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.
The 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.
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||Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet||70||+ 12.9707|
|3.||Justin Wilson||Dale Coyne Racing – Honda||70||+ 25.2606|
|4.||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda||70||+ 25.3590|
|5.||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske – Chevrolet||70||+ 26.0549|
|6.||Dario Franchitti||Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda||70||+ 26.4918|
|7.||Josef Newgarden||Sarah Fisher Hartman – Honda||70||+ 35.2019|
|8.||Will Power||Team Penske – Chevrolet||70||+ 40.8273|
|9.||Graham Rahal||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||KV Racing Technology – Chevrolet||70||+ 1:03.6549|
|14.||Charlie Kimball||Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda||70||+ 1:03.9390|
|15.||James Hinchcliffe||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||Ed Carpenter Racing – Chevrolet||69||+ 1 lap|
|19.||Takuma Sato||AJ Foyt Enterprises – Honda||68||+ 2 laps|
|20.||Marco Andretti||Andretti Autosport – Chevrolet||67||+ 3 laps|
|DNF.||Ryan Briscoe||Panther Racing – Chevrolet||66||Accident|
|DNF.||Sebastián Saavedra||Dragon Racing – Chevrolet||32||Collision|
|DNF.||Alex Tagliani||Barracuda Racing – Honda||28||Contact|
|DNF.||Sébastien Bourdais||Dragon Racing – Chevrolet||19||Mechanical|
|DNF.||AJ Allmendinger||Team Penske – Chevrolet||0||Collision|