When the world was put on hold earlier this year due to COVID-19, IndyCar races saw a pause, too. Now, though, the racing industry is back on the track – and it looks like Honda is taking the lead. On June 7th, during the first lockdown IndyCar race, Honda showcased its performance abilities, winning over the rest of the field.
Despite having a rough start with racers Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, and Graham Rahal all experiencing electronic control unit problems – and were unable to receive assistance from Honda engineers due to social distancing protocols – the Honda team still managed to pull ahead of the pack.
Scott Dixon managed to pull ahead of his competitors with one of his best IndyCar races so far. Dixon maintained the lead in the race after passing Josef Newgarden on lap 32, eventually coming in first in 157 laps of the 200-lap race, sometimes pulling a gap of over five seconds. This has extended his record for consecutive season wins to 16, tying with A.J. Foyt’s record of scoring at least one IndyCar victory throughout 18 seasons.
“The Honda engine, it was huge, man, the power out there,” said Dixon about his Honda racecar. “Our car was just so fast tonight, in any situation. We had to make a couple of bold moves tonight, and we could just go for it. Huge thanks to the team and everyone involved.”
While none of Honda’s street-ready cars are likely to best Dixon’s lap time, you’re sure to find something just as reliable and exciting on the lot at Hardin County Honda.
Carmakers across the industry are working together to help alleviate the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. A partnership between Honda and General Motors formed recently, as the two companies work to produce nearly 12,000 gallons of hand sanitizer through their Fuel Cell System Manufacturing (FCSM) partnership.
While each company plans on using the hand sanitizer at their own facilities, Honda will also donate 3,750 bottles to health care facilities in Ohio and Michigan.
The FCSM team is making the hand sanitizer at a Brownstown, Michigan facility. It is repurposing equipment used to develop fuel-cell fuel stacks for the next-generation hydrogen-powered cars to do so. Nearly 75 percent of the brand’s allocation of hand sanitizer will be sent to health care facilities throughout the country.
“It is inspiring to see how the automotive industry continues to find new and innovative ways to help society during this crisis,” said Cathy McEvilly, senior vice president and general counsel of Honda North America, Inc. “The commitment shown by Honda associates and their counterparts at GM is a source of pride to us and we are happy to provide something to help the brave health care professionals fighting this pandemic every day.”
Honda plans on providing 1,500 gallons of the hand sanitizer to use in its manufacturing plants, along with donating it to health care facilities. The packaging needed to ship the product was donated by Packaging Corporation of America, while the FCSM team utilized other companies to actually bottle it. To learn more about how the whole Honda family — including all of us here are Hardin County Honda — are putting your health and safety first every day, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Across the world, COVID-19 is still affecting people of all ages. To fight the virus, healthcare workers are on the front lines, risking their own lives. Honda has decided to help these essential workers by focusing on manufacturing something vital – face shields. Honda recently announced that it has donated 70,000 face shields to healthcare workers across the United States, and plans on sending at least 60,000 more.
The Honda face shield donation will help prevent the spread of coronavirus. To produce these masks, the brand took existing plastic injection molding equipment at Honda Engineering North America in Marysville, Ohio, to create clear plastic shields.
Honda of Canada Manufacturing worked alongside the Marysville plant to create another vital component for the shields – the frames they need to stay secure. With these two manufacturing plants working hard, they sent 70,000 shields to 305 facilities in 45 states, and will be sending out more in the near future.
“It was a comprehensive effort with our Honda design and manufacturing teams working together to quickly solve this challenge,” said Eric Walli, regional planning leader of Honda North America. “We were looking at materials, doing scientific work to understand if what we put in a face shield would be safe for humans to wear, an all of this was occurring as we sought to rapidly begin and then ramp up production.”
Along with these face shields, Honda has also contributed to preventing COVID-19 in other ways, including turning multiple Honda Odyssey minivans into coronavirus-testing transport vans in Detroit.
We hope you’ll join all of us here at Hardin County Honda in praising Honda’s decision-makers for their incredible contribution.