Fast Facts: Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

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Courtesy of INDYCAR PR, here’s all you need to know heading into this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series doubleheader at Detroit:

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 Dual in Detroit (PDF)
Push-to-pass parameters: 10 activations for 15 seconds each (Both races)
Firestone tire allotment: Eight sets primary, three sets alternate (Weekend)
Twitter: @DetroitGP @IndyCar, #DetroitGP, #IndyCar
Event website: www.DetroitGP.com
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2014 race winners: Will Power (Race #1) and Helio Castroneves (Race #2)
2014 Verizon P1 Award winners: Helio Castroneves (Race #1) 1:17.5362, 109.11 mph; Takuma Sato (Race #2) 1:16.1371 111.115 mph
Qualifying lap record: Takuma Sato 1:16.1371 111.115 mph, June 1, 2014

ABC race broadcasts: Race #1: Saturday, May 30 (3:30 p.m. ET). Race #2: Sunday, May 31 (3:30 p.m. ET)

Allen Bestwick is the lead announcer for ESPN on ABC broadcasts for the second consecutive year alongside analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. Rick DeBruhl, Dr. Jerry Punch and Jon Beekhuis are the pit reporters.

Radio broadcasts: Paul Page is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Qualifying and all Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR 15 app. Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season and this weekend’s qualifying sessions (Race #1: 3:40 p.m. ETMay 29 and Race #2: 11:25 a.m. ETMay 31) will be available on RaceControl.IndyCar.com.

INDYCAR 15 app: The Verizon INDYCAR 15 app has been enhanced with new features to keep fans in the know of the latest race-day action. Exclusive features of the INDYCAR 15 app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include interactive 3D Live View with real-time leaderboard and car telemetry to see where a fan’s favorite driver is positioned, leaderboard with enhanced 2D marching ants and car telemetry, in-car camera video streams from cameras that move 360 degrees and driver-pit crew chatter as drivers talk strategy with their pit crews during the race.

At-track schedule (all times local): 
Friday, May 29
10:35-11:50 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice
3:40-4:55 p.m. – Three rounds of Verizon IndyCar Series knockout qualifications (live-streamed on RaceControl.IndyCar.com)

Saturday, May 30
8:55-9:25 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice
3:30 p.m. – ABC on air
3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #1 green flag, 70 laps/164.5 miles (ABC, live).

Sunday, May 31
10:20 a.m. – Systems check
11:25 a.m.-11:55 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series group qualifications, two groups, 15 minutes each (live-streamed on RaceControl.IndyCar.com)
3:30 p.m. – ABC on air
3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #2 green flag, 70 laps/164.5 miles (ABC, live).

Race notes:
* The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be the 18th and 19th Indy car races conducted at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the 21st and 22nd Indy car races held in Detroit. A 2.5-mile street circuit in Detroit hosted CART events from 1989-1991.

* 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’s also won there 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) and Will Power (2014, Race #1).

* There have been 12 different pole winners in the previous 17 races. Pole winners entered in this year’s race are: Takuma Sato (2014, Race #2), Castroneves (2001, 2007 and 2014, Race #1), Dixon (2008 and 2012) and Juan Pablo Montoya (1999 and 2000).

* Three drivers have won the race from the pole: Dixon (2012), 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), 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), 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).

* Castroneves has competed in 11 previous races at Belle Isle, most of any driver. Thirteen drivers entered have led laps at the track (Castroneves 247, Montoya 117, Dixon 79, Kanaan 30, Power 26, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Pagenaud 18, Graham Rahal 10, Sato 10, James Jakes 4, Charlie Kimball 3, Marco Andretti 1 and Jack Hawksworth 1).

* The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be the sixth and seventh races on a road/street course in 2015. The first five races were won by Montoya (St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (NOLA), Dixon (Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber) and Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis).

* There have been five different winners in six Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2015: Montoya (Streets of St. Petersburg and Indianapolis 500), Hinchcliffe (NOLA Motorsports Park), Dixon (Streets of Long Beach), Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park) and Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis). In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners. Dixon’s win at Long Beach on April 19 gave him sole possession of fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 36. He is the active leader in wins.

* Dixon’s Indianapolis 500 pole ended a streak that saw drivers from Team Penske start from pole position in the previous five races in 2015. Castroneves (Long Beach and Barber) and Power (St. Petersburg and GP of Indianapolis) earned Verizon P1 Awards through knockout qualifying. Montoya started on pole at NOLA by virtue of the entrant point standings entering that race, after qualifications were cancelled by rain.

* At least five drivers will compete in their first Verizon IndyCar Series races at the Raceway at Belle Isle: Gabby Chaves, Stefano Coletti, Conor Daly, Luca Filippi and Sage Karam.

* Kanaan seeks to start his 240th and 241st consecutive races, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in 2001 at Portland. Kanaan’s last missed start came at Belle Isle in 2001, when he sustained a concussion in a practice crash. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 181 consecutive starts.

* Kanaan made his 300th career Indy car start in the Indianapolis 500, becoming the eighth Indy car driver to reach the milestone. Kanaan joined Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Jr., Al Unser, Michael Andretti, Johnny Rutherford and Castroneves, the latter reaching the feat at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9.

* The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda. Cars are differentiated by their shape as the manufacturers have designed separate aero kit specifications for road and street course/short ovals and superspeedways for the Dallara IR-12 chassis. References to the cars will incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer. The superspeedway versions of the kits made their competition debut at the Indianapolis 500.

Heather Lyne, Dennis Erb Jr. make history in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series

Lyne Erb Outlaws Late
Jacy Norgaard / World of Outlaws
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More than two decades in the making, the pairing of Heather Lyne and Dennis Erb Jr. produced a historical milestone in Dirt Late Model.

Last month, Erb and his long-time crew chief Lyne won their first World of Outlaws Late Model Championship and with this achievement, Lyne became the first female crew chief to win in a national late model series. Their journey together goes back 21 years and tells the story of hard work, persistence and belief in oneself.

After a career-best season with the World of Outlaws, Erb and Lyne secured the points championship at US 36 Raceway in Osborn, Mo. with three races remaining in the season. The consistency and success of their season came down to pinpoint focus. Lyne and Erb are a team of two living out a David vs. Goliath tale. In order to be as successful as possible this year the duo knew they had to do as much as possible with the resources they had.

“It’s always a challenge when you only have two people, both at the racetrack and at the shop,” Lyne told NBC Sports. “I also work full time, so during the day, Dennis has to do a significant amount of work so that when I get down there I can start working and maintaining. It’s planning ahead. It’s having that system in place and making sure that you’re prepared ahead of time.

“When you have a problem at the track, making sure you have all that stuff ready so it’s a quick change and not a lengthy process to make a repair. We had zero DNFs in the World of Outlaws, we had only one DNF out of 96 races [combined among all series].”

Dennis Erb clinched his 2022 championship before the World of Outlaws World Finals. Jacy Norgaard – World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Taming Time

This was not an easy feat. Between a full travel schedule and Lyne’s full-time job as an engineer, time comes at a premium. What they lack in time and resources they made up for in patience and planning.

“We buckled down, and we got all the equipment that we needed back, motors freshened, and things of that nature,” Lyne said about the mid-point of last season. “We were able to keep up with that. We just had a higher focus. I tried to reduce my hours at my day job as much as I possibly could while still maintaining what I need to get done at work. I got rid of a lot of the other distractions and got a more refined system in place at the shop.

“We did certain tasks on certain days so we had time to recover. We were on the road a little bit more, as opposed to coming home to the shop. So we had to be more prepared to stay out on those longer runs. It was just really staying on top of things a little more. It was a heightened sense.”

This was Lyne and Erb’s fourth full season with the Outlaws, but they’ve been on the road together for the last 21 seasons starting in 2001. Their partnership began with Lyne’s bravery. When one door closed, she was quick to open another. In 2001, Lyne’s dad was ready to stop racing. Her mother wanted to regain her weekends, but Lyne knew this was her life path and wasn’t prepared to lose it.

“I’ve always been a tomboy at heart,” Lyne said. “I watched racing with my dad. Growing up he watched NASCAR. In high school, I got tired of playing at the lake house, so I went to the local dirt track and fell in love with it. I just couldn’t get enough. It took a year for me to convince my dad to come to the track with me. He finally did and we sponsored a car that year, the following year he started to race limited cars. He ran hobby stocks and limited late models.”

At some point, Lyne and her father’s level of commitment drifted apart.

“He did it for about five years,” Lyne said. “And then my mom said: ‘I’m done racing. I want my weekends back. It’s just not fun anymore.’ I wasn’t ready to hang up my wenches and Dennis raced out of the same hometown so I, on a dare, went down and introduced myself; told him if you ever need any help, I’ll drill out rivets, I’ll help wash, whatever you need. Twenty-one years later here I am.”

Heather Lyne became the first female crew chief to secure a national touring late model championship in 2022. Paul Arch / World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Breaking Through

Lyne entered a male-dominated job in a field that is also male-dominated – and where there were few examples of women creating these places for themselves. In this way, Lyne became a blueprint for other women as they strive to find a place for themselves in racing and in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) overall. She has her mother to thank for providing a strong role model, her father for sharing her passion, Erb for taking a chance on an unknow entity and most importantly herself.

“I was raised to believe that I can do anything, I want to do, as long as I put my heart and soul into it.” Lyne replied when asked about role models in the sport growing up. “My parents did not raise me to have that limitation. But from a racing role model perspective, I went in there completely green and just introduced myself to Dennis, the fact that he was brave enough to take that risk and bring a girl to the racetrack. Someone he didn’t know at all speaks volumes for him.”

Lyne and Erb have learned how to survive and succeed with each other on the road. They do this by leveraging decades of combined experience and an ability to adapt to the everchanging landscape of dirt late models. Next year the World of Outlaws visits nearly a dozen new tracks and Lyne sees it as an opportunity for continued success.

“I just want to do it again,” Lyne says going into next season, “I’m looking forward to the competition, I always do. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t competitively driven.

“There are some new tracks on the schedule that I’m looking forward to trying for the first time that I haven’t been to myself,” Lyne said of the 2023 season, “Dennis seems to do well on those first timers. We won out at Marion center, we finished second at Bloomsburg. We have a good solid notebook of information to tackle them over the last three years with these rocket race cars that we’re running. It’s good to have that information and leverage it to try some new things.”