Spencer Neff

I am a lifelong auto racing fan. Through IndyCar1909, I look forward to sharing my passion for the series and its illustrious history with you.

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