Honda Powers the IZOD IndyCar Series
The start of a new decade marks the introduction of IZOD as title sponsor for the IndyCar Series in 2010, and Honda’s seventh year of participation in North America’s
premier open-wheel racing category. It also will be the fifth consecutive year in which the manufacturer supplies the entire IZOD IndyCar Series field with Honda Indy V-8 engines.
Honda joined the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2003, competing against General Motors and Toyota. Over the next three seasons, Honda-powered drivers and teams posted a total of 28 race wins, including the 2004 and ’05 Indianapolis 500s.
Honda won the IZOD IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship in both 2004 and ’05, with Honda-powered Tony Kanaan winning the 2004 drivers’ title and Dan Wheldon claiming the crown the following season. Honda drivers also won Rookie of the Year honors with Wheldon in 2003, Kosuke Matsuura in ’04 and Danica Patrick in ’05.
Following three seasons of competition against other manufacturers, in 2006 Honda and its Honda Performance Development (HPD) competition arm became the single provider of IndyCar Series engines.
In 2009, a total of 40 drivers and teams completed 202,210 miles of practice, qualifying and racing, with only a single in-race engine failure – the result of a broken alternator wire aboard Ryan Hunter-Reay’s car at Infineon Raceway in August.
For the fourth consecutive season, Honda powered the entire 33-car Indianapolis 500 starting field, and for a record-extending fourth consecutive year – and the only four times in Indy 500 history – there was not a single engine failure. In addition, 19 of 20 cars running at the end of the ‘500’ were all on the lead lap, another testament to Honda’s efforts in providing reliable and competitive IndyCar engines.
“Providing reliable, equal engines for the entire IZOD IndyCar field is a major task for our associates at HPD and our partners at Ilmor,” said HPD President Erik Berkman. “It provides numerous challenges, not only for HPD, but for several departments at American Honda as well. We take a great deal of pride in the effort put forth by all of our associates, and the results are demonstrated in engines that combine equal performance with amazing reliability.”
In seven years of IndyCar competition, Honda drivers and teams have compiled an unmatched record of achievement. They include IRL Manufacturers’ Championships for Honda from 2004-2009; six Indianapolis 500 triumphs (Buddy Rice in 2004, Wheldon in 2005, Sam Hornish, Jr. in 2006, Dario Franchitti in 2007, Scott Dixon in 2008 and Helio Castroneves in 2009); six consecutive Drivers’ Championships (Tony Kanaan in 2004, Wheldon in 2005, Hornish Jr. in 2006, Franchitti in 2007 and 2009; and Dixon in 2008); seven Rookie of the Year awards (Wheldon in 2003, Matsuura in 2004, Patrick in 2005, Marco Andretti in 2006, Ryan Hunter-Reay in 2007, Hideki Mutoh in 2008 and Raphael Matos in 2009); and a total of 94 IndyCar Series race victories.
In 2006, Honda marked its 100th open-wheel race victory at Richmond International Raceway, a string of triumphs in both Championship Auto Racing Teams and IndyCar competition that began with Andre Riberio’s victory at New Hampshire International Speedway (a CART event) in 1995.
The company’s 100th IZOD IndyCar Series victory will come, fittingly enough, at this year’s Indianapolis 500.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Since the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in 1959 as Honda’s first overseas subsidiary, Honda has invested more than $12 billion in manufacturing, R&D and sales and service operations in North America.
American Honda is responsible for the sales, marketing, service, distribution and export of automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment in the United States. But the company’s reach and influence extends far beyond, playing a key role in Honda’s global success.
The company became the first Japanese automaker to assemble cars in America, opening its first automobile plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 1982. American Honda maintains one of the most extensive R&D operations in the industry, with the capability of developing three separate automobile models simultaneously. And the company is a leader in environmental research, including both clean emissions and alternative fuels and hybrid vehicle technology.
Today, almost 80 percent of all Honda and Acura cars sold in the U.S. are assembled in North America, using some 450 North American suppliers. Through its U.S. operations, Honda employs more than 28,000 associates directly and more than 100,000 through dealerships.
Honda operates 14 major manufacturing plants in North America, including automobile, motorcycle, power equipment, ATV and engine assembly plants.
Honda’s seventh and newest North American automobile assembly plant, located 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis near Greensburg, Indiana, opened in 2008. At full capacity, the $550 million facility will employ 2,000 associates in the mass production of fuel-efficient, four-cylinder automobiles with an annual production rate of 200,000 vehicles.
American Honda also exports U.S.-made automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment, sending vehicles and products to more than 100 countries. Since 1987, American Honda has exported more than 500,000 North American-made automobiles to other countries.
Hand-in-hand with Honda’s dedication to engineering and advancements in automotive technology, American Honda has a long heritage of both car and motorcycle competition.

In addition to the IndyCar racing, Honda-powered drivers and teams are active in many forms of racing, from the Le Mans Series prototypes to SCCA and NASA grass roots competition; supercross and motocross; karting and import drag racing.


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