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


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.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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