Two days in the park at Detroit

Two days in the park at Detroit

Postby meteorite » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:17 pm

This year, Indycar is trying something new - race weekends with two shorter, but full-point, races on successive days, Saturday and Sunday. How successful will that be? Only the gate receipts can tell for sure.

Meanwhile here is their scant official account as to what took place...

CONWAY TAKES OPENING LEG OF CHEVROLET DUAL AT DETROIT DOUBLEHEADER

DETROIT (Saturday, June 1, 2013) -- Mike Conway earned his second IZOD IndyCar Series victory and is poised to receive a $50,000 bonus if he can sweep the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.

DOWNLOADS: BOX SCORE | LAP CHART | PIT STOP SUMMARY | LAP LEADER SUMMARY | TRANSCRIPT

Conway, who started second in the Honda-powered No. 18 Sonny's car for Dale Coyne Racing, overtook Ryan Hunter-Reay for the lead on Lap 44 of 70 on the 2.35-mile, 13-turn street circuit, built a 20-second gap leading into the final round of pit stops and went on to a commanding victory.

"The car has been great all weekend and as the track was rubbering in it was getting better and better," said Conway, who claimed his other series at Long Beach in 2011. "It was keep pushing and get a gap, and the strategy worked out perfectly at the end. I wanted to stay out and do more laps."

Hunter-Reay, the reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion, was 12.9707 seconds back and Conway's teammate, Justin Wilson, claimed his second consecutive top-five finish by holding off 2012 race winner Scott Dixon by .0984 of a second for third.

Should Conway sweep the doubleheaders this season will receive the $50,000 SONAX Perfect Finish Award, which will be up for grabs at Toronto and Houston's twin bills. If Conway can't complete the task at Belle Isle, the prize fund carries over to Toronto in mid-July ($100,000). If no one wins both of those races, the Houston doubleheader in early October will be worth $150,000.

Conway also claimed the Verizon P1 Award for Race 2 on June 2 with the quickest lap in the two-group qualification session six hours before Race 1. It was the first earned IZOD IndyCar Series pole for the driver from England and Dale Coyne Racing.

The Verizon P1 Award was awarded to the best overall lap time in the two sessions. The remainder of the cars in the pole sitter's group will occupy the odd-numbered starting grid positions, starting with third. Cars from Group 1 will occupy the even-numbered starting grid positions.

James Jakes posted the quickest lap in Group 1 (1:18.1704) in the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He'll also start on the front row -- an IZOD IndyCar Series career high through 37 races. In 1992, team co-owner Bobby Rahal started second and went on to win the race at Belle Isle.

IZOD IndyCar Series

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit #1

DETROIT - Results Saturday of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit #1 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):


1. (2) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

2. (4) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

3. (16) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

4. (15) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

5. (12) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

6. (11) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

7. (24) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

8. (9) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

9. (23) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

10. (3) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

11. (6) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

12. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

13. (19) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

14. (25) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

15. (20) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

16. (17) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

17. (1) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

18. (22) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running

19. (7) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 68, Running

20. (18) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 67, Running

21. (21) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 66, Contact

22. (10) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 32, Contact

23. (5) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 28, Contact

24. (14) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 19, Mechanical

25. (13) AJ Allmendinger, Dallara-Chevy, 0, Contact



Race Statistics

Winners average speed: 90.753

Time of Race: 01:48:45.4309

Margin of victory: 12.9707

Cautions: 3 for 14 laps

Lead changes: 4 among 3 drivers

Lap Leaders:Conway 1-23, Hunter-Reay 24-43, Conway 44-52, Wilson 53-55, Conway 56-70.

Point Standings: Castroneves 182, Hunter-Reay 179, Andretti 178, Sato 168, Wilson 161, Dixon 154, Hinchcliffe 143, Kanaan 141, Pagenaud 126, Kimball 122.

PAGENAUD SCORES FIRST IZOD INDYCAR SERIES WIN AT DETROIT'S BELLE ISLE PARK

DETROIT (Sunday, June 2, 2013) -- Simon Pagenaud became the sixth different winner in seven IZOD IndyCar Series races when he drove the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car to 5.6-second victory in the second race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.

DOWNLOADS: BOX SCORE | LAP CHART | PIT STOP SUMMARY | LEADER SUMMARY |TRANSCRIPT

It was the initial win in the series for the native of France and for the team co-owned by former IndyCar drivers Sam Schmidt and Davey Hamilton. It also was the 100th victory for Honda with Indy car engine manufacturer competition.

"It's unbelievable. I don't know how we did it," said Pagenaud, who started sixth in the 70-lap race on the 2.346-mile, 13-turn street course. "It's a great feeling. One I hope of more to come. I started karting when I was 8 so it's been 21 years of hard work to finally win an IndyCar race."

James Jakes, who started second, finished a career-best second in the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing by holding off Race 1 winner Mike Conway by .4342 of a second. Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti were next to cross the start-finish line.

Helio Castroneves overtook Graham Rahal on the final laps for eighth place, gaining the extra point to retain the championship points lead. He's tied at 206 with Marco Andretti, who finished sixth, heading to the Firestone 550 on June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway.

In Race 1 on June 1, Conway overtook Ryan Hunter-Reay for the lead on Lap 44, built a 20-second gap leading into the final round of pit stops and went on to easily claim his second series victory. Because Conway missed sweeping the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader, the prize fund for the SONAX Perfect Finish Award jumps to $100,000 at the Honda Toronto Indy in mid-July.

IZOD IndyCar Series

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Race 2

DETROIT - Results Sunday of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans #2 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):


1. (6) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

2. (2) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

3. (1) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

4. (7) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

5. (16) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

6. (14) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

7. (18) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

8. (9) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

9. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

10. (11) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

11. (22) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

12. (19) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

13. (13) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running

14. (20) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 69, Running

15. (23) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 66, Running

16. (24) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 64, Running

17. (5) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 61, Running

18. (4) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 59, Running

19. (10) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 57, Running

20. (3) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 53, Running

21. (25) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 27, Contact

22. (8) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 27, Contact

23. (21) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 23, Contact

24. (17) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 8, Contact

25. (12) AJ Allmendinger, Dallara-Chevy, 0, Contact



Race Statistics

Winners average speed: 84.906

Time of Race: 01:56:14.7861

Margin of victory: 5.6274

Cautions: 6 for 22 laps

Lead changes: 8 among seven drivers



Lap Leaders:

Power 1 - 3

Conway 4 - 28

Kanaan 29 - 38

Vautier 39

Conway 40 - 45

Kimball 46 - 48

Pagenaud 49 - 54

Jakes 55 - 58

Pagenaud 59 - 70


Point Standings: Castroneves 206, Andretti 206, Hunter-Reay 191, Dixon 186, Pagenaud 177, Sato 175, Wilson 169, Kanaan 160, Hinchcliffe 154, Kimball 149.
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Re: Two days in the park at Detroit

Postby meteorite » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:53 pm

OK, so much for the bare bones provided by the Official Word. But where's the flesh of the story?

There are a lot of story lines. One that sticks out like a sore thumb is parity. Right from position one on down, both days, the new kids who've been climbing the Road-to-Indy ladder are showing that the training is working and they can run with the big dogs. And the effort to obtain parity among the wealthy and less-than-wealthy teams is also showing success. This week saw two small-team winners, and the series to date has favoured them. This may hurt feelings in the Andretti, Penske and Ganassi camps, but it is also good for the sport to be open to new stars at both the driver and owner levels. Ultimately the name of the game is eyeballs, and the more possible qualified winners there are, the more suspense they create and the more attention they draw, whether at the track or on the flat screen.

And parity makes for exciting racing. The Big One - the 500 - this years was a great critical success - and earlier races in the series have been acclaimed as really good racing too. People who see a good show are likely to come back next year or tune in next week, which makes the sport thrive.

Not to say race one was a cliffhanger - why and how Mike Conway got to have it over the others like a tent, and just run away and hide, is hard to fully explain - but his superb reflexes and timing and strategy have much to do with it. It's hard to be involved in other peoples"accidents when they are all happening behind you, though in race 1 there were not that many. And in fact, as the results indicate, the bulk of the field were still running at the finish. In fairness, partly that is a tribute to how quickly and effectively pit crews can work these days at replacing tires, nose cones, rear wings and sundry bodywork, not to mention tires, while the field is circulating at the reduced pace of safety laps. But then, when so many cars are damaged as the result of other competitors' errors, maybe that is only fair.

Certainly in race two there were no shortages of incidents, as the scoring summary shows. The first half of the race saw significantly more laps run behind the safety car than run at full racing speed. It's a saying in Indycar that "cautions breed cautions" and the truism was more than well proven during race two. It was somewhat ugly also in that in a number of cases those who actually created the circumstances that caused the crashes escaped from them unscathed themselves. One prefers to see justice served, but, that's racing.

Even so there were interesting battles down through the field, even though events towards the front captured the bulk of the TV cameras' attentions. A personal reaction: it seemed to me that in race 2 Conway left his first pit stop one caution too late, and spent too much time trying to hang on with worn optional tires. After all, he only is required to use them for two laps and when there is that much performance degradation in the car when running them, why not get them off as soon as the rules allow? The others also had their many and varied strategic issues with both tires and fuel, and they do add to the interest of the race.

Clearly the organizers had problems selling the TV rights to the race, especially outside the USA, but the grandstands looked well filled both days. There does seem at least some reasonable grounds for hope that the show will return next year. We'd sure like to think so.
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