Mike Conway sensationally won his maiden race for Dale Coyne Racing

Dale Coyne Racing has never been so dominant in nearly 30 years of involvement in American open-wheel racing, as part-time driver Mike Conway crushed the opposition to win Race 1 of the Detroit double header.

Starting in second place behind EJ Viso – another surprise frontrunner, who earned pole position via a penalty issued to the fastest qualifier, Dario Franchitti, for an unauthorised engine change last weekend at Indianapolis – Conway got the jump on the Venezuelan at the start of the race.

Hunter-Reay's switch to the Firestone red-wall tyres in his mid-race stint backfiredThe English quickly proceeded to lead, but further back, the action was hot – too hot for AJ Allmendinger. The Penske driver got a little too racy too quickly and squeezed out Scott Dixon, sending his car flying over the side of the Ganassi machine and into the tyres. While Allmendinger was out of the race on the spot, Dixon pitted for a new rear wing and promptly went on his way.

Up front, Conway and Ryan Hunter-Reay were duelling it out. Viso was suffering from engine boost problems and was being passed quite quickly and fell down to the midfield before too long.

After quite a bit of green flag running, during which Dixon, Kanaan and Franchitti were each powering towards the front, the next caution came courtesy of Sebastian Saavedra, who was bumped into the tyre wall at Turn 6 by Marco Andretti. While the pace car toured the field around, Saavedra made a point of waiting around until the field passed by in order to vent his frustration in the form of a double finger salute to the Andretti driver and former teammate.

On the restart, Conway opened up another gap from Hunter-Reay – who opted to run his middle stint on the red-walled Firestone tyres – while a little further back, Dixon and Justin Wilson were fighting it out for the final podium place, a battle that was ultimately resolved in Wilson’s favour to give Dale Coyne Racing a double-podium finish.

Last year he tored up bit of the Detroit circuit, this year Hinchcliffe tears up the corner markers!Other highlights of the day included Dario Franchitti knocking one of the tyre markers on the apex of corner out of place but not into the racing line. James Hinchcliffe must have had the same idea as an effort to shave a tenth off his lap time, however it didn’t work for him as the tyre marker became stuck under his car (pictured) and had to be removed by his pit crew.

So Conway kept his car out of trouble for the rest of the afternoon and took a comprehensive victory. In the post race victory interview, Conway reiterated that he was still not comfortable racing on ovals and was happy with the super-sub label.

2013 IndyCar Series Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit – Race 1 Final Classification (70 laps):

No. Driver   Entry / Team Laps Result
1. Mike Conway Dale Coyne Racing – Honda 70 1:48:45.4309
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay USA Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet 70 + 12.9707
3. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing – Honda 70 + 25.2606
4. Scott Dixon NZL Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda 70 + 25.3590
5. Hélio Castroneves BRA Team Penske – Chevrolet 70 + 26.0549
6. Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda 70 + 26.4918
7. Josef Newgarden USA Sarah Fisher Hartman – Honda 70 + 35.2019
8. Will Power AUS Team Penske – Chevrolet 70 + 40.8273
9. Graham Rahal USA Rahal Letterman Lanigan – Honda 70 + 44.1836
10. James Jakes Rahal Letterman Lanigan – Honda 70 + 47.3852
11. Tristan Vautier SPH – Honda 70 + 59.8249
12. Simon Pagenaud SPH – Honda09 70 + 1:02.8527
13. Tony Kanaan BRA KV Racing Technology – Chevrolet 70 + 1:03.6549
14. Charlie Kimball USA Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda 70 + 1:03.9390
15. James Hinchcliffe CAN Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet 70 + 1:06.1779
16. Simona de Silvestro KV Racing Technology – Chevrolet 70 + 1:07.2664
17. E.J. Viso Team Venzuela – Chevrolet 70 + 1:10.1976
18. Ed Carpenter USA Ed Carpenter Racing – Chevrolet 69 + 1 lap
19. Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Enterprises – Honda 68 + 2 laps
20. Marco Andretti USA Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet 67 + 3 laps
  Not Classified          
DNF. Ryan Briscoe AUS Panther Racing – Chevrolet 66 Accident
DNF. Sebastián Saavedra Dragon Racing – Chevrolet 32 Collision
DNF. Alex Tagliani CAN Barracuda Racing – Honda 28 Contact
DNF. Sébastien Bourdais Dragon Racing – Chevrolet 19 Mechanical
DNF. AJ Allmendinger USA Team Penske – Chevrolet 0 Collision

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.