Castroneves emerges from Detroit Dual 1 as points leader

Leave a comment

Difficult days for Marco Andretti and Takuma Sato, the IZOD IndyCar Series points leaders heading into Saturday in Detroit, shuffled the deck for tomorrow’s second race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual at Detroit (grid here).

Helio Castroneves, who finished fifth, now leads the standings by three points over Ryan Hunter-Reay (182-179). Andretti (178), Sato (168) and Justin Wilson (161) are all within striking distance.

“I just saw that I’m on top of the points, but I mean really Mike Conway, great job,” said the new points leader – at least for a day. “It just proves that the series is very competitive with the teams. And now we’ve taken the points lead, which is very good.”

Castroneves also led the points after Barber and Long Beach in April, but Detroit race one marked the fourth consecutive race where the lead has changed hands. Sato led it after his runner-up finish in Brazil, and Andretti took over the top spot after the Indianapolis 500. Two-time winner James Hinchcliffe, obviously, led the points after his win to open the season in St. Petersburg.

Sunday marked Andretti’s first race this season outside the top seven. He made contact with Sebastian Saavedra and pitched the Colombian into the barriers.

Some other points notes after Saturday in Detroit:

  • The top 10: Castroneves 182, Hunter-Reay 179, Andretti 178, Sato 168, Wilson 161, Scott Dixon 154, Hinchcliffe 143, Tony Kanaan 141, Simon Pagenaud 126, Charlie Kimball 122.
  • Beyond the top 10, E.J. Viso and Simona de Silvestro (117 apiece) have just 13 points between them and Graham Rahal, who is 16th.
  • Race winner Mike Conway (58 points, 24th) is ahead of Saavedra, despite running only two races to Saavedra’s six. Conway is only two behind AJ Allmendinger, who is 23rd. Conway has the potential to take all points but one of the maximum 108 this weekend if he wins on Sunday and leads the most laps.
  • Top-10s for Will Power (eighth) and Dario Franchitti (sixth) see them now 13th and 14th in the standings, separated by three markers (113-110).
  • Dragon Racing’s teammates Saavedra and Sebastien Bourdais are the only full-season drivers not to score a top-10, and rank 25th and 21st in the points.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.