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Ericsson, Honda Hit All the Right Notes in Nashville

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Honda’s Marcus Ericsson turned a spectacular start-line crash into an incredible victory Sunday on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee, as Honda NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers and teams dominated the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.

In the first of many incidents in the 80-lap contest, Ericsson hit the back of Sebastien Bourdais’ A.J. Foyt Racing Indy car, with Ericsson’s Chip Ganassi Racing machine rising high in the air after making wheel-to-wheel contact with Bourdais. Ericsson assessed a stop-and-go penalty for avoidable contact but returned to hold off a previously dominant Colton Herta and score his second career INDYCAR victory.

Honda drivers and teams swept the top seven finishing positions today, with every Honda team featuring at least one driver in the top 10. Behind Ericsson, teammate and defending series champion Scott Dixon moved to second in the drivers’ championship standings with a second-place finish. Andretti Autosport teammates James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay finished third and fourth, respectively, and Graham Rahal rounded out the top five for Honda.

In addition to Hinchcliffe, Ed Jones also had his best finish of 2021 in sixth for Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan. Championship leader Alex Palou ran seventh in a third Chip Ganassi Honda, while Helio Castroneves finished ninth for Meyer Shank Racing.

Ericsson, Honda Hit All The Right Notes
Music City Grand Prix
Big Machine Music City Grand Prix Honda Race Results
  • 1st Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 2nd Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
  • 3rd James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 4th Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 5th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 6th Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
  • 7th Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda*
  • 9th Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  • 11th Santino Ferrucci Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 15th Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda
  • 16th Romain Grosjean-R            Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
  • 17th Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 19th Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
  • 20th Cody Ware-R                       Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
  • 25th Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
  • 26th Jimmie Johnson – R            Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
R – Rookie
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship (unofficial, after 11 of 16 rounds)
  • Honda 959 points
  • Chevrolet 838
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers’ Championship (unofficial, after 11 rounds)
  1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 410 points [2 race wins]
  2. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 368 [1 win]
  3. Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP 362 [2 wins]
Fast Facts
  • Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES race on the city streets of downtown Nashville was the inaugural running of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix. Previously, INDYCAR conducted eight races on the 1.33-mile Nashville Super Speedway oval in Lebanon, Tennessee, from 2001-2008. Honda drivers and teams won five of the six races the manufacturer contested from 2003-08.
  • Previous Honda winners at Nashville Speedway included Tony Kanaan in 2003 and Dario Franchitti in 2004. Scott Dixon won three consecutive races on the Nashville oval, from 2006-08, in his Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Ericsson, Honda Hit All The Right Notes in Music City Grand Prix

What’s Next?

Next weekend, NTT INDYCAR SERIES continues with the second of three consecutive race weekends, returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the August 14 Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix.

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