INDYCAR: Fast Facts for this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix

Courtesy: Detroit Grand Prix
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Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s pair of IndyCar races in the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle (information courtesy IndyCar media relations):

Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, June 1 – Sunday, June 3

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 Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear (PDF)

Push-to-pass parameters: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation. (for each race)

Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets primary, four sets alternate (weekend). Teams must use one new set of primary and alternate tires in each race.

Twitter: @DetroitGP @IndyCar, #DetroitGP, #IndyCar

Event website: http://www.DetroitGP.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2017 race winner: Race 1: Graham Rahal (No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsForTroops.com Honda); Race 2: Graham Rahal (No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsForTroops.com Honda)

2017 Verizon P1 Award winners: Race 1: Graham Rahal (No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsForTroops.com Honda) 1:13.9681, 114.374 mph; Race 2: Takuma Sato, (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda) 1:13.6732, 114.831 mph.

Qualifying lap record: Takuma Sato, 1:13.6732, 114.831 mph, June 4, 2017

ABC race broadcasts: Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3 (3:30 p.m. ET)

Allen Bestwick is the lead announcer for ABC broadcasts alongside analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. Rick DeBruhl and Jon Beekhuis are the pit reporters.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn with Jake Query and Nick Yeoman in the turns. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar)

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, June 1

11:20 a.m. -12:05 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1

3:10 – 3:55 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2

4 – 4:20 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice

Saturday, June 2

10:55-11:25 a.m. – Race 1 qualifying for Verizon P1 Award (two groups/12 minutes each), IndyCar.com (live)

3:03 p.m. – Driver introductions

3:43 p.m. – Command to start engines

3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #1 (70 laps/164.5 miles), ABC (live)

Sunday, June 3

10:45-11:15 a.m. – Race 2 qualifying for Verizon P1 Award (two groups/12 minutes each), IndyCar.com (live)

2:59 p.m. – Driver introductions

3:43 p.m. – Command to start engines

3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #2 (70 laps/164.5 miles), ABC (live)

Race notes:

* The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be the 24th and 25th Indy car races conducted at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the 27th and 28th Indy car races held in Detroit. A 2.5-mile street circuit in downtown Detroit hosted CART events from 1989-1991.

* Sebastien Bourdais, Will Power and Graham Rahal have each won twice at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, the most by an active Indy car driver at the track. Helio Castroneves won three times at Belle Isle, the most of any driver. In addition to Bourdais, Power and Rahal, other previous Belle Isle winners entered include Tony Kanaan (2007), Scott Dixon (2012) and Simon Pagenaud (2013, Race #2).

* There have been 16 different pole winners in the previous 23 races. Pole winners entered in this year’s race are: Graham Rahal (2017, Race 1), Takuma Sato (2014, Race 2; 2017, Race 2), Simon Pagenaud (2016 – both races), Will Power (2015, Race 1) and Scott Dixon (2008 and 2012).

* Four drivers have won the race from the pole: Graham Rahal (2017, Race 1), Scott Dixon (2012), Helio 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 won the championship. They are: Dario Franchitti (2009, Iowa), Scott 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 won the championship. They are: Franchitti (2011, Milwaukee; 2007, Iowa), Bourdais (2007, Edmonton; 2005, San Jose), Hornish (2006, Kansas; 2002, Richmond), Tony 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).

* Tony Kanaan has competed in 15 previous races at Belle Isle, most of any driver. Thirteen drivers entered have led laps at the track (Graham Rahal 107, Simon Pagenaud 93, Scott Dixon 83, Will Power 47, Takuma Sato 44, Sebastien Bourdais 38, Kanaan 30, Marco Andretti 24, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, James Hinchcliffe 11, Josef Newgarden 7, Charlie Kimball 3 and Alexander Rossi 1.)

* There have been four different winners in six Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018. Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway and Barber Motorsports Park) and Will Power (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and Indianapolis Motor Speedway) have won races in 2018.

* There have been six different Verizon P1 Award winners in 2018. Robert Wickens (Streets of St. Petersburg), Sebastien Bourdais (ISM Raceway), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park), Will Power (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course) and Ed Carpenter (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) have won poles in 2018. The record for most pole winners in a season is 12 set in the 1999 CART season.

* The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will be the fifth and sixth races on a road/street course in 2018. The first four races were won by Sebastien Bourdais (St. Petersburg), Alexander Rossi (Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber) and Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix).

* Six drivers will race Verizon IndyCar Series cars at the Raceway at Belle Isle for the first time: Rene Binder, Santino Ferrucci, Jordan King, Matheus Leist, Zach Veach and Robert Wickens. Ferrucci will be making his series debut.

* Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 290th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 230 consecutive starts heading into the weekend which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing.

*  Drivers may engage their “push-to-pass” for a total of 150 seconds during each race, with a maximum duration of 15 seconds for any one activation. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial race start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower.

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.”