Notes taken during the ABC broadcast of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Race 1, Detroit Belle Isle, June 1, 2013. (Notes from Race 2 of the doubleheader are here.)
Welcome to Detroit, which if you have been deceased for the last year, is ROGER PENSKE’S TOWN and this is ROGER PENSKE’S RACE. That would be story line Number 1. The deal is Roger loves Detroit, Roger is a big Chevy guy and they are based in Detroit, and last year the track went to crap mid-race with random parts of it turning into potholes, so I think Penske paid a million plus to repave the entire island, and maybe even drove a cement truck himself.
Big news going into this race is Mike Conway got the call mid-week to take over Dale Coyne's #18 car formerly driven by Ana Beatriz. Not sure why. Probably has to do with money, as most things do. So he gets in it and goes really fast, even won the pole for Race 2. Race 2 notes are here.
Scotty Goodyear, Marty Reid and Eddie Goodyear in the booth. Jamie Little, Rick DeBruhl and Vince Welch in the pits. I’m momentarily stunned when I see Jamie has unfurled her man-killing ponytail for the race. I bet the Detroit security guys asked her to disarm a little bit and wear it in a looser fashion. The Hair is still stunning, but a bit disconcerting at the same time.
Trackside Online starting lineup … Trackside Online is a subscription news service that emails dispatches from every race and most league-sponsored races. TSO has someone on the ground LIVE at all races and kicks out tasty, original material stuff. Only $22 for a calendar year. Be like the pdog and subscribe today.
Starting order (Position, Car, Name, C/E/T, Starting Tire Selection)
1. 5 Viso, EJ D/C/F Primary
2. 18 Conway, Mike D/H/F Primary
3. 16 Jakes, James D/H/F Alternate
4. 1 Hunter-Reay, Ryan D/C/F Primary
5. 98 Tagliani, Alex D/H/F Alternate
6. 55 Vautier, Tristan (R) D/H/F Alternate
7 14 Sato, Takuma D/H/F Primary
8. 77 Pagenaud, Simon D/H/F Primary
9. 12 Power, Will D/C/F Primary
10. 6 Saavedra, Sebastian D/C/F Alternate
11. 10 Franchitti, Dario D/H/F Alternate
12. 3 Castroneves, Helio D/C/F Primary
13. 2 Allmendinger, AJ D/C/F Primary
14. 7 Bourdais, Sebastien D/C/F Primary
15. 9 Dixon, Scott D/H/F Primary
16. 19 Wilson, Justin D/H/F Primary
17. 78 De Silvestro, Simona D/C/F Alternate
18. 25 Andretti, Marco D/C/F Primary
19. 11 Kanaan, Tony D/C/F Primary
20. 27 Hinchcliffe, James D/C/F Primary
21. 4 Briscoe, Ryan D/C/F Alternate
22. 20 Carpenter, Ed D/C/F Primary
23. 15 Rahal, Graham D/H/F Primary
24. 67 Newgarden, Josef D/H/F Primary
25. 83 Kimball, Charlie D/H/F Primary
Pursuant to Rule 15.6.1, Cars 10, 15, 67, and 83 penalized starting grid spots. (10 grid penalty for engine change at Indy.)
(R) Rookie | (C)hassis: D=Dallara | (E)ngine: C=Chevy, H=Honda | (T)ire: F=Firestone
Let’s light this candle. We’re …. Green.
Turn 1 … clean. The circus clowns were all amped up for action and … zip.
Cue the circus music! We’re yellow yellow yellow. AJ’s car mounts Dixon’s (bow chica-bow-bow … usually you pay double for that kind of action, Cotton) and then flies over and into the tires. BAM. Dixon was probably all like ... "at least buy me dinner first."
A tiny motorbike pulls up and 19 clowns dressed as Evel Knievel get out and jump over random things.
Replays. AJ tires to go between Dixon and Wilson as the gap was narrowing and ran out of room. Insert Dukes of Hazzard General Lee horn here!
Dixon’s rear wing is mangled so he comes in and gets a new one. ABC does a good job of showing the swap, which is kind of fascinating. Chippy’s posse does a good job of being quick about it. Dixon is P Last, but thanks to the full-couse yellow won’t lose a lap. He’ll come in and top off again next lap.
Jamie with Penske who says “we got squeezed,” but not with near the enthusiasm as Doug Boles famous WE GOT SCREWED. Relive it here.
Lap 4 – Green. Goodyear calls someone a Road Course Specialist .. DRINK, ye BASTARDS.
Viso may have issues. Being inhaled by people. Jamie says EJ reports boost issues.
Conway is folding the wings back into the delta and about to go supersonic. He’s seven seconds ahead of RHR.
Lap 10 – Booth posse mentions for the third time or so that it’s REALLY PHYSICALLY DEMANDING to drive a street course. So … DRINK, ye BASTARDS
Conway, RHR, Tag, Power, Dario, Jakes, Sato, Helio, Pagenaud, Vautier.
Lap 14 – Dixon inhales Marco. He’s up to 17th after restarting dead last. Eddie says Hinch and Newgarden are going at it like cats and dogs. But is it … dogs and cats, living together, MASS HYSTERIA?
Lap 17 – Bourdais has issues. Into the pits and they are taking off the cowling, which in IndyCar is similar to “reading the last rites” to someone’s race. Conway and RHR have ten seconds on P3.
Lap 20 – Conway is going so fast plasma is streaming off his wings. He's commencing to lap people. Chuck Kimball is first on the list. Good in-car here of Kimball trying to avoid the lapping, but it’s only a matter of time.
Guess what? It’s physically demanding to drive around Belle Isle. DRINK.
Lap 25 – Conway pits. Tags is into the runoff and can’t get spun around. Will have to wait for the safety guys to turn him.
Yellow yellow yellow. Sato is dead stick on the track. Festival of pitting. The pits don’t automatically close during yellows on road and street courses, so people are diving into the pits since we’re in the window. Conway pitted under green on Lap 24, so RHR inherited the lead and will likely keep it since he DOVE into the pits as well.
Replay of Viso about to go into the wrong pit. A tire changer and Ed Carpenter have to go to Evasive Maneuvers Tango Sierra X-ray and Bravo Gulf Zulu respectively to avoid Viso.I thnk Viso once pulled into Ed's pit a few years ago at Kansas or Chicago causing Ed to F-bomb during an interview that was on IMS radio and live on the track P.A. Heard it in person. I chortled.
DeBruhl says Sato ran out of gas! Holy Brain Lock. They tried to stay out for a lap and Sato ran out of gas.
Cue the circus music! Tag is snout-first into the tires. Booth guys suggest the bizarre nature of the crash – straight into tires at a corner under caution -- indicates something busted in Tag’s car (otherwise Tag was in the whiskey too much before the race.)
Booth guys update us that it’s very physically demanding to drive Belle Isle, DRINK, ye (drunk) BASTARDS.
ABC doesn’t tell us how RHR got into the lead, just that he is. Could have enlightened us on how that happened.
Lap 31 – GREEN. Very fugly start. Looked to me that RHR jumped it hugely. The start-finish, two-wide formation at Belle Isle happens seemingly like four turns in front of the start-finish, so it's tough to line them up. Typical IndyCar restart is teh first four (ish) rows two-wide and the rest just single file.
Jakes is into the runoff and spins it around and keeps going. Well done.
Lap 32 – Bourdais is officially toast. RHR, Conway, Dario, Power, Helio, Wilson, TK, Pag, Dixon, Newgarden.
Lap 34 – Herta saying Tagliani had steering issues leading to him biffing it. No need to bust out the breathalyzer for Tag.
Cue the circus music! --- Saavedra walls it in Turn 6. Saavedra is out of the car and waiting for someone. STAY ON HIM MR. CAMERA PERSON ... HIYOOOO. Saavedra gives the double birds to someone, during a tight shot on ABC. BAM. My viewing is enhanced. Marty apologizes to the easily offended. Birds were aimed at Marco, who I can imagine gave it right back to Saavedra.
Jamie with AJ. Says he screwed up. Takes the blame. Despondent.
Jamie with Saavedra (Jamie is everywhere) says Marco hip checked him into the wall, gets away with dirty moves and “nothing is ever done to him.” Booth guys pretty unmoved. Say Saavedra could have lifted to avoid the contact.
Lap 40 (of 70) – GREEN.
Holy Spare Tire. Hinch is dragging one of the old painted tires they use on road courses to mark corners, etc. around under the right side of his car. Festival of tire smoke coming off the spare. Hinch is going to have to pit and get that unstuck. He does so and they pull it out. It’s painted red so Goodyear says “that’s a Firestone red.” RIM SHOT. Exaggerated thigh slap. Scotty will be here all week; be sure and tip your waiters.
Lap 43 – Viso gets penalized for jumping the start. Drive through. Must have been super egregious to draw a penalty.
Lap 44 – Conway dives under RHR for the lead. CLEAR. Classic inhalation there. Booth guys do a good job of telling us that the red sidewall tiers on RHR are going to crap and the black sidewalls on Conway’s are holding up much better.
News flash: Driving at Belle Isle is physically demanding. SLAM ROUND.
Tire refresher: two kinds of tires, black sidewall tires are more durable but a little less grip. Red sidewall tires are softer (therefore more grip) but wear faster. Every car has to use at least one set of each for at least two laps. The rule was established to add strategy and create more overtaking, which it clearly did in this case.
Lap 46 – Marco is in for some issues. Not sure why. He stalls or turns it off. Stay tuned.
Replay – Chuck trying to go around Marco bashes Marco’s car in the left rear wheel guard. Insert Marco obscenities here. Marco will lose several laps on the repair.
Lap 50 – Conway, Wilson, Dixon, Helio, Rahal, Vautier, Briscoe, RHR, Jakes, Simona.
Lap 53 – Conway pits after 29 laps on blacks. Gotta go onto the reds. RHR hoping Conway’s reds go off as bad as his did. Conway slots into second behind Wilson.
Lap 55 – Wilson pits. Right front changer has some issues. Drops the air gun. A few seconds lost there. Come back out in P5.
Conway is up by 13 seconds.
Lap 57 – Coyne tells DeBruhl to transition from Indy to Belle Isle you “try not to out-engineer yourself. A lot of teams do that.”
Eddie says IndyCar is entering a “golden age” because the big teams no longer have a big tech advantage thanks to the new car, and the little teams are challenging like never before. Goodyear concurs and says there should be no rule changes. Was that a “no aerokits!” statement by Goodyear? Discuss.
Lap 62 – Conway up by 17 seconds. With only eight to go, Conway’s tires better go to crap fast for RHR to have a shot. Simona gets air battling Chuck for P15.
Lap 65 – Dixon is all over Wilson for P4. Huge drive by Dixon from dead last (P24) to P4. Props to him and his pit crew for handling the mangled rear wing repair early and staying on the lead lap. Goodyear says the track beats you up during the race. DRINK … and call yourself an ambulance.
Conway, RHR, Wilson, Dixon, Helio, Dario, JoeNew, Power, Rahal, Briscoe.
Cue the circus music! Lap 67 – Briscoe into the barrier. Stalled. Calling for a restart (they do that by holding up one finger and twirling it around in a little circle just like the baseball symbol for home run.) Sorry, Briscoe, we’re staying GREEN and you’re gonna have to sit. No full course yellow there. Judgment call as to if Briscoe is in a dangerous position. Eddie agrees with the local yellow call. How much of Beauxford T. Justice’s decision to go with only a local yellow here is influenced by not having two races in a row finish under yellow? I say it’s a big factor, but maybe not the deciding one. Earlier in the race we go yellow for this. Discuss.
Eddie points out here that people in P5-ish aren’t going to get insane here going for another spot with another race to run. Viewing enhanced.
WHITE. Conway will win barring air strike (possible on a street race). Conway and Wilson are P1 & 3 for Uncle Dale Coyne. Scotty reminds us that this race will really take its toll on the drivers. I’m too hammered to respond at this point.
Conway wins by nearly 13 seconds. Beat down: delivered.
The super-sedate Conway’s heart rate pops up to an insane 52 beats per minute. He’s out. Smiles. Says car was great. RHR says the middle stint killed them. Car sucked on the reds, was hoping Conway’s would too but ran out of time to catch him.
Results of the 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, Contac
t 23. (5) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 28, Contact
24. (14) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 19, Mechanical
25. (13) AJ Allmendinger, Dallara-Chevy, 0, Contact
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.
Starting and finishing lineups and lap chart courtesy of IndyCar PR. That’s it from Belle Isle race one. Race two coming up tomorrow. Notes HERE.