Rookie Lundgaard leads the way for Honda in Portland Qualifying
Rookie Christian Lundgaard continued his late-season NTT INDYCAR SERIES strong show of form, setting the fourth fastest lap time in Portland Grand Prix qualifying aboard his #30 Honda-powered Rahal Letterman Lanigan Indy car. The Danish rookie will start third following a penalty for a car ahead.
Lining up on the second row, alongside Lundgaard, is reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou. Looking for his second consecutive title, Palou currently sits fifth in points in his #10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Others qualifying in the top ten for Honda included Colton Herta, eighth fastest, who rebounded after making contact in the first round of knockout qualifying. Herta qualified just ahead of his Andretti Autosport teammate, Alexander Rossi. Rounding out the top 10 is rookie David Malukas for Dale Coyne Racing with HMD. Following a stellar first podium finish at World Wide Technology Raceway, Malukas sits just 11 points behind Lundgaard in the battle for series Rookie of the Year honors.
Two other Honda-powered championship contenders, Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson, will line up 16th and 18th respectively.
Portland Honda Qualifying Results
- 3rd Christian Lundgaard-R Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 4th Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 7th Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
- 9th Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda
- 10th David Malukas-R Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda
- 11th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 15th Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport Honda*
- 16th Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 17th Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
- 18th Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 19th Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank Racing Honda
- 21st Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Honda
- 22nd Takuma Sato Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
- 23rd Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
- 24th Devlin DeFrancesco-R Andretti Autosport Honda
R – Rookie
Alex Palou (#10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) will start fourth: “Yeah, it was good. We did a lot of work and yesterday and earlier today in practice, so was happy to make the ‘Fast Six’ [final qualifying round]. We’re really close, and hopefully we can make up the rest in the race tomorrow. We’re not really thinking about the championship [title hopes] right now, just taking everything one race at a time. But we won here last year, so we’ll try and do the same tomorrow.” Palou is currently fifth in the drivers’ championship standings with 439 points, 43 points out of first, with two races remaining.
Christian Lundgaard (#30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) will start third, top rookie in field: “We qualified fourth, but will start third since Josef [Newgarden] got a grid penalty [for an unapproved engine change]. We‘re in a pretty good place. It’s good to be the best of the rest, I would say. Being up there in the mix is good. I was looking at a 58.2 at the end there but ran wide at the exit of Turn 7 onto the back straight and kind of dipped the left side tires into the dirt and bottomed out so I lost some time there. I think the pace is the car but I didn’t quite execute. But still P3 on the grid is not a bad thing at all. We’ll go for it tomorrow.”
- Honda drivers have won two of the three NTT INDYCAR SERIES races at Portland International Raceway since the series returned to the Rose City in 2018 (there was no race in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic).
- In 2018, Takuma Sato led a Honda sweep of the top three finishing positions, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sebastien Bourdais rounding out the victory podium for the manufacturer. Honda went on to win the first of four consecutive INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championships in 2018.
- Last year, eventual series champion Alex Palou led a Honda sweep of the first four finishing positions. Fellow Honda drivers Alexander Rossi, Scott Dixon and Jack Harvey completed the top four at the checkers.
Where to Watch
Television coverage of Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland starts at 3 p.m. EDT on NBC. Complete, flag-to-flag race coverage also will be available on NBC Peacock, the INDYCAR Radio Network, and SiriusXM INDYCAR Nation (Channel 160).
Honda Racing social media content and video links from Portland can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).