Indianapolis electricity charges Conor Daly for the Detroit GP

Daly Detroit GP
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There were 36 lead changes in the 105th Indy 500, but arguably none of them were met with more emotion than when Conor Daly took over the top spot on Lap 50 – and he’s expecting his Indianapolis momentum to carry him through the Detroit GP at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park this Saturday (2 p.m. ET, NBC) and Sunday (12 p.m. ET, NBC).

“I’ve been to the Indy 500 before,” Daly said in a Zoom press conference ahead of the Detroit GP. “I’ve cheered for moments like that before where, like, you just – I don’t know, it’s electrifying.”

Trying to find the words to express his emotions was like trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

Daly led the Indy 500 for 40 laps, including at the halfway mark, but that is not where his greatest charge was absorbed. It came two weeks previous in the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

It seems disingenuous to think that a last-place finish in that event would be the thing that gives him the greatest confidence entering Detroit. But drivers know the capabilities of their car isn’t always reflected in the box score.

Daly qualified sixth for the GMR Grand Prix and believed his car was just as strong as that of teammate Rinus VeeKay, who went on to win his first IndyCar race. He never had a chance to find out if that was true after getting pushed off course in Turn 1 of Lap 1. His car stalled in that incident.

After losing several laps, Daly returned to action before retiring with crash damage on Lap 50.

The debate has raged for decades. Is momentum a real force for race car drivers? It is for Daly.

And in a weekend with a doubleheader on a tough track, every little boost is needed.

Yes, mentally; I think physically, yeah, because we just did a lot of time in the car,” Daly said. “Our bodies are ready for this long weekend.

“But realistically what I look forward to most is the progress we made at the Indy GP. That’s what I’m most excited about. … We made a lot of progress there. I’m excited to see if we can continue that for another good run at Detroit.”

If Daly struggled in the Indy 500, that might have stalled his momentum. Crossing under the checkers 13th in a see-saw race, he scored his first top-15 of the season, however, and it wasn’t until well afterward that the electricity of the crowd impacted him.

“It was nice,” Daly replied when asked about the eruption of noise when he took the lead; in fact, he shed a tear while watching the replay. “But honestly the coolest thing was seeing all the Internet stuff afterwards. Actually. just last night for some reason I hadn’t gone through like the posts that I’d been tagged in on Instagram. I started going through them all. There were a ton of videos from race day. It’s just wild to see.

“You don’t appreciate it at the time. You’re in the car, you’re doing the business, you’re working. It was the coolest thing ever to see that video.”

But still, the Lap 1 crash in the GMR Grand Prix has to lurk in the back of his mind.

Indianapolis has wide run off areas that can be used as an escape route. The same thing is not true on a narrow, bumpy street course that hasn’t seen action in two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it’s just the nature of the track honestly,” Daly said. “I love street courses. Always have in the past in my career. I’m just happy to get back there.”

Under normal circumstances, qualifying on Row 3 for a street or road course race should be good enough to keep a driver out of trouble. He will not dwell on the incident that ruined his GMR Grand Prix. Rather, Daly will stay focused on getting at least as strong a start to the Detroit GP.

Daly’s last-place finish in the latest road race dropped him outside the top 20 in points. His top-15 on the oval, worth 37 points, allowed Daly to claw back to 19th and put him contention for a much better ranking after the Detroit GP.

Competition is the driving force for racers – and having another driver in site provides focus. Daly is four points behind his closest competitor Sebastien Bourdais. He is only 16 away from cracking the top 15.

“The only pressure is just on yourself to continue to fine tune everything. I think we know that we’ve got some good stuff right now. I think there’s no pressure. You’re just happy, right? You know, we’re going to be able to do the job.

“Even Scott Dixon will show up to a race weekend and have … to put in a lot of work to get either a race win or get to the front.

“It’s the same on us.”

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.