Indy Dual at Detroit – Race 1 Race Report

6/1/2013 11:53:00 PM

Circuit: Belle Isle Park (2.35-mile street circuit) Detroit, MI
2012 Winner: Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 89.911 mph average
Weather: Mostly cloudy, windy, 79 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver

Team

Engine - Chassis

Laps

Average Speed/Notes

1.

2.

Mike Conway

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

70

90.753 mph average, led 47 laps

2.

4.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Chevrolet Dallara

70

+12.970 seconds; led 20 laps

3.

16.

Justin Wilson

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda Dallara

70

Led 3 laps

4.

15.

Scott Dixon

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

70

 

5.

12.

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske

Chevrolet Dallara

70

 

6.

11.

Dario Franchitti

Target Chip Ganassi

Honda Dallara

70

 

7.

24.

Josef Newgarden

Sarah Fisher Hartman

Honda Dallara

70

 

8.

9.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet Dallara

70

 

9.

23.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

70

 

10.

3.

James Jakes

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda Dallara

70

 

Other Honda-powered Results:

11.

6.

Tristan Vautier-R

Schmidt Peterson

Honda Dallara

70

 

12.

8.

Simon Pagenaud

Schmidt Hamilton

Honda Dallara

70

 

14.

25.

Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda Dallara

70

 

19.

7.

Takuma Sato

A.J. Foyt Racing

Honda Dallara

68

Running

23.

5.

Alex Tagliani

Barracuda Racing/BHA

Honda Dallara

28

Did not finish – contact

Conway a Frequent Flyer in Detroit "Dual 1"

On Tuesday, Mike Conway was in his native England, keeping fit for his European sports-car racing program, with no firm plans to return to the IZOD IndyCar Series. But on Saturday, Conway was in Victory Circle, heading a 1-3 finish for Honda and Dale Coyne Racing in the Indy Dual at Detroit, the first contest in a two-race "doubleheader" IndyCar race weekend on the Belle Isle Park circuit in downtown Detroit, Michigan.

A phone call from team owner Dale Coyne, looking for a new driver for his #18 Honda-Dallara, brought Conway back to IndyCar competition, and the veteran British racer grasped the opportunity with both hands, leading 47 of 70 laps en route to his first victory since Long Beach in 2011, and Honda's second win of 2013. In addition, earlier on Saturday, Conway qualified on the pole for Sunday's second 70-lap race of the weekend.

Starting on the outside of the front row, second, Conway jumped into an early lead over pole-starting E.J. Viso. But it was Viso's Andretti Autosport teammate, defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who provided the strongest challenge to Conway's hopes for victory. But after the final round of pit stops on Lap 52, Conway was able to extend his advantage over Hunter-Reay, at one point opening up a 19-second lead before backing off in the closing laps for a comfortable, 12-second victory.

Honda Fastest Seat in Sports winner Sheri Noel from Appleton, Wisconsin, led the field prior to the race start in the two-seat Honda IndyCar driven by two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk. For more information on how you can receive the ride of a lifetime in the Fastest Seat in Sports sweepstakes, go to www.shophonda.com.

Behind his Dale Coyne Racing teammate, Justin Wilson rapidly moved up from his 16th starting position in the opening laps, taking sixth place by Lap 27. Once among the leaders, Wilson's Honda also proved to be as quick as Conway's, and a second-place finish seemed possible, until a dropped wheel gun during his last pit stop cost him several seconds, and dropped him to third behind Hunter-Reay.

The Target Chip Ganassi Racing duo of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti also produced strong races, with Dixon recovering from 15th on the starting grid to challenge Wilson for third in the closing laps and finishing fourth.

Although Franchitti qualified on the pole, an unscheduled engine change at Indianapolis and resulting 10-position penalty left him 11th on the starting grid. But the four-time series champion had one of the best opening stints, moving all the way up to fifth in the first five laps. He went on to finish sixth after battling Wilson, Dixon and Helio Castroneves in the final laps.

Qualifying for Sunday's "Dual 2" race was held this morning, with Conway securing Honda's third pole of 2013 – and the first pole for Dale Coyne Racing in the 30-year history of the team. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's James Jakes qualified second, making it an all-Honda front row for Sunday's second 70-lap race in this road-racing doubleheader race weekend. Sunday's race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on ABC.

IZOD IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship (after 6 of 19 rounds):

1. Helio Castroneves

182 points

6. Scott Dixon

154

2. Ryan Hunter-Reay

179 (1 win)

7. James Hinchcliffe

143 (2 wins)

3. Marco Andretti

178

8. Tony Kanaan

141 (1 win)

4. Takuma Sato

168 (1 win)

9. Simon Pagneaud

126

5. Justin Wilson

161

10. Charlie Kimball

122

 

Manufacturers' Championship:

1. Chevrolet

48

2. Honda

42

Mike Conway (#18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda) started 2nd, finished 1st, his second career IZOD IndyCar Series win and first of 2013; 2nd win for Honda in 2013 and 198th Indy car victory for the manufacturer: "As the race went on and the track 'rubbered-in', the car just got better and better. On the [alternate tire] 'reds' after our last pit stop, it seemed like I could extend my lead almost at will.  It was just an awesome job by the team all weekend, from top to bottom. I'm so grateful to [team owner] Dale Coyne for this opportunity. And now we've got another shot [at victory] tomorrow."

Justin Wilson (#19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara) started 16th, finished 3rd, his second podium finish of 2013: "It was a tough race, as it always seems to be here. I was sliding around a lot at the end and Scott [Dixon] got a couple of good runs at me, but I made it as difficult as possible for him! It was good fun. It's a great day for Dale Coyne Racing and Honda; a 1-3 finish is the best result in the history of our team, and we get to do it again tomorrow."

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today's race win: "After the disappointment of last weekend [at the Indianapolis 500], this was the only acceptable response, to demonstrate to our teams our commitment to win at the highest level. Congratulations to Mike [Conway], Justin [Wilson] and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing on an outstanding performance, and we look forward to Round 2 tomorrow."