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June 2017
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‘Motor Sports’ Articles

IndyCar At Detroit’s Belle Isle this weekend for Dual Grand Prix

Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear fast facts

Race weekend: Friday, June 2 – Sunday, June 4

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)

Entry List: Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear (PDF)

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, four sets alternate (weekend). Teams must use one new set of primary and alternate tires in each race.

Twitter: @DetroitGP @IndyCar, #DetroitGP, #IndyCar

Event website:

INDYCAR website:

2016 race winners: Race 1: Sebastien Bourdais (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet); Race 2: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet)

2016 Verizon P1 Award winners: Race 1: Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet) 1:14.9166, 112.926 mph; Race 2: Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet), 1:14.0379, 114.266 mph.

Qualifying lap record: Simon Pagenaud, 1:14.0379, 114.266 mph, June 5, 2016

ABC race broadcasts: Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 (3:30 p.m. ET)
Allen Bestwick is the lead announcer for ABC broadcasts alongside analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. Rick DeBruhl, Dr. Jerry Punch and Jon Beekhuis are the pit reporters.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Pit reporters are Dave Furst, Katie Hargitt and Michael Young, with Jake Query and Nick Yeoman in the turns. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209, and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will stream live on and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (

INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon’s INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features of the app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, June 2
10:20-11:05 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 1
3:30-4:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 2
4:20-4:35 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice

Saturday, June 3
10:05-10:35 a.m. – Race 1 qualifying for Verizon P1 Award (two groups/12 minutes each), (live)
3:03 p.m. – Driver introductions
3:43 p.m. – Command to start engines
3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit 1 (70 laps/164.5 miles), ABC (live)

Sunday, June 5
10:45-11:15 a.m. – Race 2 qualifying for Verizon P1 Award (two groups/12 minutes each), (live)
2:59 p.m. – Driver introductions
3:43 p.m. – Command to start engines
3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit 2 (70 laps/164.5 miles), ABC (live)

Race notes:

* The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be the 22nd and 23rd Indy car races conducted at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the 25th and 26th Indy car races held in Detroit. A 2.5-mile street circuit in downtown Detroit hosted CART events from 1989-1991.

* Helio Castroneves has won three times at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, the most by an Indy car driver at the track. Castroneves won his first Indy car race at the track in 2000. He also won at Belle Isle in 2001 and Race 2 in 2014. Other previous Belle Isle winners entered include Tony Kanaan (2007), Scott Dixon (2012), Simon Pagenaud (2013, Race 2), Will Power (2014, Race 1, 2016, Race 2), Carlos Munoz (2015, Race 1).

* There have been 14 different pole winners in the previous 21 races. Pole winners entered in this year’s race are: Simon Pagenaud (2016 – both races), Will Power (2015, Race 1), Takuma Sato (2014, Race 2), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2007 and 2014, Race 1) and Scott Dixon (2008 and 2012).

* Three drivers have won the race from the pole: Scott Dixon (2012), Helio Castroneves (2001) and Robby Gordon (1995).

* The driver who has gone on to win the championship has won at Detroit four times. 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.

* Since 1995, seven drivers have won the seventh race of the season and also won the championship. They are: Dario Franchitti (2009, Iowa), Scott Dixon (2008, Texas, and 2003, Richmond), Sebastien Bourdais (2005, Edmonton), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006, Richmond), Cristiano da Matta (2002, Chicago), Greg Ray (1999, Dover), Kenny Brack (1998, Charlotte) and Tony Stewart (1997, Charlotte). Ten drivers have won the eighth race of the season and also won the championship. They are: Franchitti (2011, Milwaukee; 2007, Iowa), Bourdais (2007, Edmonton; 2005, San Jose), Hornish (2006, Kansas; 2002, Richmond), Tony Kanaan (2004, Nashville), da Matta (2002, Toronto), Buddy Lazier (2000, Kentucky), Gil de Ferran (2000, Portland), Ray (1999, Pikes Peak), Alex Zanardi (1998, Detroit) and Brack (1998, Pikes Peak).

* Helio Castroneves has competed in 15 previous races at Belle Isle, most of any driver. Sixteen drivers entered have led laps at the track (Castroneves 257, Simon Pagenaud 93, Scott Dixon 81, Will Power 47, Tony Kanaan 30, Marco Andretti 24, Takuma Sato 22, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Conor Daly 16, Graham Rahal 11, James Hinchcliffe 10, Carlos Munoz 8, Mikhail Aleshin 3, Charlie Kimball 3, Alexander Rossi 1 and Oriol Servia 1.)

* Since 2012, the Verizon IndyCar Series has averaged 8.75 different race winners per season, including a record-tying 11 winners in 2014. There were eight different winners in the 16 races of 2016 with an equally tight competition projected for the 2017 season. There have been six different winners in the six race thus far this season: Sebastien Bourdais (St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber), Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix) and Takuma Sato (Indianapolis 500).

* The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will be the fifth and sixth races on a road/street course in 2017. The first four races were won by Sebastien Bourdais (St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber) and Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix).

* Scott Dixon’s Indianapolis 500 pole ended a streak that saw drivers from Team Penske earn pole positions in the previous five races in 2017. Will Power (St. Petersburg, Barber and INDYCAR Grand Prix) and Helio Castroneves (Long Beach and Phoenix) earned poles through qualifying.

* Rookie Ed Jones will race a Verizon IndyCar Series car at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park for the first time this weekend. Jones, the 2016 Indy Lights champion, has never competed at the circuit.

* Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 273rd consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 213 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing should he start the race.

* Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 334th career Indy car start, which ranks fourth on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 333rd Indy car start, which is fifth all-time. Both are competing in their 20th season of Indy car racing in 2017.

*  Drivers may engage their “push-to-pass” for a total of 150 seconds during each race, with a maximum duration of 15 seconds for any one activation. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial race start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower for 2017.


SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): “Belle Isle is always an exciting event for us at Team Penske being in Roger (Penske’s) and Chevrolet’s backyard. There are two races back-to-back in one weekend, which can be a serious physical challenge, but it’s one that the No. 1 DXC Technology Chevrolet team and I look forward to. Detroit is very special to me because it is the place I won my first Indy car race. To make it more special, we will be sporting a new livery with the unveiling of our new partner DXC Technology. I’m very excited to represent them and hopefully bring them to victory lane this weekend. We are ready to put on a great show for the fans in Detroit.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The race at Detroit is a really unique event since there are two races in the one weekend. It’s definitely a challenge for teams and drivers, but I know the No. 2 hum by Verizon Chevrolet team is up to the task. We’ve learned some things at road and street courses this season that we think we can apply to the two races. We were hoping for a better Indianapolis 500 and didn’t really get what we were looking for after being involved in a wreck. The whole team has been working hard to get the car turned around for this weekend and we can’t wait to race.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “Detroit is a really cool race. The fans are great and full of enthusiasm. It’s our only doubleheader this season and is always a fun race weekend for the fans. It’s a unique track and it presents a challenge to teams due to the back-to-back nature of racing there. The No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet team and I are ready for the weekend, especially after finishing second in the Indianapolis 500. We feel we have built some great momentum so far this season and are ready to keep building on that.”

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I love Detroit. It’s always where I get my best finish. I was second last year, and I want to win this year. This track is a lot of fun for me and having a doubleheader is great. Two races are always better than one! Should be fun!”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I think the whole SPM team is looking forward to getting to Detroit. Obviously the month of May didn’t go the way that we had hoped, and luckily, we don’t have a lot of time to sit and dwell on it because we’re right back to work. Last year we had strong cars at Detroit even though the results didn’t show. So far this season we have had strong cars on street circuits, so I’m looking forward to getting our championship attack back on track.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Now that the Indy 500 is over, we shift our focus to Detroit. It’s a tricky street course which is much different than spending the past three weeks on an oval. I’m looking forward to the challenging doubleheader weekend and hope we can have a great result for the Lucas Oil SPM crew.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “Detroit, with its tough surfaces and changing track conditions, really presents a unique challenge for all drivers. I wasn’t happy last year with how we performed. This time around, I think I’m better prepared, and we have some more experience under our belt for this type of weekend with multiple races coming at us quickly. I think we really have some momentum and confidence coming off a career-best finish at Indy, and hope to ride that wave coming into the doubleheader this weekend.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Camping World Honda): “It seems you can hardly take a breath after the Indianapolis 500, and you have to be squarely focused on Detroit. You put so much time and effort into Indianapolis, but you have to also keep your attention on the bigger picture in terms of the championship, and that continues right away in Detroit this weekend. Two races in two days and two qualifiers in two days can really affect the championship race, and we’re hoping we can take advantage of the points on the table this weekend.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “This turnaround between Indy and Detroit is so tight, but going straight to Belle Isle from the month of May is such a great transition from an amazing oval to one of the best street courses on the INDYCAR circuit for a doubleheader. I think our fifth-place run at the Indianapolis 500 has given us a lot of momentum heading into this weekend with two races up for grabs, and I’m feeling really good about our chances. The No. 10 NTT Data Honda has been strong all season, and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting our first win of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I really like racing at Detroit. Last year we didn’t have a great result in the first race, but we won the second. It really helped us figure out a couple of things which led to more wins later that season. The No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet has been strong this season, and we’re ready to continue to build on that strength at Belle Isle. The speeds we have been able to show at other street courses have been phenomenal, and the car setups have also been awesome. We’re ready to see what we can do there.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Moving on from Indy to road courses makes for a really challenging week, because everyone is really tired — the mechanics, engineers and the drivers. And Detroit is a two-race event which makes it tough. Still, Detroit is where we’ve had a lot of success. We’ve qualified good, run good and I got my first win there in 2015. They’ve ground down the bumps on the backstretch, which will be nicer, but it’s still a challenging track. I’m looking forward to it.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Soldier Strong / Honda): “We had a decent race going for both of the races last year. After finishing fourth in the first one, unfortunately, the brake line came loose before the start of the second one. We started based on points and had a good starting position and had a good car, actually, but went to the back because of the brake line and had to recover from that.  Overall, I feel like we should be very competitive going back. We had podium finishes in 2014 and 2015, so hopefully, we can get it done and get more trophies. It hasn’t always come easy to us there, but it’s one of those tracks that a lot can happen in the races there. You get a lot of variation between good qualifying cars and good race cars. A lot of good guys can beat up the tires there. Hopefully, we can go out there, have a good, consistent car, wear them down and get good results for United Rentals and SoldierStrong.” (About the physicality of a doubleheader:) “Everyone is tired. Saturday night is a brutal night. You’ve just done one race and you have to get in shape and get hydrated to go do the second. No matter whether you are big or small, it’s a physical race that beats you up. There are a lot of bumps, bruises and blood. It’s going to be another one of those weekends. You expect it and anticipate it. It’s kind of nice to get to the street course in Detroit after being at Indy and on the oval for so long. It’s a great way to get a reset and do it immediately vs. waiting any set period of time before going racing again. Particularly if Indy doesn’t go your way, it’s a good way to be able to move on pretty quick. The American red, white, and blue United Rentals Turns for Troops car is one of my favorite liveries. It’s beautiful and pulls at everyone’s heart strings. With the laps completed program and shirts we have for sale, it’s a great cause. I’m proud to be part of it and excited to see the car on track again. It’s really bringing light to an important situation and I’m happy to help raise money.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 16 Fifth Third Bank Honda): “I got my first Indy car podium in my rookie year at Detroit, and since then, I have finished in the top-six each time I raced there, so I hope to continue that at the two races this weekend and get a good result for Fifth Third Bank in their first time as a primary sponsor on an Indy car. Hopefully, we get a little revenge from this past weekend in Indy. I thought we had a great run and would at least challenge for the win and be a top-three car, for sure, but we couldn’t finish that way. This weekend we have two chances to get that revenge, and hopefully, we get two podiums – one of which is a win, at least, which is what I feel the whole team deserves. We’re going to work hard. It’s a short weekend with only one day of practice, so hopefully it stays dry so I can get as many miles as possible. I have been preparing for the physical aspect of a street race, which I didn’t the past two times I raced on a road or street course because I didn’t have a lot of notice. I had a lot of notice for this race and I worked hard to be in very good shape, but at the end of the day, any Indy car street race is tough, and this will be two, so I’m sure I will be pretty beat up, but I hope I am just a little less beat up than the others. I remember a couple of things about my first podium (at Detroit 2000). First of all, I remember it was a great race and that I was very happy because it was my first podium. But I remember more about the people I was with at the podium. Finishing second was Max Papis, who looked me in the eye and said ‘Oriol, you got your first podium very early in your Indy car career and you think they are going to come easy, but it’s not that easy.’ And he was right, it’s tough. And also it was Helio’s first win and the first time he climbed the fence, so I witnessed his first act as Spiderman. That was something for the history books.”

ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “It’s been a busy few weeks, so it will be nice to get back to a more normal schedule and to be able to focus on a street course. We’ve done well on the first couple of street courses this year, so we hope to continue that and score some important points. I think it may be a tough weekend physically, especially considering that we didn’t get a lot of time to train over the last few weeks, but I’m confident we can do well.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “Last year, Detroit was my first race with Ed Carpenter Racing, so it will be nice to get back to a track we’ve raced at together. I enjoy the challenges of Belle Isle, and I’m excited to race there again. It’s going to be a tough weekend with two races coming off a busy month of May, but I know the Fuzzy’s Vodka crew is up for it.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I am really looking forward to getting back to Detroit. I haven’t raced at Belle Isle since 2012 and never in the doubleheader. I’ve always enjoyed the city and the whole vibe up there. It’s also the home race for Chevrolet, so we’re looking to get a good result for them in both races in the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “Detroit will be completely different from the Indy 500. It’s going back to a street course – very bumpy track, a lot of braking and tight corners. Usually Detroit is a very exciting track and quite challenging. I personally have a good memory (finishing second in the second Belle Isle race in 2015) as well as the team has a strong record, so I’m looking forward to going back to the street course.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Magneti Marelli Honda): “We need to play catch-up a bit in the championship and make points count where we can, and we are still very focused on getting a race win. With Detroit being a doubleheader, we’re looking forward to capitalizing on an opportunity for double points.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Hopefully we can finally turn our luck around in Detroit. I’ve always enjoyed racing at Belle Isle and following our podium at this event last year, we have every reason to be optimistic for the doubleheader.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “Going directly from a long month in Indianapolis to the physically demanding street course on Belle Isle is always a challenge. And of course, we take on the circuit twice, back-to-back. But I think it showcases the strength and versatility of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ teams and drivers. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has had some success in Detroit in the past, so we’ll see if we can build on that. It would be an understatement to say we’ve had a rough season so far, so we’ll keep putting in the work to turn it around this weekend.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda): “Coming off a strong but disappointing race at Indianapolis, I am very excited and motivated to get back in the car here in just a couple of days. We have the pace to win races, and we just need to focus on having complete weekends.”




Quotes from Friday’s IndyCar practice at Detroit’s Belle Isle

“What They’re Saying” from Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear practice

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “First of all, it’s great to be back again in Belle Isle. I think there were several things (that led to success for me at this track). First, it’s probably on the emotion side. I won my first race here, so you have that special attachment. When you win your first race ever, you do have good memories, I guess. In race car driving, some careers, some drivers’ careers, some tracks are really, really suitable. Probably because the combination with the asphalt, concrete, it probably suits me really well. Normally, with the drivers looking to each other for data, I’m always looking to learn. This is one of the tracks that I don’t look to (my teammates’) data. Actually they’re looking to mine, which means it comes natural. Probably that’s why. Maybe my style, maybe the way I drive, things like that. That’s one of the reasons it suits me really well. It’s great. Not only is a place that is very important for a lot of people, especially for Roger (Penske, team owner), but it’s because of the corporation, Penske Corp., is here. And Detroit, Detroit has really put a lot of effort into this place. I really feel that we’re driving for the home team. It’s great to have that support.

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “We made some good progress in the second session. The tires are certainly interesting this weekend on how the reds and blacks work or vice versa. I think we learned some good things today. We’re almost on the verge of being in the top 10 which is nice. We just have to continue to chip away at it.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I think the Arrow Electronics crew rolled off the truck with a pretty good car. The condensed schedule here in Detroit gives both drivers and engineers a big challenge. I think between the two SPM cars we learned some short run and long run stuff today which was the goal. We really didn’t get to use reds (Firestone alternate tires) which is unfortunate; we kind of got hosed in the first session by a red flag, and so both Mikhail (Aleshin) and I had to give up those tires after one lap. We’ll think about it overnight and see what we’ve got tomorrow.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I think today was a promising day. The team was in good shape, and all the changes made from the first session to the second session turned out to be a big improvement for us. I’m feeling pretty positive, as always, and I hope we can put everything together for a great result this weekend.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “We had a small fire in the second session in the brake area, but everything worked out and we were able to continue on. I’m not 100 percent happy with the Gallagher car yet. We still have some work to do. Overall we’re fighting some understeer and even a little oversteer. I guess we’re just looking for more grip overall to move up the timing sheets.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Camping World Honda): “I don’t think we were too bad overall with the Camping World car today. In that second session we just tried a lot of different things. We also only ran one set of alternate tires the entire session, whereas the rest of the field ran primary tires and most likely multiple sets. It’s a busy weekend here and we’ll work tonight to be ready for qualifying and Race 1 tomorrow.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “The No. 10 NTT Data Honda feels really good and I’m happy with where the car is heading into qualifying in the morning. Everyone out there is in the same boat struggling with managing the alternate tires and getting the most out of them. We actually had a really quick lap going in that second session, but we caught some traffic and lost our chance to get our fast lap.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Soldier Strong / Honda): “First of all, it’s great to be back here. We appreciate everything Roger (Penske) has done here in the city to put this on. Certainly they made some improvements on the track, on the straightaways, which is nice. It’s been a track that’s been good to me in the past. I had a couple podiums here and finished fourth last year in Race 1. Overall, it’s been a place I’ve had some success, which is nice. Obviously today started off on the right foot and the United Rentals car seems to be very strong, very competitive right off the trailer this morning. In the first session, we didn’t even change anything. There was no reason to. Definitely as the track heated up in the afternoon, it got slippery for me. I’m sure everybody will say the same. In fact, on my fastest lap, I was pretty much turning right — supposed to be turning right into Turn 11, but I was looking at the left-hand side wall. I know we had a couple more tenths in it. It’s going to be tricky out there. It’s bumpy. It’s going to beat us up pretty good. We’ll just have to go out there tomorrow and test it. Hopefully the car will be nice and reliable, we’ll get to the end and have a good day.”

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 16 Fifth Third Bank Honda): “The first session felt a little more challenging than I expected. I had a very good record at this track and not only had my first podium here, but also all top-six finishes. And I like this place, but I was having a hard time finding the limit of the car. I can only put it down to the whole track being concrete vs. the last time I was here and it was asphalt. Obviously concrete is a lot different and I was having a hard time finding where the grip is, but the more laps I did, the more I got used to it. And then the track started gripping up and there was more rubber down, so it started to become more normal. Thankfully the Fifth Third Bank car that the team gave me is awesome as we can see by the great job Graham (Rahal) is doing. It’s great to have a reference like that. I’m trying to not make a mistake and use every lap. We were 11th in Practice 2 and I lost (15-hundredths of a second) in the last corner so we would have been seventh. I’m happy with the progress. We are still not at the end of the tunnel, but we are getting there. I’m very happy.”

ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ (No. 18 Unifin Honda): “It’s completely different from what I’m used to. I really enjoy the feeling of driving the Indy car. It’s really natural, you get a lot of feedback from the steering wheel. The track is very bumpy and the track layout is also very interesting with how you enter Turn 1 and then Turn 2 is a very high speed corner, on a street circuit it’s pretty special. Everything is a bit in a rush since I’ve arrived, but I’m going to take it progressively, step by step, to try and get into a rhythm and understand the car, especially with the two different tire compounds. Right now it was the first time I used the Firestone reds, so it will be interesting to see how they react tomorrow.”

ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “It was a really tough day. Learning the track was more difficult than those I’ve been on in the past. It was the first track that I didn’t have any experience on compared to the other tracks this year, as I’ve driven on all of those. You really have to attack here and have confidence. I think after a few weeks of oval driving, I didn’t do a good enough job to prepare to get back to a street course. But it’s a good that we have tomorrow to qualify and then the first race. I’m confident we’ll do better tomorrow as we gain more experience and then we’ll be even more prepared for Sunday’s race.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “It’s nice to be back with ECR this weekend in Detroit.  We had a decent first session and a bit of a messy second session on my part, so I’ll be trying to improve that for tomorrow. We also need to work on the balance but we have a good idea of what to do and I’m looking forward to qualifying tomorrow morning.”

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “My last run here was in 2012, I’ve been here a few times since then watching the race but it’s nice to be back on track. We were able to hit the ground running today. We have plenty to work on overnight, but to be in the top 10 in the second practice, we’re definitely making improvements. I’ve got a lot of things to work on here this weekend, but I feel pretty good about everything so far. We’re just try to continue to make progress as the weekend goes along and stay out of trouble while we’re doing it.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “It was a pretty productive day, it’s nice to be back on a street course. It’s quite different, of course, from a superspeedway. After having the most incredible experience of my lifetime the past couple days, I am happy to be back in the car. The first session went smooth and the second session was a little bit unusual – we tried the red (alternate) tire, but it seems like we lost a little bit of grip. So, we need to go through all the data, but at least the car worked quite positively. I look forward to qualifying tomorrow and the race.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Magneti Marelli Honda): “We never really got a good, clean lap in. I was, at one point, on a lap that would have been good for P7, but that’s not great. So we’ll have to see what the teammates have come up with and hope for the best and some clean running in qualifying.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Today was interesting. We dealt with a bunch of problems all day – electrical problems, clutch problems, so not really sure where we are. It was a strange day. We’ll have to rely on our teammates for a direction because we didn’t really get a good direction out of today. Tomorrow we go right into qualifying and the race, but we’ll fight hard for the DHL team.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “Overall that second session was just terrible. We missed on setup, we missed on the gears – we just missed on everything. The Firestone alternates threw a curveball at us that we weren’t ready for. We have a whole lot of information from this afternoon on what not to do and I think our positions across the entire team show it. We need to find some lap time and we need to reset back to where we were this morning. We need to come up with a game plan with it being a short weekend and us going straight into qualifying in the morning.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda): “(The car) was just loose in entry, I guess. It’s a weird place to spin, especially on entry, so it just got away from me. I don’t think the car is too bad, but I mean, that’s a concrete wall there. Hopefully not a whole lot. I think the car’s quick. Fortunately, we have three other teammates that are quick as well running around out there, so we’ll get a lot of good information and get ready for tomorrow.”




Flat Rock Speedway has Kids and Scout Night June 3

Saturday, June 3–7 p.m. show time!
Kids to age 12 are FREE and receive FREE hot dog!
Scouts in uniform FREE and receive FREE hot dog!
(Leaders in uniform or with ID card also Free)
(Please pick up kids and scout tickets at the ticket office upon arrival to track race day)
Moran Chevrolet Late Models,
Plus DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stocks and Victory Lane Quick Oil Change Figure 8′s
Pit gate: 2:30 p.m.
Front gates: 4 p.m.
Practice: 4 p.m.
Time trials: 5:30 p.m.
Racing: 7 p.m.
Kids to age 12 are FREE
Pit area
ARCA members $20
All Non-members: $30
Minimum age for pits is 12, with minor’s release signed by parent(s) at registration (must be with minor).
No coolers or outside beverages permitted in spectator areas.
FREE parking on track grounds; all concession items are priced from .50 to $4.50
Beer is available
Flat Rock Speedway is located at 14041 Telegraph Road, just 5 minutes from I-75 or I-275. 734-782-2480
Log onto for further information, or like us on Facebook
or follow us on Twitter @flatrockspeed.
Saturday, June 17 Lakeshore Utility Trailer School Bus Figure 8 races!
(both reserved and general admission)
Call the track today at 734-782-2480







IndyCar at Belle Isle this weekend; Castroneves, Rahal set practice pace in Friday’s session

Helio Castroneves with sunglasses 2010 Indy 500 OWAS by Manningmbd - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons



Graham Rahal - August 2014 - by SarahStierch - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons


DETROIT (Friday, June 2, 2017) – Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal swapped top honors in today’s practice sessions for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear – the only doubleheader race weekend on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.

After Rahal led the morning’s 45-minute practice and Castroneves ran second, the veteran drivers exchanged spots in the afternoon. Castroneves’ lap of 1 minute, 15.1511 seconds (112.573 mph) in the second practice put the driver of the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet atop the combined speed chart for the day.

Castroneves, in his 20th Indy car season, has more wins on the 14-turn, 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park temporary street course – three – than anyone. The 42-year-old collected the first of his 29 career victories on the track in 2000.

“When you win your first race ever, you do have good memories,” Castroneves said. “In race-car driving, some drivers’ careers, some tracks are really, really suitable. (At Belle Isle,) probably because the combination with the asphalt, concrete, it suits me really well.

“It’s extremely important to come out of the truck with the car well set up. I’m very glad we did that again this year.”

CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX: Practice 1 resultsPractice 2 resultsCombined practice resultsRace 1 qualifying groups

Rahal paced the first practice in the No. 15 SoldierStrong / Honda with a lap of 1:15.3328 (112.302 mph), with Castroneves second. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver came within two-hundredths of a second of his morning flyer when he ran second in the afternoon to Castroneves, the series points leader after six of 17 races.

“I’m pleased with what we had today,” said Rahal, a two-time podium finisher at Belle Isle, with a second place in 2014 (Race 1) and third in 2015 (Race 2). “It seems like we were very competitive. Trust me, I wanted to be fastest both sessions today, kind of set the tone a little bit, but it was a good day.

“Helio is one of the best, one of the all-time greats. … We give him a lot of crap for being the old guy, but we’re all still working hard to keep up. Actually, it gives me a lot of hope that I can be here for a lot longer.”

Alexander Rossi, in the No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda, ran the third-fastest lap this afternoon and third best for the day (1:15.4323, 112.154 mph) before his car spun midway through the session and the rear made contact with the wall in Turn 8.

“It was just loose in entry,” said Rossi. “It’s a weird place to spin, especially on entry, so it just got away from me. I don’t think the car is too bad, but that’s a concrete wall there.”

Takuma Sato, fresh off his victory Sunday in the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, was seventh fastest today in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda, with a lap of 1:15.5923 (111.586 mph).

Esteban Gutierrez, who spent three seasons competing in Formula One, made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut, completing 41 combined laps with a best time of 1:18.2289 (108.144 mph). Gutierrez is driving the No. 18 UNIFIN Honda for Dale Coyne Racing as a substitute for Sebastien Bourdais as the four-time Indy car champion recovers from pelvis and hip fractures sustained in a crash during Indianapolis 500 qualifying.

“My approach this weekend is to learn,” said Gutierrez, 25. “So, I’ll take it step by step very progressively, no mistakes, just enjoying the experience and the speed will come naturally.”

Qualifying for this weekend’s race will vary from the typical three knockout rounds seen on road and street courses. Instead, 30-minute qualifying sessions will be held for each race. The field will be split into two groups, with each group receiving 12 minutes of track time. The fastest driver overall will be the Verizon P1 Award pole winner for that race, with the fastest driver in the other group also earning a championship point and earning the race starting position on the outside of Row 1.

Qualifying for the first race starts at 10:20 a.m. ET Saturday (live stream on The 70-lap race airs live on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network at 3:30 p.m. Qualifying for Race 2 begins at 10:45 a.m. Sunday (, with Race 2 coverage commencing at 3:30 p.m. on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.




Toledo Speedway announces 5K event for June 10

Toledo, Ohio-June 2, 2017: Over 1000 participants have already registered to take part in the wildly-popular Insane Inflatable 5k run Saturday, June 10 on the grounds of Toledo Speedway! The event will be staged by Town Square Media of Charlotte, NC. The group currently has events scheduled in over 25 states for the 2017 calendar year.
A “wave” of runners takes off every 15 minutes, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
There is no minimum age requirement; however, the minimum height is 42 inches for all participants. Spectators are free, so bring your friends and family!
The course runs throughout the track property. Check-in will take place adjacent to the track parking lot.
A concession stand with food and drinks will be ready for business at 8:30 a.m.
Parking is $5 per vehicle on the track grounds. Admission is free to spectators.
For Pre-registration and additional information, go to
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