Montoya dominating first half of second race in Detroit


DETROIT – Juan Pablo Montoya has thus far dominated the opening half of the second race in the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, as he looks for his third win of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Through the opening 35 laps, the polesitter has led 32, with Will Power leading two and Scott Dixon leading one.

Power got the lead on the start through Turn 1, but Montoya passed him back on the inside into Turn 4 on Lap 3.

James Jakes gambled on a switch from Firestone’s rain tires to dry slicks, but the move backfired as he ran anywhere from eight to 15 seconds per lap slower on the slicks on a still mostly wet track.

Dixon runs second, 8.5 seconds behind, having inherited the position when Power pitted on Lap 27 to change a steering wheel. The defending series champion reported to ABC, via his race strategist Tim Cindric, that moisture came into the steering wheel, which caused shifting issues.

It has dropped Power outside the top 10, back to 13th.

Josef Newgarden, Sebastien Bourdais and Helio Castroneves complete the top five.

Sage Karam was a big mover in the first stint, moving from 20th up to 12th before his first stop.

Gabby Chaves stayed out longest on the first stint, to Lap 24, but dropped from as high as eighth to 20th after his stop. Dixon, Bourdais and Conor Daly also ran long on the first tint.

We won’t have a repeat winner in Detroit, as Carlos Munoz was first out with apparent water issues causing smoke out the back of his car six laps into the race.

In the “truth is stranger than fiction” department, Munoz mirrors Houston race one winner Carlos Huertas last year. Both were first out in the second race of a doubleheader weekend, after they got their first career win.

However, if Montoya wins, it will still be three wins in a row for Colombians.

Through the opening 35 laps, we have also run caution-free – a departure from the seven cautions on Saturday.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”