It’s not often anymore that entries from Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing sweep the top four positions combined, such is the level of competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series and especially since the current formula was introduced ahead of the 2012 season.
It only happened once in 2013 (Pocono) and once in 2012 (Barber), and has now happened for the first time in 2014 in Dual 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, Round 7 of the 2014 season.
The 2013 Pocono race saw a Ganassi podium sweep, with Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball and Dario Franchitti, with Penske’s Will Power fourth. At Barber in 2012, Power led Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal, who was then in the Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing entry.
It happened rather frequently between 2006 and 2011, with the previous generation Dallara-Honda IndyCar. But it’s become an abnormal occurrence since.
Castroneves took the win on Sunday in Detroit in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet with teammate Power second in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, despite an early race drive-through penalty for contact on Lap 1. Those two have been top-four fixtures in the past.
In third was Charlie Kimball, in the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, for his first career third place. Kimball has had only three prior podium finishes, two runners-up (2012 Toronto, 2013 Pocono) and his first win at Mid-Ohio last August.
Fourth, hanging on late after starting 22nd, was Scott Dixon in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
This also was a top-four sweep by Chevrolet, the first time either manufacturer has swept the top four positions this year. Thus far, the parity between Honda and Chevrolet has been as close as ever.