Justin Wilson gives Honda its best Indy 500 starting position in Andretti oval debut
Photographer: LAT Photo
The starting grid for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 has been set, and only two Honda-powered cars can be found be in the top 10.
Andretti Autosport’s Justin Wilson and Marco Andretti will lead the charge for Honda on Sunday after qualifying sixth and eighth, respectively.
With a four-lap average of 225.279 mph, Wilson will start in the second row with Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan.
“I was pushing really hard and it felt pretty good,” Wilson said in a release. “It was a little bit tense the last couple of days, but it’s always nice to get out and run on your own with no one else on track, there is always more grip.”
Making the day even better for Wilson, who joined Andretti Autosport just for the Month of May, the sixth-place start is the England native’s best Indy 500 start in eight attempts. Before Sunday, Wilson’s best start in the “500” was 11th in 2010.
“I just have to thank everyone there who has worked so hard the last few months to put this deal together,” Wilson said. “It was a difficult decision that was made for all the teams and when something like that happens you have to react.”
Wilson’s No. 25 Honda was the fastest of the 17 that will look to win the 500 next Sunday.
“I also want to thank everyone a Honda for letting me have the opportunity to be here,” Wilson said. “I’m hoping today’s qualifying run is a good omen going into next weekend.”
Wilson probably shouldn’t consider starting positions as omens. When he qualified 11th in 2010, he finished seventh, just as he did two years later after starting 21st.
In 2013 and 2014, Wilson started 14th. The first ended in a career best 5th-place finish, while the 2014 effort ended with Wilson in 22nd, two laps down.