Fast Facts-Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

From Indycar. Look for my preview tomorrow.

Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, Sept. 17 – Sunday, Sept. 19

Track: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, a 2.258-mile permanent road course in Monterey, California

Race distance: 95 laps / 214.51 miles

Media Links: Entry List (PDF) | Driver Video Quotes 

Push-to-pass parameters: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Six sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race. (Note: A seventh set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie driver.)

Twitter: @WeatherTechRcwy@IndyCar, #IndyCar #FirestoneGP

Event website: www.WeatherTechRaceway.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2019 race winner (most recent): Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda)

2019 pole winner (most recent): Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda), 1 minute, 10.1405 seconds, 114.867 mph

Qualifying record: Helio Castroneves, 1:07.722, 118.969 mph, Sept. 8, 2000

NBC television broadcast: Race, 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 19, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.

Peacock Premium Live Streaming: This weekend’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer live streaming product.

INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes will be the lead announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young are the turn announcers. Dan Rusanowsky and Alex Wolff will report from the pits. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 205 and 211, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying are available on SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, Sept. 17

2:30–3:15 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 1, Peacock Premium (live)

Saturday, Sept. 18

10:45–11:30 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 2, Peacock Premium (live)

2:05 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium (live)

Sunday, Sept. 19

9-9:30 a.m.– NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock Premium (live)

11:50 a.m. – Driver introductions

Noon – NBC on air

12:23 p.m. – Start engines command

12:30 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey (95 laps/214.51 miles), NBC (live)

Championship Facts:

  • Alex Palou leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship with two races to go for the first time in his career. Palou has led the point standings after nine of the 14 races this season.
  • Palou leads Pato O’Ward by 25 points with Josef Newgarden (-34), Scott Dixon (-49) and Marcus Ericsson (-75) behind. Palou assumed the point lead following his win at Portland. The lead has changed hands six times between Palou, O’Ward and Dixon.
  • There are five drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship: Alex Palou, Pato O’Ward, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson. Any driver who trails the points leader by 54 points or more following the race will be eliminated from contention.
  • Since the first INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the winning driver has won the INDYCAR SERIES championship six times: Bobby Rahal (1986 and 1987), Danny Sullivan (1988), Michael Andretti (1991), Alex Zanardi (1998) and Cristiano da Matta (2002).

Key championship point statistic: Since 2008, the driver who has led the championship with two races to go has failed to win the championship five times. Scott Dixon in 2008, 2018 and 2020, Dario Franchitti in 2011, Will Power in 2014, Simon Pagenaud in 2016 and Josef Newgarden in 2017 and 2019 are the exceptions who have won the title after leading with two races remaining.

Don’t call it a comeback: No point lead is ever safe in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Five times since 2008, a driver has made up a deficit with two races to go to win the championship – Dario Franchitti, who trailed Ryan Briscoe by four points in 2009 and Will Power by 23 points in 2010; Ryan Hunter-Reay, who trailed Will Power by five points with two races remaining in 2012, Scott Dixon, who was in third place, 48 points behind Juan Pablo Montoya in 2015 and Power who overcame a four-point deficit to Helio Castroneves in 2014.

CHAMPIONSHIP WITH TWO TO GO (2008-2021)

YEARLEADERSECOND LEADCHAMPION
2008Scott DixonHelio Castroneves78Scott Dixon
2009Ryan BriscoeDario Franchitti4Dario Franchitti
2010Will PowerDario Franchitti23Dario Franchitti
2011Dario FranchittiWill Power26Dario Franchitti
2012Will PowerRyan Hunter-Reay5Ryan Hunter-Reay
2013Helio CastronevesScott Dixon49Scott Dixon
2014Will PowerHelio Castroneves4Will Power
2015Juan Pablo MontoyaGraham Rahal42Scott Dixon (-48)
2016Simon PagenaudWill Power27Simon Pagenaud
2017Josef NewgardenScott Dixon18Josef Newgarden
2018Scott DixonAlexander Rossi29Scott Dixon
2019Josef NewgardenAlexander Rossi35Josef Newgarden
2020Scott DixonJosef Newgarden72Scott Dixon
2021Alex PalouPato O’Ward25?

RACE NOTES:

  • There have been nine different winners in 14 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races this season. Alex Palou (Barber Motorsports Park, Road America, Portland International Raceway), Colton Herta (Streets of St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Texas Motor Speedway-1), Pato O’Ward (Texas Motor Speedway-2, Raceway at Belle Isle Park-2), Rinus VeeKay (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-1), Helio Castroneves (Indianapolis 500), Marcus Ericsson (Raceway at Belle Isle Park-1, Streets of Nashville), Josef Newgarden (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, World Wide Technology Raceway) and Will Power (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-2) have all won in 2021. The modern record (1946-present) for most different winners in a season is 11 in 2000, 2001 and 2014.
  • There have been seven different winners in the last 10 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races (Rinus VeeKay, Helio Castroneves, Alex PalouMarcus Ericsson, Pato O’WardJosef Newgarden and Will Power) The only repeat winners in that stretch are, Ericsson (Raceway at Belle Isle Park-1 and Streets of Nashville), Newgarden (Mid-Ohio and WWT Raceway) and Palou (Road America and Portland).
  • The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be the 24th INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, but just the second since 2004. Teo Fabi won the first INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 1983. Colton Herta – who won the most recent race at the track in 2019 – and Helio Castroneves -who won at the track in 2000 – are the only former winners entered in this year’s race.
  • Thirteen drivers have won at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca from the pole – Teo Fabi (1983), Bobby Rahal (1985), Danny Sullivan (1988), Rick Mears (1989), Danny Sullivan (1990), Michael Andretti (1991 and 1992), Paul Tracy (1994), Alex Zanardi (1996), Bryan Herta (1998 and 1999), Helio Castroneves (2000), Cristiano da Matta (2002), Patrick Carpentier (2003) and Colton Herta (2019).
  • Team Penske has won six times at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Penske’s winning drivers are Danny Sullivan (1988 and 1990), Rick Mears (1989), Paul Tracy (1993 and 1994) and Helio Castroneves (2000). Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has three wins with Bryan Herta (1998-99) and Max Papis (2001). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins with Alex Zanardi in 1996 and Jimmy Vasser in 1997.
  • Eighteen drivers entered in the event have competed in past INDYCAR SERIES races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Helio Castroneves has four starts, most among the entered drivers, but hasn’t raced at the track since 2001. Five entered drivers have led laps at the track (Colton Herta 83, Will Power 6, Scott Dixon 2, Sebastien Bourdais 1 and Simon Pagenaud 1).
  • Four rookies – Romain GrosjeanCallum IlottJimmie Johnson and Scott McLaughlin – are expected to compete. The four rookies, along with veteran drivers Oliver AskewDalton KellettPato O’WardAlex Palou and Rinus VeeKay, will all be making their first INDYCAR SERIES at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Quick Thoughts- Portland Grand Prix- Invert, Reset

Alex Palou celebrates his third win of the year and retaking the points lead. Indycar photo by Chris Owens

Pit strategy and cautions can make or break your race. They hurt Graham Rahal, who arguably should have won the race, and Pato O’Ward, who lost the lead in the points standings They helped Alex Palou, Alexander Rossi, and Scott Dixon, who ended the day on the podium. Palou’s team waiting an extra lap to call him in on lap 44 was the winning move today.

The podium. Photo from my friend Brad Proctor

Why can’t Indycar drivers get through the first turn at Portland cleanly? Today’s melee wasn’t as destructive as the first two years after Indycar’s return, but it turned the race on its head, especially with the way Race Control reordered the field. It took a later caution to reverse what happened at the beginning.

Is Alex Palou the next Scott Dixon? Nothing seems to faze this kid-neither two consecutive finishes in the 20s, nor being shuffled to the back of the field after winning the pole. He just does what he needs to do in order to win the title. Today was a big step in that direction.

Palou not only leads O’Ward by 25 points, he now owns the first tiebreaker with his third win of the year. I really didn’t think we would see a driver win three times this season.

The points chase realistically is down to three-Palou, O’Ward, and Josef Newgarden. Dixon is 49 points behind, essentially a full race in arrears. Marcus Ericsson was barely hanging on, and losing 15 more points to the leader pretty much ends his title bid.

I hope in their new television deal that indycar has forbidden NBC from using the “Points as They Run” graphic. It is pointless and meaningless. Drivers don’t earn point as they run. They earn points when they finish. This graphic was displayed at least five times in the first 28 laps, a time in the race where it is totally not necessary.

Points as They Finished

It seems that the Team Penske drivers have had a lot of contact with each other during races this season.

Nice to see Alexander Rossi finally get on the podium in 2021. I think he will win one of the next two races. Rossi dominated two years in a row at Long Beach.

Palou’s repeat win means the series can only tie the record for most different winners in a season with a maximum of 11.

I will be back tomorrow with more on today’s race. Thanks for following along this weekend.

Race Day at Portland

Alex Palou looks to take another step toward the mountaintop today. Indycar photo by Chris Owens

Good morning and welcome to race day at the Grand prix of Portland. Alex Palou has a golden opportunity to retake the points lead and possibly whittle down the number of realistically eligible challengers by a couple.

Today’s Schedule: All times Pacific. Race coverage begins on NBC at pm Eastern.

A few thoughts:

His teammate Scott Dixon lead the final warmup session yesterday evening, and could be a factor in the race. It’s hard to believe, but Dixon is third on the team as far as wins this season.

I would not count out Graham Rahal for the win. He definitely should end up on the podium.

If these last three races are indeed an audition for Oliver Askew in the RLL car 45, he is off to a fine start with a ninth place grid spot.

Callum Ilott acquitted himself well by qualifying 19th. He has two more races with Juncos Hollinger Racing. Lets look at his overall performance after Long Beach, but yesterday was a decent start.

While many are rightly concerned about turn 1 at the start, which has been a challenge in 2018 and 2019, later in the race the final corners are a place to watch. Yesterday saw numerous spins and barrier contacts there.

David Malukas won the first Indy Lights race and is on pole for today’s race. Malukas leads Kyle Kirkwood by 10 points.

They might have said this all season, but yesterday the NBC announcers kept using the term “championship points.” I find the term annoying. Are there other types of points drivers earn?

9/11

Yesterday the paddock held a moment of silence at 10:28 Eastern time. The entire paddock lined the pits and front straight.

All cars and AMR Safety Team vehicles bore a special sticker

Indycar photo by Matt Fraver

The stickers on the safety vehicles are especially poignant as some members of the team were at the Twin Towers that day.

Enjoy the race. I will be back later today with some quick thoughts and have a larger wrap up tomorrow.

Indycar, NBC Ink New Deal; More Races on Network

The new television deal announced this morning between Indycar and NBC is perhaps the best deal Indycar has ever had. I will have more on this after the media conference later this morning. Here is the official announcement with key points highlighted.

INDYCAR, NBC Sports Agree
to Multiyear Media Rights Extension
Key Points:NBC Sports remains exclusive home of NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indianapolis 50013 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races on NBC in 2022; remaining races on USA Network, PeacockPeacock to stream all races; home of qualifying, practice and Indy Lights
INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, July 20, 2021) – INDYCAR and NBC Sports today announced a multiyear extension of their media rights agreement.NBC Sports will continue to be the exclusive home of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge – “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – and will provide coverage of all NTT INDYCAR SERIES races, qualifying, practices and Indy Lights races across its linear, digital and streaming platforms, including Peacock. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will see a significant increase in network exposure in 2022, with 13 races broadcast on NBC. USA Network and Peacock Premium will show the remaining races. Telemundo Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage of the season-opening race, the Indianapolis 500 and the season finale.
Peacock will stream all races on NBC and USA Network and will continue as the streaming home of NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying and practices sessions, Indy Lights races and full-event replays. Peacock will stream two races exclusively, which will be announced at a later date.
“NBC Sports is proud to extend its partnership with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and continue to serve as the exclusive home of the most competitive open-wheel racing series in the world and ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” said Jon Miller, NBC Sports. “We have demonstrated NBCUniversal’s ability to make big events bigger with our presentations of the Indianapolis 500, we have worked closely with Roger Penske, Mark Miles and the entire team to expand INDYCAR’s reach across the U.S, and we are thrilled to build upon our collaborative successes of the past few years.”
Said Mark Miles, president and CEO, Penske Entertainment Corp.: “NBC Sports has been the ideal partner for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, bringing our bold and audacious style of racing to a significantly larger domestic audience and fully leveraging the power and scale of the Indianapolis 500. This new deal represents a significant expansion of our network TV exposure and sets us up for continued growth and success alongside a committed, innovative and world-class broadcast partner.
”The media rights extension comes on the heels of viewership milestones for NBC Sports’ coverage of both the Indianapolis 500 and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on NBC was the most-watched edition of the race since the 100th Running in 2016, and NBC Sports is off to its most-watched NTT INDYCAR SERIES season ever through the first nine races of 2021, with viewership up 30% vs. comparable coverage in 2020.
The partnership between NBC Sports and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES dates back to 2009, when NBCSN (originally VERSUS) became the cable home of the series and televised the majority of its races each season. NBC Sports became the exclusive home of INDYCAR in 2019, which also marked the year of NBC’s inaugural Indianapolis 500 broadcast.
The full 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES coverage schedule on NBC, USA Network and Peacock will be announced in the coming months.
All coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will be available on Peacock Premium. Viewers can sign up and learn more here. Peacock is currently available across devices; more details here. Peacock Premium is included at no additional cost for Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers and Cox Contour customers.About NBC SportsNBC Sports Group serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Audio Network and NBC Sports Digital, which includes NBCSports.comNBCOlympics.comGolfChannel.com , the digital assets of the NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports EDGE, the NBC Sports Talk franchise, multiple apps, and two transactional sports businesses, GolfNow and SportsEngine, and two direct-to-consumer products — NBC Sports Gold and GolfPass. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of media rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the NFL, NASCAR, INDYCAR, PGA TOUR, The R&A, PGA of America, USGA, Churchill Downs, Premier League, Tour de France, French Open, and many more.
About INDYCARINDYCAR is the Indianapolis-based governing body for North America’s premier open-wheel auto racing series, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The series features an international field of the world’s most versatile drivers – including six-time series champion Scott Dixon, two-time series champion Josef Newgarden and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato – who compete on superspeedways, short ovals, street circuits and permanent road courses. The 2021 season consists of 16 races in the United States and is highlighted by the historic Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions are owned by Penske Corporation, a global transportation, automotive and motorsports leader. For more information on INDYCAR and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, please visit www.indycar.com.
About PeacockPeacock is NBCUniversal’s streaming service. Peacock delivers a world-class slate of exclusive originals, on-demand libraries of hit TV shows, plus critically acclaimed films from the vaults of Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and Hollywood’s biggest studios. In addition, Peacock taps into NBCUniversal’s unmatched ability to deliver a broad range of compelling topical content across news, sports, late-night, Spanish-language and reality. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation. For more information on Peacock, click here.

Indycar Notes: Chasing Unicorns: A Third OEM and More Ovals

Photo: Action at Road America, photo by Joe Skibinski, Indycar

Marti Update: Marti is still in the hospital. progress is not where we would like it to be, but she is in good spirits. She will probably move to a rehab facility next week. We are trying to arrange for her to be seen y a doctor at Vanderbilt medical center. They are well regarded specialists on this issue. Thanks for all your thoughts and concerns.

For 10 years, basically since the beginning of Mark Miles’ tenure as head of Indycar, there has been constant talk of a third engine manufacturer joining the series. There have been teases, most recently the unlikely Ferrari chatter, and I heard that Lamborghini was close to a deal once, and several other names have been mentioned. But since Lotus withdrew its non competitive engine in the early 201s, Indycar has been a one or two horse show.

Marshall Pruett interviewed Roger Penske on the subject in a Racer magazine story published this past Tuesday. All Penske would say is that talks are ongoing, and there people who are “very interested.”

With a new 2.4 liter V-6 twin turbo coming on board in 2023, I 2ould have thought someone might have committed by now. Perhaps a new OEM may want to wait a year to see how things develop. A third engine has many advantages for the series.

It would bring another marketing avenue for Indycar, it could increase car counts by attracting new teams, ad with three engines, a 36 car or more an Indianapolis entry list of 36 or more cars would virtually be guaranteed.

there are thing Indycar can live without, but a third OEM is a key part of the future of the series.

More Ovals?

In another Pruett article in Racer, Penske discussed adding more ovals to the Indycar schedule with a possible expansion to 18 races. The 2021 lineup with four oval races at three venues did not make me happy.

Penske is looking to balance the schedule with more ovals. And he wants a mix of superspeedways and short ovals. The Captain specifically mentioned Iowa, which would be my first choice of an oval to return to the rotation. The pandemic cost Indycar a chance to have a place in the southeast when last year’s Richmond race fell victim to the shutdown. I am still puzzled as to why it was not considered for 2021.

The bottom line is Indycar should have 5-6 ovals at 5-6 venues. The 2021 schedule has now 16 races at 12 venues. The problem is that the sport does not reach several areas of the country. Three races at IMS is too many. One of the road course races has to go.

I am sure we will see more ovals in 2021, hopefully without any double headers.

Staying on NBC?

Indycar may be close to a new broadcast deal. I am hoping NBC remains the exclusive partner of the series. Overall the network has done a good job, Detroit Race 1 this year notwithstanding.

I am happy with Peacock. I would like to see full race replays there instead of just a highlight reel.

NBC has been a good partner. Nine races will be on NBC this year. It would be nice to get that number to double digits.

That’s probably a thing for my dream world racing series, just like Indycar races in October.

Thoughts for Robin

Based on a letter published by Racer on Wednesday, Robin Miller’s health issues have put his mailbag and other postings on hold. I am hoping he recovers and returns soon. Robin has been very kind to me in my short time in the media centers. Please keep Robin in your thoughts and prayers. He is the soul of Indycar reporting.

It is nice to be back. I am hopeful that things will settle down and I can write more often.

Mid Ohio Schedule with Broadcast Times

Update on Marti- She is improving and may return home today. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.

All times EDT

 FRIDAY, JULY 2

11:25 AM – 12:10 PM ET INDY LIGHTS – Practice

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM ET NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Practice 1

  3:35 PM – 4:05 PM ET INDY LIGHTS – Qual – Race 1

SATURDAY, JUL 3

9:05 AM – 9:50 AM ET NTT INDYCAR SERIES – Practice 2

  10:05 AM – 10:35 AM ET INDY LIGHTS – Qual – Race 2

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM ETNTT INDYCAR SERIES – Qualifications (Live)

  \ 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM ETNTT INDYCAR SERIES – Final Practice

 \4:20 PM – 5:20 PM ETINDY LIGHTS – Race 1

11:00 PM – 11:59 PM ETNTT INDYCAR SERIES – Qualifications (Delay)

SUNDAY, JUL 4

9:50 AM – 11:00 AM ETINDY LIGHTS – Race 2

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM ETHonda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Radio Broadcast)

 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM ETHonda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

EVENT DETAIL

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio

PURCHASE TICKETSOFFICIAL WEBSITETRACK MAP

80 LAPS | 180.64 MILES

The 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural-terrain road course offers a little of everything — elevation changes, high-speed corners, flowing corners, tight corners, a narrow (40 feet) racing ribbon and a challenging entry to pit lane.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Official Hashtag: #Honda200

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Quick Thoughts- REV Group Grand Prix

Update on Marti- she is vastly improved today. Thank you to everyone for all the good wishes. They mean a lot to us.

I have never seen a race at Road America that good. There were battles all through the field, the lead was in contention all day, yellows figured into the strategy, and another crazy dramatic finish. I don’t know what people want from a race or a series, but if Indycar isn’t it, I can’t think of what would be. This season has been outstanding so far.

A Team Penske driver has lost a race in the closing laps in three consecutive races. I can’t recall that ever happening. All tough self inflicted losses too. Hard to believe this team has just two poles and just eight podium spots this season. In a year with so many different winners,it is hard to believe a driver from this team isn’t one of them.

Romain Grosjean has qualified well all year, but his racing has been a bit overlooked. He is aggressive but clean, and not afraid to mix it up with the established drivers. I really like the way he drives. It is a shame that he will not win Rookie of the Year because of the three races he sat out. He deserves it on performance.

Josef Newgarden sits fourth in the standings, but at 88 points behind he will have a difficult time winning the championship.

Once again, Scott Dixon manages a decent finish. He ends up fourth and is third in points, just 53 behind his teammate Alex Palou.

Palou has led seven of the nine races this season. He is back n top of the standings after a one week stay in second.

Kevin Magnussen and Cody Ware had good debuts. Magnussen did a great job maintaining the lead after the restart until his engine issue. Ware drove around quietly and stayed out of trouble all day. I hope we get to see more of him now that he has had a taste of Indycar.

It is hard to believe a Chip Ganassi Racing driver not named Scott Dixon is tied for the most victories this season and is leading the points.

Oliver Askew did a great job subbing for Rinus VeeKay in the 21 Ed Carpenter car. Askew finished 12th in only his second race of the year. He had more time in the car this week than the 10 minutes he had driving for Arrow last week. the extra time seems to have paid off.

Colton Herta looked like a championship, contender early in the year, but he has faded late in races. Today was a nice comeback to finish second, where he started.

Now, about NBC- a 90 minute pre race show is a bit much, but a five minute post race show is shameful, all because you had to rush to a nascar race at a new venue for them? In a city that Indycar will return to in August? The cut away is especially infuriating after a race as great as this one. We needed to see an interview with Josef Newgarden at the very least.

Today’s post race cutaway by NBC was another slap in the face by the network which claims to love Indycar. After missing the beginning of both races last week, the shabby treatment continues. They are likely the leading contender to keep Indycar because no one else is interested. That is another story and is sad. But if NBC wants to keep the Indianapolis 500, they need to step up their game for the entire season.

Thanks for following along this weekend, and again many thanks for all the good wishes. I will have a follow up tomorrow.

Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, June 11 – Sunday, June 13
Track: Raceway at Belle Isle Park, a 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course (clockwise)
Race distance: 70 laps / 164.5 miles (both races)
Media Links: Race 1 Entry List | Race 2 Entry ListDriver Video Quotes
Push-to-pass parameters: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation (for each race)
Firestone tire allotment: Eight sets primary, five sets alternate (weekend). Teams must use one set of primary and alternate tires in each race. One additional set available to teams fielding a rookie driver is available for the first session of the weekend.
Twitter: @DetroitGP @IndyCar, #DetroitGP, #IndyCar
Event website: http://www.DetroitGP.com INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com 2019 race winners: Race 1: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet); Race 2: Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) 2019
NTT P1 Award winners: Race 1: Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda) 1:14.1989, 114.018 mph; Race 2: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet) 1:14.8607, 113.010 mph.
Qualifying lap record: Takuma Sato, 1:13.6732, 114.831 mph, June 4, 2017
NBC Sports race telecasts: Race 1 Qualifying, 11 a.m. ET Saturday NBCSN (live); Race 2 Qualifying, 9 a.m. Sunday, NBCSN (live); Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 1, 2 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC (live); Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 2, noon ET Sunday, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.
Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analysts Davey Hamilton and Nick Yeoman. Jake Query and Michael Young are the turn announcers with Ryan Myrehn and Joel Sebastianelli in the pit lane. The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit doubleheader will air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying are available on SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
At-track schedule (all times local): Friday, June 11 5 – 6:15 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice #1, Peacock Premium
Saturday, June 12 11 – 11:45 a.m. – Race 1 qualifying for NTT P1 Award (Two rounds of knockout qualifying/10 minutes each), NBCSN, Peacock Premium (live) 1:20 p.m. – Driver introductions 1:58 p.m. – Command to start engines 2:05 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #1 (70 laps/164.5 miles), NBC (live) Sunday, June 13 9:15 – 10 a.m. – Race 2 qualifying for NTT P1 Award (Two rounds of knockout qualifying/10 minutes each), NBCSN, Peacock Premium (live) Noon – Driver introductions 12:43 p.m. – Command to start engines 12:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #2 (70 laps/164.5 miles), NBC (live)
Race notes: There have been six different winners in six NTT INDYCAR SERIES races to start the 2021 season. Alex Palou (Barber Motorsports Park), Colton Herta (Streets of St. Petersburg), Scott Dixon (Texas Motor Speedway-1), Pato O’Ward (Texas Motor Speedway-2), Rinus VeeKay (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-1) and Helio Castroneves (Indianapolis 500) have all won in 2021. The last time there were seven different winners to start the season was 2017. The record for most different winners in a season is 11 in 2000, 2001 and 2014.
There have been eight different winners in the last 10 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races (Colton Herta, Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Alex Palou, Scott Dixon, Pato O’Ward, Rinus VeeKay and Helio Castroneves) The only repeat winners in that stretch are Newgarden (2 wins – Harvest GP-1 and St. Petersburg in 2020) and Herta (2 wins – Mid-Ohio-2 in 2020 and St. Petersburg 2021).
The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be the 28th and 29th INDYCAR SERIES races conducted at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the 30th and 31st INDYCAR SERIES races held in Detroit. A 2.5-mile street circuit in downtown Detroit hosted CART events from 1989-1991. Scott Dixon has won three times at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, tied with Helio Castroneves for most wins by an INDYCAR SERIES driver at the track.
 In addition to Dixon, other previous Belle Isle winners entered include Sebastien Bourdais (2015 Race 2 and 2016 Race 1), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2018 Race 2), Josef Newgarden (2019 Race 1), Simon Pagenaud (2013 Race 2), Will Power ( 2014 Race 1 and 2016 Race 2) and Graham Rahal (2017 Race 1 and Race 2).
There have been 17 different pole winners in the previous 25 races. Pole winners entered in this year’s race are Josef Newgarden (2019 Race 2), Alexander Rossi (2019 Race 1 and 2018 Race 2), Graham Rahal (2017 Race 1), Takuma Sato (2014 Race 2, 2017 Race 2), Simon Pagenaud (2016 – Race 1 and Race 2), Will Power (2015 Race 1) and Scott Dixon (2008 and 2012). Four drivers have won the race from the pole: Graham Rahal (2017, Race 1), Scott Dixon (2012), Helio Castroneves (2001) and Robby Gordon (1995). The driver who has gone on to win the championship has won at Detroit five times. Josef Newgarden won Race 1 in 2019, Scott Dixon won Race 1 in 2018, Will Power won Race 2 in 2014, Alex Zanardi won on Belle Isle in 1998, Bobby Rahal won at Belle Isle in 1992 and Emerson Fittipaldi won in downtown Detroit in 1989. Scott Dixon has competed in 18 previous races at Belle Isle, most of any driver. Thirteen drivers entered have led laps at the track (Dixon 127, Graham Rahal 107, Simon Pagenaud 93, Will Power 50, Takuma Sato 44, Sebastien Bourdais 38, Josef Newgarden 33, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Santino Ferrucci 20, Alexander Rossi 19, James Hinchcliffe 11, Conor Daly 4 and Marcus Ericsson 2)
Seven drivers will race NTT INDYCAR SERIES cars at the Raceway at Belle Isle for the first time: Romain Grosjean, Jack Harvey, Jimmie Johnson, Dalton Kellett, Scott McLaughlin, Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay.
Scott Dixon has made 278 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in INDYCAR SERIES racing. Dixon, the longest-tenured driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, is third on the all-time victory list with 51 wins. Will Power is tied with Al Unser for fifth on the all-time list with 39 wins and Sebastien Bourdais is seventh on the all-time list with 37 wins.