DETROIT — Will Power won the Dual in Detroit Race 2 on beautiful Belle Isle. Simon Pagenaud came in second, while Ryan Hunter-Reay clocked in third. During the last lap, (12) Power won the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 2 by only 0.9203 of a second. Today’s race was 70 laps, 164.22 miles on the 14-turn, 2.35-mile street course.
“The guys did a great job in the pits, got me out in front of the 28, then obviously on the restart, I thought, ‘I’ve really got to capitalize here, otherwise, we’re not going to win,'” says Power (12). “I’ve got to thank Verizon, thank the fans. I mean Verizon, man, it’s been a long time since the No. 12 has been in victory lane so I’m very happy for the whole Verizon crew.” How demanding was this race on you? “Very demanding. But here it’s a constant kickback on the wheel. It’s very physical and demanding here in Detroit.”
During lap 1, Pagenaud led into turn 1. (15) Rahal headed to pit lane with an apparent brake issue. Then, there was a multi-car accident involving (5) Hinchcliffe, (14) Sato, (8) Chilton and (27) Andretti. Race stewards sent (27) Andretti and (14) Sato to the rear of the field for taking service in a closed pit. During lap 34, (2) Montoya made contact with the barrier in Turn 9. His car finally came to a rest with damage in Turn 10.
Actually, Pagenaud lead most of the race until lap 44 when (3) Castroneves took the lead by 1.9024 seconds. By lap 52, (11) Bourdais took the lead in turn 1. In lap 63, (12) Power turned up the heat and led (22) Pagenaud by 1.4338 seconds.
This is the first win for Will Power in 2016 and the 36th win of his Indy car career. His last win came at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May 2015, 19 races ago. This is the 182nd IndyCar win for Team Penske. Looks like he’s having a good day. Today’s second place finish for Simon Pagenaud is his third runner-up finish in 2016. He has six podium finishes in eight starts. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished third, matching his season-best finish from St. Petersburg in March. It is his best finish at Belle Isle since he finished second on 2013.
Second-place finisher Simon Pagenaud (22) said, “I tell you (Will Power) made a great pass and he was very aggressive on the restart. I didn’t feel comfortable on cold tires–a really good car on long runs but I struggled on cold tires. He saw it and took his chance and that’s how you win races. Congratulations to him. There was no point in colliding and trying too hard. I tried at the end–we had some push-to-pass left. The Hewlett-Packard car was really competitive all day but I’ll take second, I think it’s a really good points day for us.” What is your feeling leaving this weekend? “You can be as frustrated as you can be, you have to accept it as a driver. You can’t win everything. I feel we are going to be strong in Texas.”
Ryan Hunter-Reay (28) rounded out the podium in third place and said, “It’s been a drama-free day and nice to finish third, but obviously I’m not happy to be third. I was trying to close the gap with Pagenaud but it wasn’t enough. I am relieved it’s over.”
The next Verizon IndyCar Series race is the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 11.
It was a great day in Detroit with some spotty showers here and there, but it didn’t stop the race nor the race fans. The SPEED Energy Stadium Super Truck Series Race 3 began in the pouring rain, but then it dried up.
The Truck Series race winners were: #1 Matt Brabham, #2 E.J. Viso and #3 Paul Morris. The concert at the Motor City Casino Hotel Stage was R&B group Morris Day and The Time.