The Detroit Double
RACE #1 - Saturday June 2nd
Marco Andretti took his first pole position in
almost five years, when he emerged from Group
2 of qualifying with a time almost half a second
quicker than his closest opposition.
He would go on to finish the race in 4th place.
|Most recent news is at bottom of page.
Scott Dixon took a commanding victory to defeat three Andretti Autosport cars while last year's
winner, Graham Rahal, crashed out on lap 47 while in 2nd place. Rahal's teammate, Takuma
Sato took 5th, followed by Dixon's teammate Ed Jones. Will Power, the big winner at Indy last
weekend, finished in 7th.
This was Dixon's 42nd victory, tying him with Michael Andretti for IndyCar wins.
RACE #2 - Sunday June 3rd
Alexander Rossi scored his third IndyCar pole with a
perfect performance in the wet qualifying session for
Race 2 at Belle Isle, eclipsing nearest rival Robert
Wickens by 0.3sec.
The start of the race was delayed when the pacecar, a
$100,000 Corvette Grand Sport, lost control under
power and over the crest on the exit of Turn 2 of the
Belle Isle track.
Tracking behind the two-seater IndyCar, the Corvette
nosed hard into the concrete retaining wall, and the
field of 23 racecars came to a halt.
Wrecking the pacecar was Mark Reuss, Executive VP
of global product development at GM.
Regular pacecar driver Oriol Servia was installed in the
back-up Corvette pace car.
Said team owner Roger Penske, "It’s too bad, but come
to the racetrack and you’ll see anything.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay was relentless as he attempted to end
a winless streak in the Verizon IndyCar Series that dated
all the way back to Pocono in 2015. He accomplished that
with a come from behind victory.
In order to do that, he was going to have to catch, and
pass, his Andretti Autosport teammate Alexander Rossi,
who started on the pole and led 46 laps in the 70-lap
Hunter-Reay’s engineer, Ray Gosselin, went with a three
pit stop strategy early in the race that allowed Hunter-Reay
to have a clear track and run qualifying laps during the
race. Rossi also went with a three-stop strategy and was
in the lead late, but had a car that was starting to drop off
in speed toward the end of the race.
Hunter-Reay reeled in Rossi, putting the pressure him and
causing Rossi to lock up his brakes in the turns. Finally,
with six laps remaining, Rossi locked up his brakes going
into turn three, sending him sliding down the escape road.
The lock-up left Rossi with a flat left-front tire and gifted
the lead to Hunter-Reay.
From there, Hunter-Reay’s Honda cruised to an easy
11.3549-second win over Team Penske driver Will Power.
The final full-course caution came out with 15 laps to go when 15th-place runner Charlie Kimball
made contact with Santino Ferrucci going into Turn 6, one of the fastest parts of the circuit.
The contact sent the Haas F1 reserve driver around at full speed, nearly collecting Matheus Leist
and Zach Veach at the entry of Turn 7. Ferruci’s No. 19 Honda hit the turn’s curbs and careened
nose first into the tire barriers. Ferrucci was subbing for the injured Pietro Fittpaldi.
|Race 2 Winner Ryan Hunter-Reay
|The concrete wall won against pacecar
Dixon Dominates Texas Race
June 10 - Scott Dixon took his 43rd IndyCar career
victory to move into 3rd place in the all-time winner list
at Texas Motor Speedway, and moving into the points
lead as Will Power was eliminated in a collision.
When all the drivers around him were losing their cool,
fearing the new aerodynamic package would not allow
a competitive race at Texas Motor Speedway, as always,
Dixon kept his cool.
Dixon was confident the new aero package would still
put on a competitive race at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor
Speedway. He was right.
Dixon made 40 on track passes, the second most of any
driver in the race. Third-place finisher Alexander Rossi
had 52 passes on the race track. Zach Veach, who
finished 16th, also had 40 passes on the race track.
When it came to laps led, however, Dixon led that by a
substantial margin. His No. 9 PNC Bank Honda was out
front for the final 119 laps. That was the first and only
time Dixon was in the lead.
Dixon took the lead on lap 130 and was able to keep his
Honda out front, even when he made his final pit stop
on lap 177. He was able to get out of the pits first, then
hold off Simon Pagenaud’s Chevrolet and Rossi’s
Honda at the end.
Eight of the top-nine finishers were Honda drivers.
|Chip Ganassi and Scott Dixon
IndyCar Faces Facts in Arizona
June 22 - ISM raceway is off of the IndyCar schedule
The Indy Racing League dropped the Phoenix 1-mile oval
race back in 2006 due to attendance.
It was apparent to me that the Arizona IndyCar fans
heavily sided with CART during the IRL/CART split in
1996, when the crowds at, what was then called Phoenix
Inernational Raceway, drastically dropped off. They
haven't been back in heavy numbers since.
Note: The IRL's Arie Luyendyk went on to set
the one-lap world record for speed on a true one-mile
oval (183.599 mph) in '96. That record was broken in
2016 when Helio Castroneves went 192.324 mph.
After a 10-year hiatus, IndyCar returned in 2016.
The crowds for the last 3 seasons has been very sparse,
despite the heavy investment by IndyCar and ISM in
promoting the race.
It appears to me that the open-wheel fans of Arizona have
lost interest in the sport all together.
At any rate, Phoenix is off the IndyCar schedule once
|Better Days at PIR for Indy Racing
|AJ Foyt won first Indy race at PIR in 1964
|Big PIR Crowds at the 1993 Indy Race
Newgarden Dominates Road America
June 24 - Josef Newgarden started on the pole and led
53 of the 55 laps in the race with the No. 1 Verizon
Chevrolet. He was never seriously challenged and
defeated Ryan Hunter-Reay by 3.3759 seconds to win
his third race of the season.
Scott Dixon finished 3rd and is 1st in points in the series.
There were no caution periods in the race and Newgarden
won at a race-record average speed of 132.101 mph.
|Ryan Hunter-Reay chasing down Josef Newgarden