Conway crushes IndyCar field in Detroit Dual race 1

2 Comments

If Saturday was an audition to be in an IndyCar at the remaining road and street races in 2013, Mike Conway aced it with flying colors.

The Englishman delivered a dominant performance in the first race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual at Detroit this weekend, leading more than half the 70 laps en route to the victory. The win is his first since Long Beach in 2011, and the first for Dale Coyne Racing since Justin Wilson at Texas last year.

It marks the first time in Coyne’s 30-year history as a team that both its cars have made the podium in one race.

Conway took the lead on the last stint on lap 55 when Wilson pitted. Conway ended his race on Firestone’s red alternates and despite a slight drop-off for eight laps from laps 60 to 68 that cost him about nine seconds, Conway still ended 12.9707 seconds ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Wilson made it two Coyne Hondas on the podium with third place. Scott Dixon was fourth and Helio Castroneves was fifth.

The rest of the top 10 included Dario Franchitti, Josef Newgarden, Will Power and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing teammates Graham Rahal and James Jakes.

Earlier Saturday, Conway also qualified on pole for Dual 2, so a win would net him an extra $50,000 from SONAX for sweeping the weekend.

See the halfway race report here.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
Leave a comment

As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”