The IndyCars Play Two in Detroit [IndyCar Dual in Detroit Live Thread]
IndyCar has been unpredictable all year, and the grids for both races may be the most surprising yet. Dario Franchitti did qualify #1 for the first race. However, Dario is serving a 10 spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change, dropping him to 11th. Thus, your first 3 rows for race #1: EJ Viso, Mike Conway, James Jakes, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alex Tagliani, Tristan Vautier. With the exception of Hunter-Reay, did anyone see that coming? This will be the first time Viso ever leads the field to the green. Conway just found out he was getting the second Dale Coyne ride a few days ago, replacing Ana Beatriz (whose funding ran out). James Jakes is making easily his best ever start in IndyCar. Note those are four Hondas to two Chevys, which is much better for the Hondas than their rout at Indy at the hands of Chevy. Other notable starting spots in the first race: Takuma Sato 7th, Will Power 9th, Helio Castroneves 12th, points leader Marco Andretti 18th, and Indy 500 champ Tony Kanaan 19th.
Qualifying for the 2nd race was held this morning, and those at the top have stayed there. Conway put his car on the pole, in what is believed to be the first pole for Dale Coyne Racing ever (take note certain people who think the moneyed teams still win everything). Starting on the outside of the front row on Sunday will be Jakes, on what's looking like a breakthrough weekend. Power lurks in 3rd, closer to where he usually starts on road and street courses. Hunter-Reay and Viso are next as the continue to lead the Andretti contingent this week.
Street races are notoriously exhausting for the drivers, so how they hold up physically will be important to watch, especially tomorrow. How much equipment gets torn up in the first race will also effect the second race. It could be a long night for some crews.
Because of the unknown variables and the new names up top of the grid, I'm not going to bother making predictions. I just hope for some good racing and for the track to stay together this time. Timing and scoring can be found here, and More Front Wing's Event Summary can be found here. Q it up here throughout the Duals in Detroit.