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Alexander Rossi wins pole for Race 1 of Detroit Grand Prix

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Alexander Rossi won the pole position for today’s Race #1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix with a lap of 1 minute, 14.1989 seconds around the 2.35-mile Belle Isle Park street circuit.

The pole is the second of the season for Rossi, who converted his first into a dominant victory in April at Long Beach. It’s also the second pole for the Andretti Autosport driver at Belle Isle (Race #2, last year).

“We’ve been strong here for the last couple of years, and for one reason or another, we haven’t got the result [we were hoping for],” Rossi told NBC Sports. “So everyone is so highly motivated on the team right now to go out and execute and get what we feel like we’ve kinda given away the last couple of years.”

Josef Newgarden will start the race from second after posting a lap of 1 minute, 14.8272 seconds.

Belle Isle’s unique qualifying session saw the 22 cars split into two separate groups, which each had a 12-minute qualifying session. Group 1 set the even-numbered positions in the field, while Group 2 – being the faster group – set the odd-numbered positions, including the pole.

Scott Dixon (1:14:3995), who won last year’s Race #1 in Detroit, qualified third, while rookies Felix Rosenqvist (1:14:9984) and Colton Herta (1:14:8811) qualified fourth and fifth, respectively.

Will Power qualified a disappointing 12th, and Indianapolis 500 champion Simon Pagenaud will start this afternoon’s race from 13th. Since Detroit became the first race following the Indy 500 in 2012, no Indy winner has claimed a Detroit victory the following week.

Coverage of Race #1 for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC.

Click here for qualifying results 

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Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).