Sebastien Bourdais won the 2016 Chevrolet Dual 1 in Detroit

04CJ5324ASebastien Bourdais takes the twin checkered flags to win Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: Chris Jones

Starting from 13th place Car 11 Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet won the 2016 Chevrolet Dual 1 in Detroit. 2nd Place Car 18 Conor Daly, Honda, started from 16th place. 3rd Place Car 2 Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, started from 3rd place.

41BK1878The champagne flies in Victory Circle following Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: Bret Kelley

4th Place Car 15 Graham Rahal, Honda, started from 10th place followed by 5th place Car 3 Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, started from 2nd place. 6th place Car 26 Carlos Munoz, Honda, started from 5th place followed by 7th place Car 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, started from 15th place. 8th Place Car 83 Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, started from 8th place followed by 9th place Car 10 Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, started from 7th place. Lastly in the Top 10 was Car 98 Alexander Rossi, Honda, in 10th place, started from 17th place.

16C_1979-1Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves dive into Turn 1 to start Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: Chris Owens

The Race had 2 Cautions for 8 laps: 1st Caution on lap 10 to 13 Contact: Car 8 Max Chilton, Chevrolet in Turn 7. 2nd Caution on lap 42 to 45 Contact: Car 5 James Hinchcliffe, Honda in Turn 7.

41BK1460Mikhail Aleshin leads a group into Turn 5 during Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: Bret Kelley

The race had 8 Lead changes among 6 drivers: Lap Leaders: Pagenaud 1 – 23, Power 24 – 28, Montoya 29 – 31, Pagenaud 32 – 43, Montoya 44 – 53, Dixon 54, Bourdais 55 – 57,
Daly 58 – 61, Bourdais 62 – 70.

Car Reason Lap Penalty
20 Pit Safety Infraction 37 Drive-Through
10 Blocking 70 Yield Position

16C_1973-1Simon Pagenaud leads the field to the green flag to start Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: Chris Owens

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Pagenaud 313, Castroneves 254, Dixon 247, Munoz 227, Newgarden 227, Montoya 223, Rossi 223, Hinchcliffe 217, Kanaan 214, Kimball 213.

Bourdais, the four-time Indy car season champion, won by 2.0401 seconds over Conor Daly in the 70-lap race on the 2.35-mile temporary street course at Belle Isle Park. It was the 37-year-old Frenchman’s 35th career victory, tying him with Bobby Unser for sixth on the all-time list.

“It’s like playing poker,” Bourdais said. “You know what hand you have right now at the moment, but every bet you make is going to work or not work based on what’s going to happen later on. You just have to make decisions and today we just got the lucky hand. The guys in the pits made the right call. Thankfully I didn’t make any mistakes, ran pretty well and pretty strong.”

Starting 13th in the No. 11 Team Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Chevrolet, Bourdais fell as low as 19th after pitting early to change to the black-sidewall Firestone primary tires most drivers preferred in the race. He charged to fourth by Lap 32 but didn’t take the race lead until Lap 55 when reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon made his final pit stop.

Bourdais stopped for fuel only two laps later, and when Daly needed to pit for a splash of Sunoco E85R ethanol on Lap 61, Bourdais regained the lead and took it to the checkered flag. On the heels of winning the second race of the 2015 Dual in Detroit, Bourdais has now won two consecutive Belle Isle races.

This year’s second Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, also scheduled for 70 laps, is Sunday (3 p.m. ET on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network and 3:30 p.m. on ABC). It leaves Bourdais little time to savor the company he joined among Indy car racing’s all-time greats, three-time Indy 500 winner Unser, who also won 35 races.

“Every time you move up the ranks like this, you feel like you belong even more in a very elite group, a very small group of extremely talented drivers, some obviously who are legends,” Bourdais said. “I don’t know that I want to compare myself to any of those.”

Daly, meanwhile, was elated with second place, his best finish in 13 career Verizon IndyCar Series races.

“I am a happy human,” the 24-year-old American and Verizon IndyCar Series rookie said. “I have to continue to remember this is my first year, right? Everything has been all over the place up until this. To be on the podium my first year, it’s a really rewarding experience. I just hope I can do more, obviously.”

Team Penske’s quartet of drivers dominated the race early, with championship leader Simon Pagenaud, 2014 series champion Will Power and 1999 Indy car champion Juan Pablo Montoya leading the first 53 laps. But Pagenaud ran out of fuel on the final lap, finishing 13th, and Power’s day ended when a wheel nut on his car came loose on Lap 45, forcing him to pull off course.

Montoya finished third in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, his best result since winning the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March.

“We were trying to play the rain,” Montoya said. “When we restarted, we never really pushed. We were trying to make sure we could make it to the rain and the rain never came. We tried to run a smart race, but it didn’t happen. We got a decent podium out of it, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

Graham Rahal finished fourth in the No. 15 United Rentals Honda, just ahead of Helio Castroneves in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. Dixon finished 19th after suffering electrical issues in his No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, but not before setting a track record lap of 1 minute, 14.6675 seconds (113.302 mph) on Lap 30.

Pagenaud retains the championship lead after seven of 16 races with 313 points. Castroneves is second heading into Sunday’s second race with 254 points, ahead of Dixon (247), Carlos Munoz (227), Josef Newgarden (227), Montoya (223) and Alexander Rossi (223), who finished 10th, six days after winning the 100th Indianapolis 500.

Indy 500 winner Rossi writes school excuse for young karter

Alexander Rossi’s cross-country media tour this week following his Indianapolis 500 victory included a stop in Dallas for lunch with Texas Motor Speedway season-ticketholders. The Verizon IndyCar Series heads to TMS for the Firestone 600 on June 10-11.

While Rossi’s appearance was a highlight, the new American hero may have been upstaged by junior karting sensation Ashlyn Speed. The 11-year-old Texan missed school to attend the luncheon for a chance to meet Rossi.

She even requested Rossi write a written absence excuse letter for Brooke Moose, the school principal at Bear Creek Elementary in Euless, Texas. The note read: “Please excuse Ashlyn Speed from school on Wednesday because she is getting to meet the 2016 Indy 500 winner, Alexander Rossi.” Rossi added a handwritten addendum that read: “Ms. Moose, Thank you for letting Ashlyn come,” and signed the bottom of the note.

TMS president Eddie Gossage invited Speed on stage to take part in a ceremonial milk toast with Rossi to conclude the luncheon. With the famous Borg-Warner wreath draped around her neck, Speed chugged the champagne flute of milk symbolic of the tradition that takes place in Victory Circle at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the winners of the Indianapolis 500.

“What They’re Saying” from Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “My guys did a good job (in the pits) but where we missed it was when we were trying to save fuel when we were leading to try to make it to the rain, but the rain never happened. It was the right move if you were looking at the radar. We had good pace and everyone at Verizon and Chevy and Team Penske have done an amazing job. We had a boost problem at the end. If we didn’t have that I think we would have won it anyway. It’s good to get back on the podium and a good result. (On having a car to win for Race 2) If we have long runs we’re OK. If you noticed the first stint we struggled and then the car just came to life and is pretty good.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “I have to say the Hitachi Chevrolet was fantastic and ran really well and we were in great position to win. On the other side, we had to save fuel for about 30 laps. But if we look at the positive side, we’ve gained a lot of points in championship (now second) and that’s very good for Team Penske. We will go back tomorrow and look for better results.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “The Arrow Electronics car was really quick and the guys called a good strategy, but ultimately we had a parts failure that put us into the tires, so it’s an opportunity lost for some solid points. We were ahead of a lot of the guys that we needed to be ahead of and keeping pace with a couple of the Penskes there, which was good because they were the class of the field this weekend. Not a whole lot we can do so we’ll regroup. We know we have a quick car so we’ll just bounce back tomorrow.”

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Honda): “It was a tough race but we were pretty sure the SMP Racing and DOOM car was able to finish in the top ten. But then (Tony) Kanaan just crashed into the rear of my car and the rear right tire went flat. I’m not sure why he didn’t receive a penalty but my crew worked really hard and we deserved more than that.”

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “We started 18th. We knew we had to go forward, so I pushed like mad for the first eight laps. People pitted early and then my pace didn’t drop off, so we thought we might as well keep going. Finally made the stop because we were out of fuel and then my out lap was mega. As soon as I came out of the pits I felt like I had a very strong front end. The steering was heavy but I still had the grip so I thought maybe it was just the black tires. Then, I think it was the third time down the back straight, everything felt normal and then as I went left for the kink, my wheel just went left. I was just a passenger from that point. Something gave way on the column because I couldn’t take the wheel off when I got out.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “It wasn’t a great day for us today. We had a new left front tire on at the start and it was a Firestone red, and I just got really loose at the start and lost positions because it had way more grip than the other three tires. Then we came in on the next stop and the Target car was super-fast. We had a fueling issue and went to the back and raced our way back to the front. The car was still really fast and we were fast with clear track in front of us. We left after our last stop and had a gearbox issue I think which led to not being able to use the clutch or shift at the end of the race.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “I’m not thrilled with our race today. I think we had at least a top-five car but we ran into some bad luck throughout the race. We went off strategy and came in just for fuel on our last stop thinking we’d be able to pick off some of the guys ahead of us who were saving fuel, but we weren’t able to get to them. At about 10 to go, I realized I had a broken front wing and then we got a blocking penalty with three to go that caused us to lose a spot. I’m still not sure I 100 percent agree with that call, but we’ll take a look at the replays again tonight and try to see what they were looking at when they made that decision. Regardless we’ll get the car put back together tonight and work through our strategy to have the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet ready to go to qualify in the morning and race in the afternoon.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut – KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “The call (to pit) was obviously really quick and all we needed was clean air to come back from the pretty average qualifying and I really couldn’t dream of that. I don’t even know how we got there. We just ran like stink most of the race and it worked out, so I couldn’t be any happier for Chevrolet and Hydroxycut today. It (pitting on Lap 3) would have worked even better if we had not pitted with everybody else because we ended up just pretty much where we were before. So, I couldn’t press Gabby (Chaves). For a long time I really thought the strategy was a total mess and it was never going to work, and when we finally got some clean air then I could start to get some quick lap times and make it happen. (On momentum for Race 2) I can only hope for good conditions and hopefully a better qualifying because I think if we put that No. 11 car up front in qualifying, it’s going to be tough to beat.”

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Verizon Chevy was great today. We started in ninth and were able to quickly gain ground and get up front. The car was really fast and felt very comfortable. Then we had that pit stop and problem with the wheel. You can’t do much about it. Things happen. My crew is the best. It was just one of those things. We’ll regroup and give it another go tomorrow.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 United Rentals Honda): “The guys did a great job. I’m frustrated that somehow (Conor) Daly and (Sebastien) Bourdais got around us. I’m disappointed about that. At the end of the day the United Rentals Honda was great, we put some great laps in and to come out fourth is a nice result. Obviously I would rather be on that podium, but it’s a good first race for us here. I want to keep my podium streak here, but we will get another chance tomorrow. Pit stops were key and my guys did a great job. We put a good solid run together there to finish fourth. That was a tough race. Literally it hurt my bones. The kickback in the steering wheel is so rough that my wrists are just aching.”

CONOR DALY (No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda): “This feels like a win. I can’t believe we were trying to go after (Sebastien) Bourdais and trying defend against (Juan Pablo) Montoya. I used to watch these guys here. It’s crazy. This is why you do it, to get on the podium. We made it this time now we need to do it more. It was a lot harder than I thought. I’m cramping up all over. I’ve got to get hydrated because it was a tough race and my thumbs are bleeding, but the car is good though so I’ll drive it like that anytime. We were able to prove that we had a good car and this car has been good all weekend. It’s just sweet. We’ve been through a lot this year, especially coming off of Indy. That was such a punch in the gut. We had a great car there too. We’re always having to fight from the back. We’re only making things difficult on ourselves. But it’s just small things, small gremlins every time. I’m still a rookie at this so there’s a lot for me to learn, but gosh, the guys on the stand called a beautiful race. (On decision not to take tires at the end) Thanks Firestone. Yeah, it was great. The tires lasted all the way to the end. So, it was amazing because they kept getting better. It was really awesome and just gave us a shot to fight for the top three.”

GABBY CHAVES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “It was a pretty interesting race. We were enjoying our time out there and improving every session, every lap and finding speed. We had a good strategy with the team and it was a great team effort, so I’m really happy with that. We’re just going to keep working hard to be where we know we can be.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “It was a tough race. Starting in the back never makes things easy, but we tried to improve throughout the race and I think that we did that. The guys were good in the pits and it was unfortunate that a couple of things happened set us back. We’ll try and come back even better for tomorrow.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 21 Preferred Freezer/Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “It was not a fun day. We could have had a better finish there with the Fuzzy’s Vodka Preferred Freezer Services car. We ran into some trouble there towards the end during the fuel saving component of the race. We probably could have gotten a top five, we just had to nurse the car home. We got it across the line, which was priority number one. We still got some points, we just weren’t as high up as we could have been so we’ll come back tomorrow and try again.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet): “The Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet was strong today. We were running strong all day in the front, but it ended up being a fuel strategy race after we got caught up during the first yellow when we were in the lead. From then on, strategy was difficult. We needed a load of fuel to make it at the end, but unfortunately there wasn’t much we could have done. If we came in, it probably would have been the same. The crew did a fantastic job. It just didn’t work out for us.”

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 Magneti Marelli Honda): “Again another race where strategies and cautions played a big factor. The Magneti Marelli car was fast out there. The risk we took to stay out longer didn’t work a lot and in the end, I had to save a lot of fuel. The good thing is the fuel number I had to reach was so high, I am happy I could hit that number while being fast. But, we finished sixth after a gamble and are climbing in the championship points, which I am happy about.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 United Fiber & Data/Snapple Honda): “Not a great result for us today. I battled with the back end of the car all day and wasn’t able to save fuel like we needed to. Without being able to make the mileage, we just got crushed. But, we get to do it all over again tomorrow, so we’ll take a look at the UFD / Vernors car tonight and come back fighting again for Race 2.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Our strategy was all over the place today – just one of those Detroit races, you never know what’s going to be the right call. You just have to go with it and stick to it. We spent half the race saving fuel in the DHL car, trying to make a certain strategy work. Then we found out our fuel numbers were wrong, we maybe didn’t need to save that much fuel. Unfortunate, because we finished seventh while saving fuel and possibly could have challenged for a bit higher.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 42 Tresiba Chevrolet): “What a day. It’s hard to really describe the day because so much went on. We tried a bunch of strategies. The No. 83 guys on the stand were awesome – just trying to do something to get us in the best track position. I was racing guys hard and honestly the No. 83 Tresiba® Chevrolet was better than eighth. It just didn’t quite work out on strategy. Between the rain drops, the way the yellows fell, and who we were racing we got a little bit caught up there. It was a tough day. Anytime you’re racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series with such tight competition it’s not going to be easy, especially at such a physical track like this one. A big thanks to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team and really all of Chip Ganassi Racing – I know they’ll be here late tonight getting the cars ready.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda): “Starting 17th on any street track is going to be tough. We did a decent job maximizing our potential – I believe we could’ve gained a couple more positions though. I think generally it was an OK result. It is very important we qualify the NAPA AUTO PARTS / Curb Honda higher on the grid tomorrow so we have a better ability to prove we have a great race car.”

Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Race 1 Results

DETROIT – Results Saturday of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Race 1 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, car, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (13) Car 11 Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 70, Running
2. (16) Car 18 Conor Daly, Honda, 70, Running
3. (3) Car 2 Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 70, Running
4. (10) Car 15 Graham Rahal, Honda, 70, Running
5. (2) Car 3 Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 70, Running
6. (5) Car 26 Carlos Munoz, Honda, 70, Running
7. (15) Car 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 70, Running
8. (8) Car 83 Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 70, Running
9. (7) Car 10 Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 70, Running
10. (17) Car 98 Alexander Rossi, Honda, 70, Running
11. (11) Car 14 Takuma Sato, Honda, 70, Running
12. (20) Car 19 Gabby Chaves, Honda, 70, Running
13. (1) Car 22 Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 70, Running
14. (14) Car 21 Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 70, Running
15. (12) Car 7 Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, 70, Running
16. (19) Car 27 Marco Andretti, Honda, 69, Running
17. (21) Car 16 Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 69, Running
18. (4) Car 5 James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 65, Running
19. (6) Car 9 Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 56, Electrical
20. (9) Car 12 Will Power, Chevrolet, 44, Mechanical
21. (18) Car 8 Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 8, Contact
22. (22) Car 41 Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 0, Mechanical

Race Statistics:
Winner’s average speed: 97.857
Time of Race: 1:40:51.6838
Margin of victory: 2.0401 seconds

Fastest Lap: 113.302 mph (74.6675 seconds) on Lap 30 by 9 – Scott Dixon
Fastest Leader Lap: 113.040 mph (74.8410 seconds) on Lap 30 by 2 – Juan Pablo Montoya
Verizon P1 Award ($10,000): Simon Pagenaud (01:14.9166, 112.926 mph)
Bonus Awards: Sebastien Bourdais ($30,000), Conor Daly ($20,000), Juan Pablo Montoya ($15,000), Graham Rahal ($11,000), Helio Castroneves ($10,000), Carlos Munoz ($9,000), Ryan Hunter-Reay ($8,000), Charlie Kimball ($6,000), Tony Kanaan ($5,000), Alexander Rossi ($4,000), Takuma Sato ($3,000), Gabby Chaves ($2,000)

Next Race: June 5 Chevrolet Dual 2 in Detroit

Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar

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