Cool Down Lap: Dixon, RHR & GM’s VP Ruin Chevy’s Home Race

IndyCar traveled to Detroit this weekend for the Roger Penske Grand Prix of Belle Isle in Detroit Double Header. The #RPGPBIDDH historically has not provided the most exciting races but they’re in Chevy’s backyard, literally, so they serve a purpose from that standpoint.

2018’s races were different. This year Race 1 and Race 2 both saw strategy come into play, the weather stayed away and weird incidents happened in both races. Some people walked away with bruised egos, some people had their PR team spin it, some people have no idea what happened and they told the TV that. IndyCar in Detroit, never great, always interesting.

Pace Car Crashes

The most talked about Corvette wreck since Dale Jr. almost burned to death before Dale pulled him out happened Sunday before race #2. GM VP Mark Ruess got a little throttle happy and looked the $123,000 Corvette ZR1 on the pace laps smashing the car and blowing the airbags out.

Chevy put out a press release that was the ultimate spin zone. Saying weather and track conditions contributed to the wreck. You don’t have to be Mario Andretti to see there was none of that causing this wreck. By far the most interesting thing to happen before a race since the pace car caught fire at a Cup race. This also caused a 30-minute delay which.

Scott Dixon Wins Race 1

Marco Andretti got pole of race #1. No joke he literally set the fastest lap time, no rain out, no natural disaster, just Marco laying a fast lap. It was also the first pole for Andretti on a street course in his career. Reminder, his career started in 2006 and it’s 2018.

Honda dominated the race claiming the Top 6 spots and would have been the Top 7 if Graham Rahal didn’t try to exit the track through a k-block and head to Canada. Honda thoroughly dominated the weekend in the shadow of the GM building, not what Roger and his pals wanted to see.

Charlie Kimball caused an incident, I’ll pause for you to put your shocked face away. He plowed his way through Santino Ferrucci like he was Austin Dillon and Aric Almirola was standing in his way of a Daytona 500. It was a weird incident but Ferrucci was ok.

Dixon worked strategy and jumped Marco during pit stops and the rest was history. Scott Goodyear kept pointing out Marco never got passed on track so I’ll throw that in here because Scott was very adamant about that. Dixon, however, got his first win of the season and can really start to fight for the championship now.

Ryan Hunter Reay Wins Race 2

Once the pace car wreck got cleaned up race #2 finally got underway and IndyCar announced it would run all 70 laps. Realistically they couldn’t shorten the race because their honorary driver wrecked thus potentially affecting the championship if they shortened it and it’s a good thing they didn’t.

Alexander Rossi started on pole and looked to be driving to his 4th career win and second of the season on a two-stop strategy. One problem, teammate Ryan Hunter Reay was on a three-stop strategy and had fresh tires at the end of the race allowing him to run down Rossi like he was an injured gazelle on the Serengeti. RHR forced Rossi into a mistake that took the F1 outcast from the lead to a 12th place finish.

Dale Coyne Racing had a bad day for both cars. First Bourdais cut a tire then spun later in the race. Meanwhile, rookie teammate Ferrucci spun exiting the pits on cold tires knocking the front wing off but he was kind enough to drag it back to pits with him.

RHR rook the checkered, mounted a lion and took a swim in the fountain after. When it’s your first win since Pocono 2015 you get to do things like that.

Biggest Loser? Chevy

Chevy took all the L’s this weekend. Not only did Honda come out and be the alpha all weekend while Chevy struggled to find anything the resembled pace. The manufacturer also scrapped a 2019 Corvette ZR1 and was laughed at across the media landscape.

Hey it did create $3.5M in brand exposure however and that alone made Darren Rovell love motorsports.

Results Race #1

1 2 9    Scott Dixon PNC Bank / NTT Data   (Chip Ganassi) D/H/F 70 running 39 54
2 5 28    Ryan Hunter-Reay DHL   (Andretti Autosport) D/H/F 70 running 7 41
3 4 27    Alexander Rossi Ruoff Home Mortgage / NAPA Auto Parts   (Andretti Autosport) D/H/F 70 running 0 35
4 1 98    Marco Andretti AutoNation / U.S. Concrete / Curb   (AHA with Curb-Agajanian) D/H/F 70 running 22 34
5 7 30    Takuma Sato Fifth Third Bank / Panasonic   (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) D/H/F 70 running 0 30
6 11 10    Ed Jones NTT Data   (Chip Ganassi) D/H/F 70 running 0 28
7 6 12    Will Power Verizon   (Roger Penske) D/C/F 70 running 0 26
8 3 6    Robert Wickens Lucas Oil   (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) D/H/F 70 running 0 24
9 14 1    Josef Newgarden Hitachi / Verizon   (Roger Penske) D/C/F 70 running 0 22
10 12 21    Spencer Pigot Fuzzy’s Vodka / Direct Supply   (Ed Carpenter Racing) D/C/F 70 running 0 20
11 9 5    James Hinchcliffe Arrow / Lucas Oil   (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) D/H/F 70 running 0 19
12 16 26    Zach Veach Relay Group 1001   (Andretti Autosport) D/H/F 70 running 0 18
13 17 18    Sebastien Bourdais SealMaster / Sport Clips   (Dale Coyne w/Vasser-Sullivan) D/H/F 70 running 0 17
14 15 14    Tony Kanaan ABC Supply Co.   (A.J. Foyt) D/C/F 70 running 0 16
15 21 4    Matheus Leist ABC Supply Co.   (A.J. Foyt) D/C/F 70 running 0 15
16 20 20    Jordan King Allegiant International / Fuzzy’s Vodka   (Ed Carpenter Racing) D/C/F 70 running 0 14
17 13 22    Simon Pagenaud DXC Technology / Verizon   (Roger Penske) D/C/F 70 running 0 13
18 19 88    Gabby Chaves Harding Group   (Harding Racing) D/C/F 70 running 0 12
19 22 23    Charlie Kimball Tresiba   (Trevor Carlin) D/C/F 70 running 0 11
20 10 59    Max Chilton Gallagher   (Trevor Carlin) D/C/F 70 running 0 10
21 23 32    Rene Binder Binderholz Tiptop Timber   (Juncos Racing) D/C/F 67 running 0 9
22 18 19    Santino Ferrucci Paysafe   (Dale Coyne) D/H/F 55 crash 0 8
23 8 15    Graham Rahal United Rentals / Mi-Jack   (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) D/H/F 45 crash 2 8

Results Race #2

1 10 28    Ryan Hunter-Reay DHL   (Andretti Autosport) D/H/F 70 running 18 51
2 3 12    Will Power Verizon   (Roger Penske) D/C/F 70 running 0 40
3 4 10    Ed Jones NTT Data   (Chip Ganassi) D/H/F 70 running 0 35
4 5 9    Scott Dixon PNC Bank / NTT Data   (Chip Ganassi) D/H/F 70 running 0 32
5 9 15    Graham Rahal United Rentals / Mi-Jack   (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) D/H/F 70 running 0 30
6 2 6    Robert Wickens Lucas Oil   (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) D/H/F 70 running 6 30
7 22 14    Tony Kanaan ABC Supply Co.   (A.J. Foyt) D/C/F 70 running 0 26
8 21 23    Charlie Kimball Tresiba   (Trevor Carlin) D/C/F 70 running 0 24
9 12 98    Marco Andretti AutoNation / U.S. Concrete / Curb   (AHA with Curb-Agajanian) D/H/F 70 running 0 22
10 8 22    Simon Pagenaud DXC Technology / Verizon   (Roger Penske) D/C/F 70 running 0 20
11 17 59    Max Chilton Gallagher   (Trevor Carlin) D/C/F 70 running 0 19
12 1 27    Alexander Rossi Ruoff Home Mortgage / NAPA Auto Parts   (Andretti Autosport) D/H/F 70 running 46 22
13 7 26    Zach Veach Relay Group 1001   (Andretti Autosport) D/H/F 70 running 0 17
14 18 4    Matheus Leist ABC Supply Co.   (A.J. Foyt) D/C/F 70 running 0 16
15 19 1    Josef Newgarden Hitachi / Verizon   (Roger Penske) D/C/F 70 running 0 15
16 6 5    James Hinchcliffe Arrow / Lucas Oil   (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) D/H/F 70 running 0 14
17 20 30    Takuma Sato Fifth Third Bank / Panasonic   (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) D/H/F 69 running 0 13
18 11 20    Jordan King Allegiant International / Fuzzy’s Vodka   (Ed Carpenter Racing) D/C/F 69 running 0 12
19 14 88    Gabby Chaves Harding Group   (Harding Racing) D/C/F 69 running 0 11
20 13 19    Santino Ferrucci Paysafe   (Dale Coyne) D/H/F 69 running 0 10
21 16 18    Sebastien Bourdais SealMaster / Sport Clips   (Dale Coyne w/Vasser-Sullivan) D/H/F 67 running 0 9
22 23 32    Rene Binder Binderholz Tiptop Timber   (Juncos Racing) D/C/F 66 running 0 8
23 15 21    Spencer Pigot Fuzzy’s Vodka / Direct Supply   (Ed Carpenter Racing) D/C/F 21 suspension 0 7

 

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