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.

Pole Fight and Last Chance Battle Involve Former Winners

Today’s Schedule; All Times eastern

Gates Open 9:00am 7:00pm

Last Chance Practice 11:00am 11:30am

Firestone Fast Nine Practice 11:30am 12:00pm

Last Chance Qualifying 1:15pm 2:30pm


1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET

Firestone Fast Nine 3:00pm 3:45pm


2:30 PM – 4:30 PM ET

NTT IndyCar Series Practice 5:00pm 7:00pm


4:30 PM – 7:00 PM ET

Grandstands open:

Paddock, Paddock Penthouse, A Penthouse, B Penthouse , E, E Penthouse, Tower Terrace, Northwest Vista and Deck, Southeast Vista and deck.

Note: only limited sections open in all stands.

Parking:

North 40 is free. All other lots are paid. $10

Four former winners have a shot at the pole this afternoon in the Fast Nine shootout. That is a routine occurrence. Onf ormer winner will fight to make the field. That doesn’t happen often.

Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, and Ryan Hunter-Reay earned a chance to run for the pole this afternoon. Dixon had the fastest time yesterday, Kanaan was third, Castroneves sixth, and Hunter-Reay eighth.

I think the pole battle is between Dixon, Kanaan, and Colton Herta. Dixon is favored, but don’t dismiss Herta’s chances.

On the other end of the field, five drivers, including 2018 winner Will Power, need to qualify for the final three spots in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500. Power had the 31st fastest time yesterday, but the if three of the other four can outrun him, the 2014 series champion will sit out next Sunday. Power, one of the greatest qualifiers in Indycar history, will get one of the spots, but it may be tight. The cars are competing just against each other today, and not against the rest of the field.

Also looking for a spot on next Sunday’s grid are Simona DeSilvestro, Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball, and R C Enerson.

Stay tuned. this will be a fascinating day at both ends of the field.

Some photos from yesterday:

Can Helio Castroneves win another pole?
Always nice to see Robert Wickens at the track
Simona DeSilvestro after her first qualifying run.

It’s Qualifications Day!

Photo: Can Conor Daly win the hometown pole?

It’s time to build the grid. For the first time in two years, fans will get to witness qualifying in person. The size of yesterday’s fast friday crowd indicates there could be a huge turnout today. More grandstands are open today, including parts of the Northwest and Southeast Vistas.

here is what you need to know:

Today’s Schedule:

Gates Open 8:00am 6:00pm

Indianapolis 500 Practice 9:30am 10:30am

Indianapolis 500 Qualifying 12:00pm 5:50pm


12:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET


3:00 PM – 6:00 PM ET

Grandstands open:

Paddock, Paddock Penthouse, A Penthouse, B Penthouse , E, E Penthouse, Tower Terrace, Northwest Vista and Deck, Southeast Vista and deck.

Note: only limited sections open in all stands.

Parking:

North 40 is free. All other lots are paid. It cost $10 Friday; may be $15 today.

From last night:

https://thepitwindow.blog/2021/05/21/dixon-goes-233-pole-battle-wide-open/

Qualifying Order:

Draw #Car #DriverEngine
    
19Scott DixonHonda
298Marco AndrettiHonda
328Ryan Hunter-ReayHonda
406Helio CastronevesHonda
518Ed JonesHonda
629James HinchcliffeHonda
725Stefan WilsonHonda
848Tony KanaanHonda
92Josef NewgardenChevy
1021Rinus VeeKayChevy
113Scott McLaughlinChevy
1230Takuma SatoHonda
1345Santino FerrucciHonda
1424Sage KaramChevy
1551Pietro FittipaldiHonda
1686Juan Pablo MontoyaChevy
171JR HildebrandChevy
1812Will PowerChevy
1920Ed CarpenterChevy
205Pato O’WardChevy
217Felix RosenqvistChevy
2259Max ChiltonChevy
234Dalton KellettChevy
2447Conor DalyChevy
2515Grahal RahalHonda
2660Jack HarveyHonda
2775RC EnersonChevy
2810Alex PalouHonda
2922Simon PagenaudChevy
3026Colton HertaHonda
3127Alexander RossiHonda
328Marcus EricssonHonda
3316Simon De SilvestroChevy
3411Charlie KimballChevy
3514Sebastien BourdaisChevy

Since cars and drivers can make multiple attempts, the order doesn’t matter as much as it used to. The heat of mid day will probably determine when a second run occurs. It will be interesting to see who pulls out of the line to wait for better conditions.

I hope to have an update around 3 pm. Enjoy the day no matter where you are viewing from.

Revisited: Bump Tales- Janet Guthrie Hits a Wall Then Knocks Another One Down

Above: Janet Guthrie after qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 in 1977, becoming the first woman to drive in the race.  Photo from Indystar archives.

Editor’s note: In honor of Paretta Autosport and their team of mostly women mechanics and engineers, and  Simona de Silvestro’ s return to the the Indianapolis 500, I am rerunningthis Bump Tales from 2019.

On May 10, 1977, Janet Guthrie had to be wondering why she had entered the  Indianapolis 500.  In 1976, she couldn’t get up to speed. A. J. Foyt loaned her one of his backup cars for a shakedown test. She turned laps good enough to make the race. But it was just a test. The car she was assigned wasn’t fast enough.

Now, early in May, 1977, she had hit the wall. Her team, owned by Rolla Vollstedt, repaired the car, but a second weekend qualifying run looked more likely than the upcoming opening day of qualifying. She struggled to get above 179 mph. it would take a speed in the 180s to make the 1977 race.

Reader Marcia Ann Conder shared these two photos of her father, Larry Conder, assisting Guthrie after her crash. Conder was a fireman at IMS for 40 years. Thanks, Marcia, for the photos.60747620_2049092421885812_8734681045779087360_n

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Guthrie earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and began racing SCCA events in 1963. In 1976 she became the first woman to drive in a NASCAR superspeedway race, finishing 15 in the Charlotte World 600. Earlier in 1977 she entered the Daytona 500 and finished 12th, earning Rookie of the Year honors.

The week after Pole Day was a long one as the team searched for speed. The third day of qualifying passed with Guthrie next in line as the gun went off. She would be first in line on Sunday, Bump Day. The field wasn’t filled yet, so she just had to get in with the best speed possible without the added pressure of beating someone else’s time.

Guthrie qualified easily with an average of 188.403. Her time was the fastest of the day and she would start the race in the middle of row nine. Guthrie said had the car not crashed she could have easily qualified at 191 mph.

Within a year, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to drive in both a NASCAR  superspeedway race and the Indianapolis 500.

Her spot in the field presented Tony Hulman with a dilemma. He needed to change the command to start the race. Hulman prefaced the traditional command with, “In company of the first woman to start at Indianapolis,” before “Gentleman start your engines.” In subsequent years, the command, when necessary, became, “Lady(ies) and gentleman, start your engines.”

The race itself was not great for Guthrie. A cranky engine had her making numerous pit stops. She retired on lap 74, finishing 29th. I remember the crowd cheered every time she drove past my section.

Guthrie race in just two more 500s, finishing ninth in 1978. She participated in 11 Indycar races overall with a best finish of 5th at Milwaukee in 1979.. Guthrie also drove a total of 33 NASCAR races. Her best finish was sixth at Bristol in 1977.

Eight other women have driven in the Indianapolis 500 since Guthrie’s rookie year. Danica Patrick is the only one to have led the race.

1977 capped a decade and a half of transitions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race went from roadsters to all rear engine cars, the front stretch was paved to just a yard of bricks, and speeds began to approach 200 mph. More changes would be coming. It would still take another 14 years before the last driver barrier would be broken.

ESPN will air “Qualified,” a 30 for 30 documentary about Janet Guthrie Tuesday, May 28,  at 9 pm EDT.

Practice and Qualifying Schedule and Channels

This might be a good week to sign up for Peacock if you haven’t done so yet. All times Eastern

Tuesday Streaming on Peacock, 10-2, 3-6

Gates Open 9:00am 6:00pm

Indianapolis 500 Oval Veterans Practice 10:00am 12:00pm

Indianapolis 500 ROP & Refreshers 12:00pm 2:00pm

Indianapolis 500 Practice 3:00pm 6:00pm

Wednesday Streaming on Peacock 12-6

Gates Open 10:00am 6:00pm

Indianapolis 500 Practice 12:00pm 6:00pm

Thursday Streaming on Peacock 12-6

Gates Open 10:00am 6:00pm

Indianapolis 500 Practice 12:00pm 6:00pm

Fast Friday Streaming on Peacock 12-6

Gates Open 10:00am 6:00pm

Indianapolis 500 Practice 12:00pm 6:00pm

Qualifying

Saturday

Gates Open 8:00am 6:00pm

Indianapolis 500 Practice 9:30am 10:30am Streaming on Peacock 9:30-10:30

Indianapolis 500 Qualifying 12:00pm 5:50pm Streaming on Peacock 12-6

NBC will have a one hour live broadcast from 2-3pm

Sunday

Gates Open 9:00am 7:00pm

Last Chance Practice 11:00am 11:30am Streaming on Peacock*

Fast Nine Practice 11:30am 12:00pm Streaming on Peacock*

Last Chance Qualifying 1:15pm 2:30pm Streaming on Peacock 12-6

Fast Nine Qualifying 3:00pm 3:45pm

NTT IndyCar Series Practice 5:00pm 7:00pm

NBC will broadcast live from 2:30-4:30 pm

* Peacocok lists a one hour slot from 10-11, but the program description says you can watch both practice sessions. 10-11won’t do it for the practices. Only three hours of live television. Sad.


Indy Postscript- A Most Satisfying Day at IMS

Photo: Chris Owens, Indycar

A few more items from a great day at IMS:

I just watched the replay of the NBC broadcast of the GMR Grand Prix. I thought it was great coverage. I like the graphic showing which tire each car was using at the time and laps since pitted information. More of that, please.

The VeeKay family celebration on the victory podium was heart warming. We don’t often see a driver’s family enjoy the fruits of heir sacrifices to get a driver to the top of his profession.

How no one got into the marbles and spun is miraculous. the track was one large used rubber pile. VeeKay’s tires at the end show how much wear everyone’s tires had. this is a screen grab from Victory lane.

Rinus VeeKay drove the wheels off the car yesterday. He drove between Jimmie Johnson and Alex Palou to take second, and made a great pass on Grosjean to be in position to assume the lead when Dixon pitted.

The Battle for the Title

Alex Palou is the only driver to have led at least one lap in each of the five races to date. We are looking at a championship battle between teammates. Scott Dixon leads Palou by 13 points. Each has won a race. Dixon holds the tie breaker if it should come to that based on his St.Pete finish. I predict Palou will be this season’s first repeat winner.

Last Thoughts

Maybe it was because yesterday was the first may race with fans in attendance since 2019, but yesterday was one of the best days I have ever had at IMS. I’ve been there a couple times, but Saturday just had a very special feeling about it.

How odd that Ed Carpenter Racing’s first win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway should come on the road course. Carpenter’s cars are always very good on the oval. Is there another win for the team coming in two weeks?

Back tomorrow when my coverage of the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 begins. Thanks to all of you for following this weekend.