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Detroit weekend: Mingay Sunday update, Indy Race 2 notes and grid

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DETROIT – Lots of nuggets to cover in the intervening hours before today’s second of two Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans races.

To start, the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix event has released an update on the status of injured Stadium SUPER Trucks driver Matt Mingay, who remains in serious but stable condition.

Here’s the update:

“UPDATE driver, Matt Mingay, remains hospitalized and listed in serious, but stable condition, according to a hospital spokesperson. Mingay’s family reports that he underwent surgery last night for facial injuries suffered in the accident. We will continue to update.”

Here’s some additional updates from the INDYCAR paddock:

Letterman and his beard. Photo: IndyCar
Letterman and his beard. Photo: IndyCar
  • David Letterman made a last minute appearance in Saturday’s first race of the weekend to support the No. 15 United Rentals Honda team for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (above). He is not on site for today’s second race of the weekend. Graham Rahal looks to extend his Detroit race weekend podium streak to three years running if he can end top-three today.
  • Speaking of United Rentals, they were in the news earlier this weekend for good reason: On Friday, INDYCAR announced a multiyear agreement with United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment rental provider and a team partner with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, to become the official equipment rental company of INDYCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series.
  • Further meetings are expected this week between NAPA and Andretti Autosport officials to determine how much longer NAPA Auto Parts will continue on the No. 98 Honda for Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi.
  • Max Chilton’s crew got his No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet repaired in time for qualifying and the Englishman will start 19th today. An apparent steering column issue helped send him into the wall in Saturday’s first race.
  • Whereas for Saturday’s race only Carlos Munoz started on Firestone’s black primary tires, five drivers have opted to start on primaries today. Those five are Juan Pablo Montoya, Charlie Kimball, Takuma Sato, Josef Newgarden and Marco Andretti.
  • Montoya called teammate Will Power’s move at Turn 3 on Saturday a “desperate” move. “Just Will I think is a little desperate right now for results, so he’ll do anything. That’s what it is. It’s the truth,” said the driver of the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, who will start 10th today.
  • Conor Daly kicked off his first ever IndyCar podium press conference making sure to thank his team: “I mean, yeah, Dale Coyne Racing puts me in positions far greater than I deserve at times. Gosh, they do all the right things strategically. Dale is a wizard, I think. He’s up there calculating everything in his head. Maybe he can see the future, I don’t know. But it was awesome,” said the driver of the No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda, who starts 21st today.
  • Among the items Sebastien Bourdais addressed in his press conference on Saturday was how much he thanked his team for the strategy calls, led by strategist and team co-owner Jimmy Vasser. “I’m not sure I know the scenario actually because I think I missed a couple of steps how we got from 13th to 16th to 18th to last pretty much, 13th again, then jumping into the lead. It was a rather interesting day and a great team effort from the 11 crew, Hydroxycut. To do that for Chevrolet here means a heck of a lot,” said the driver of the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet, who starts 12th today.
  • Best starts of the season today for Ryan Hunter-Reay (second) Mikhail Aleshin (fifth) and Gabby Chaves (15th).
  • With only two cautions for eight laps on Saturday, that marked the fewest number of cautions since this race weekend became a doubleheader race weekend in 2013.

Here is the grid for Sunday’s race two:

DET2grid

Valtteri Bottas on Silverstone pole; Nico Hulkenberg a surprising third

F1 Bottas Hamilton Silverstone
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Valtteri Bottas nipped Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Silverstone qualifying Saturday to maintain the team’s hammerlock on F1 results this season while Nico Hulkenberg was a surprise in third.

Hulkenberg is filling in for Sergio Perez for the second consecutive race while the Racing Point driver recovers from coronavirus.

It’s the best F1 start since 2016 for Hulkenberg, who was left without a full-time ride after the 2019 season. He finished 20th at Silverstone last week when an engine problem on the grid prevented him ftaking the green.

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“The last seven to eight days have been crazy,” Hulkenberg said after qualifying. “This weekend I felt much better prepared. Q3 was just head down, full beans, and give it whatever I had.

“I’m a bit surprised to be standing here, but there’s a big smile on my face.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified fourth and will be among the field trying to derail the Mercedes duo that has won the first four races of an F1 season delayed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Feels good,” Bottas said after nipping Hamilton by a few hundredths of a second on his final lap for his 13th career pole position. ” I just love qualifying especially, when it goes well. Proud to drive this car. The race pace is there, so our first job is to get a good start off the line tomorrow and go from there.”

The impressive lap came two days after Bottas, who won the season opener in Austria, announced a one-year contract extension with the team.

Mercedes also is set to begin negotiating a new deal with Hamilton, who has won the past three races in F1 but was disappointed Saturday.

“Valtteri did a great job, but for me, it wasn’t a perfect last lap,” he said. “I don’t think many teams will be doing a one-stop race tomorrow so let’s wait and see how things turn out.”