IndyCar drivers break down Belle Isle Park street course


The Verizon IndyCar Series has finally raced around an oval this year, with Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 won by Juan Pablo Montoya.

But now it’s time to go back to the streets.

IndyCar returns to Detroit this weekend for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, two races around the 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course in Belle Isle Park.

After four weeks spent in Indianapolis for two races, it’s now two races in one weekend, the only remaining double header on the schedule.

“I love coming to Detroit,” said Scott Dixon in a release. Dixon has two poles and one win at Belle Isle (2012).

“I was leading the race once and went off strategy and that didn’t work out. We dominated the year the track came apart (2012) and led every lap there as well, so anything can happen. The track really has got a great flow to it.”

After the CART series stopped racing in Detroit in 2001, IndyCar ran its first of seven races in Belle Isle in 2007 and began holding doubleheader weekends in 2013. All seven races have been won by a different driver. Helio Castroneves, who won race two last year, also won the final two CART events held there in 2000 and 2001.

“This race is a one of attrition a lot of times because it’s a pretty bumpy track,” said Graham Rahal, who finished second in race one last year for his only podium of 2014. “You have to be smart, patient and let it come to you.”

Takuma Sato, who was the pole sitter for race two last year but has never finished better than 18th, calls the street course “nice and refreshing” after Indianapolis.

“Detroit is a great track – heavy braking followed by a long straight makes a good opportunity for overtaking and that makes the race very exciting,” Sato said. “The track is bumpy and has a variety of different type of corners, so after having the month of May with the smooth track at Indy, Detroit is a quite contrast, but I like it.”

Sato’s A.J. Foyt Enterpises teammate, Jack Hawksworth, said the race challenges both driver and engineer to adapt to the track’s rough surface.

“Detroit is probably the most technical track we visit from a driver’s point of view and one of the hardest tracks on the car,” Hawksworth said. “It’s extremely bumpy and there are huge amount of corners with big variation between very slow generic street circuit corners to some quick sweepers like Turns 1 and 2.”

Hawksworth finished 19th and 14th last year in his first two races in Detroit.

“(The track) rewards a compliant car and big commitment but can catch you out with even the smallest mistake,” Hawksworth said.

Five drivers will be competing in their first IndyCar race at Belle Isle: Gabby Chaves, Stefano Coletti, Conor Daly, Luca Filippi and Sage Karam.

“Detroit will be a challenge for us; I’ve never raced there and the track is very difficult from what I’ve seen of past races there,” Chaves said. “I’m excited about the dual race format, even though I’m sure it will be physically tough on myself and the team.”

The first of the two 70-lap races begins Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”