Justin Wilson gives Honda its best Indy 500 starting position in Andretti oval debut

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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.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:


Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change