Mother Nature cut us a break last Sunday when she allowed us to enjoy 500 interrupted miles of racing at the 103rd Indianapolis 500, but she extracted her penance Saturday, as a mid-afternoon thunderstorm delayed the start of Race 1 of the Detroit Grand Prix weekend. The result was a wet start and a timed race that was limited to 70 minutes.
While I’m not in the Motor City this weekend (I’ll be back in action next week at Texas), I’m still going to add my three cents. So here we go:
Back on the point. Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud’s spot atop the points standings lasted six days, as Team Penske teammate Josef Newgarden’s win moved him back to where he has spent the entire season. Newgarden took the lead from Alexander Rossi during a mid-race pitstop and led the rest of the race to win for the second time.
Dixon DNF. In rolling to his fifth career championship last season, Scott Dixon finished ever race. Actually Dixon’s non-DNF streak went back further than that, all the way back to his 32nd-place finish at the 2017 Indy 500, a span of 34 races. A rare “driver error” put him in the Turn 7 tires Saturday, and his 22nd-place finish already gives him more finishes outside the Top 10 than he had in all of last year.
Power’s Problems Persist. Try saying that three times fast…I dare ya! For the second straight race, a pit stop mistake did in the Team Penske No. 12 team. This time is was the failure to secure the right front tire on their pit stop, with the tire coming loose at the exit of pit lane. Limping around the circuit on three tires and then serving a drive-through penalty put Power at the back of the field, and he never recovered. It was an unfortunate result for Power, as he was moving through the field and was one of the fastest cars on the track in the early going. While he’s sixth in points, that still puts him 109 points behind Newgarden.
It wasn’t the kind of race any of us were looking for today, but tomorrow’s another day. Literally! The cars will be back on track Sunday afternoon for Race 2 of the doubleheader weekend.
Photo credit: James Black/IndyCar Media