DiZinno: Detroit’s determination, event’s effort shine through on a gloomy weekend


In the moment on Sunday, exhaustion and frustration reigned. Even if the rain itself didn’t.

The post-May, post-Indianapolis 500 hangover is real, and it was obvious throughout the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock that the run to Belle Isle Park in Detroit straight after a full month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is arguably one of the toughest challenges of the season.

There was already enough of a challenge for all the crews, in the days after a 500-mile race, to swap the cars back over from super speedway to street course specifications if it was the same car, or to bring back their road and street course chassis after the ‘500.

Then there’s the fact that for most crew members, they’re leaving the comforts of home and going back on the road. Detroit, Texas and Toronto follow in succession and complete a brutal run of 10 consecutive working weekends for the series.

Then note that this prep work was done in advance of the lone doubleheader race of the season.

Then add how ridiculous the second half of race two was, with seven cautions in 33 laps and contact occurring around every bend.

Add in the persistent on-and-off rain, severe temperature drops, and you have the ingredients for what on paper should have been a miserable weekend in Detroit.

And yet, it wasn’t.

Challenging? Certainly. Chaotic? At times. Perplexing? Definitely, depending on what strategy you were on in either of Saturday or Sunday’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans.

But miserable? No, not really.

At the end of the day, Detroit was not the showcase race IndyCar needed following a thrilling Indianapolis 500, but then again, it’s its own showcase for an entirely different reason.

Detroit and Indianapolis cannot be compared side-by-side other than the fact Detroit is now the event following Indianapolis.

Each must be looked at in its own context, now four years in to Detroit’s renewal back on the calendar, the week after Indy.

Indianapolis boiled down to arguably the most exciting three-way battle for the win in the event’s 99-year history.

Detroit, meanwhile, featured seemingly all but three cars in with a shot at a win or podium contention over both days. There were 17 of the 23 starters who scored at least one top-10 finish in one of the two Detroit races (the six who didn’t: Tony Kanaan, Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball, James Jakes, Stefano Coletti and Rodolfo Gonzalez).

Indianapolis ended with drivers from Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing sweeping the top four positions.

Detroit saw six different drivers from five different teams score a podium finish, and witnessed two more first-time winners this season in Carlos Munoz and Sebastien Bourdais on the top step of the podium.

Indianapolis showcased speed. Detroit showcased strategy.

Indianapolis plays to pageantry. Detroit plays to the automotive sector, particularly General Motors in its home race.

Indianapolis is entrenched as an event, with an audience so much bigger than any other event on the calendar.

Detroit is on its way back as an event, and the efforts and dedication of all the Detroit Grand Prix staff must be noted. Their enthusiasm and positivity in the wake of trying, miserable conditions is to be commended – as are the fans who stuck it out both days. The efforts of Bud Denker and the Penske Corporation show through in what is a first-class event in nearly every facet.

For Detroit’s sake, it was a shame the weather was what it was this past weekend, which dampened the overall vibe. But those involved made the best of it as possible.

Suddenly half the season is already in the books, and the final eight race weekends of the year beckon over the next three months.

Detroit was not the best weekend of the season for IndyCar, but it was made a lot better than it could have been given all the collective efforts of the team crews, who put together the cars for two races, and the event staff, who fought through trying circumstances.

IndyCar results, points after Detroit Grand Prix


DETROIT — Alex Palou topped the results of an NTT IndyCar Series race for the second time this season, extending his championship points lead with his victory in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver, who also won the GMR Grand Prix (and the Indy 500 pole position) last month, holds a 51-point lead over teammate Marcus Ericsson (ninth at Detroit) through seven of 17 races this season.

Ganassi, which placed all four of its drivers in the top 10 at Detroit, has three of the top four in the championship standings with Scott Dixon ranked fourth after a fourth at Detroit.

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Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden is third in the standings after taking a 10th at Detroit. Pato O’Ward slipped to fifth in the points after crashing and finishing 26th

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:


Click here for the official box score from the 100-lap race on a nine-turn, 1.645-mile street course in downtown Detroit.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 100, Running
2. (7) Will Power, Chevrolet, 100, Running
3. (9) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 100, Running
4. (4) Scott Dixon, Honda, 100, Running
5. (13) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 100, Running
6. (12) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 100, Running
7. (2) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 100, Running
8. (11) Marcus Armstrong, Honda, 100, Running
9. (6) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 100, Running
10. (5) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 100, Running
11. (24) Colton Herta, Honda, 100, Running
12. (17) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 100, Running
13. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 100, Running
14. (20) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 100, Running
15. (15) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 100, Running
16. (18) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 100, Running
17. (25) Jack Harvey, Honda, 100, Running
18. (14) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 100, Running
19. (23) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 100, Running
20. (19) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 97, Running
21. (22) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 97, Running
22. (26) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 97, Running
23. (21) David Malukas, Honda, 85, Contact
24. (3) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 80, Contact
25. (27) Graham Rahal, Honda, 50, Contact
26. (10) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 41, Contact
27. (16) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 1, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 80.922 mph; Time of Race: 02:01:58.1171; Margin of victory: 1.1843 seconds; Cautions: 7 for 32 laps; Lead changes: 10 among seven drivers. Lap Leaders: Palou 1-28; Power 29-33; O’Ward 34; Palou 35-55; Power 56-64; Palou 65; Rossi 66; Newgarden 67-68; Kirkwood 69; Ericsson 70-76; Palou 77-100.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 273, Ericsson 222, Newgarden 203, Dixon 194, O’Ward 191, Rossi 176, McLaughlin 175, Power 172, Herta 149, Rosenqvist 148.

Rest of the standings: Grosjean 145, Kirkwood 142, Lundgaard 136, Ilott 116, VeeKay 108, Ferrucci 105, Armstrong 101, Rahal 99, Malukas 91, Daly 88, DeFrancesco 81, Castroneves 80, Harvey 78, Canapino 77, Pagenaud 72, Pedersen 61, Robb 55, Takuma Sato 37, Ed Carpenter 27, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Tony Kanaan 18, Marco Andretti 13, RC Enerson 5, Katherine Legge 5.

Next race: IndyCar will head to Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix, which will take place June 18 with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.