Detroit’s studs included Conway, Pagenaud, Ganassi, RLL and Castroneves

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With two races now in the books at this weekend’s doubleheader of the IZOD IndyCar Series, here’s a look through the drivers and teams who blew up the scoreboard – in either a noticeably good or noticeably bad way. The good, first, below:

  • Mike Conway, No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda. Could you start with anyone else? Fresh off his father’s vegetable garden, of all places, Conway gets brought in to a car that had been something of a dog on the first four road and street races, and promptly stomps the field all weekend. One win, two podiums, two fastest race laps, two most laps led, and the adoration of a paddock and a community who saw talent on full display for three days straight.
  • Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti were consistent, lucky, and able to escape several contact attempts to each score a pair of top-10 finishes. Don’t look now, but Dixon is lurking just 20 points back of Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti in fourth place in the standings, and hasn’t won yet.
  • Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet. A consistent Helio is a good Helio, and after his qualifying struggles on Friday, two top-10 finishes kept the Brazilian in the championship lead.
  • Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. James Jakes had his first truly emergent weekend in IndyCar, culminating with second on Sunday, but Graham Rahal added two needed top-10s. A huge bounceback weekend for Bobby Rahal’s squad after a disappointing month of May in Indy.
  • Simon Pagenaud, No. 77 HP Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports. A popular first-time winner on Sunday, Pagenaud’s team made the biggest leaps from Saturday to keep him in contention.