NTT INDYCAR SERIES Race Report - Detroit Grand Prix

June 6, 2022

Track: Streets of Belle Isle Park
Race:  Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear
Date:  June 5, 2022

No. 2 Hitachi Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden
Start: 1st – 16th career INDYCAR SERIES Pole
Finish: 4th
Laps Led: 13
Point Standings: 5th (-47 pts)

Race Rundown: Josef Newgarden started from the pole position for Sunday's Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, but varying tire strategies throughout the dramatic 70-lap event resulted in his No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet crossing the finish line in the fourth position.  Newgarden started the race on the Firestone alternate tires, a softer compound that wears quickly on the abrasive surface of the Belle Isle Park circuit. Over the long first stint he was able to lead 13 laps before eventually dropping to the sixth position as drivers on the Firestone primary tires could hold their pace longer on the harder compound tire. Newgarden's crew chose their second stint for their mandatory run on the alternate tires as ending the 2021 Detroit Grand Prix on them proved to be a hindrance. Unfortunately, the track position lost earlier in the race could not be made up over the final stint on the primary, "black" tires. However, Newgarden and the No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet crew executed flawlessly all day and maximized their points, and they will head to next weekend's race at Road America with a bit of momentum.

Newgarden's Thoughts: "It's hard to not get annoyed.  When we need a race to go all green, it doesn't go all green.  We needed that last year.  We basically ran Power's strategy last year, but that was not the race to do it.  Today would have been the day, but we tried not to do it because of what happened last year.  I don't know what to tell you.  We ran a good race, just strategy-wise it didn't work out.  On a day like today, the track had less grip in the beginning, so reds aren't favored so early.  You don't want to run the risk of yellows because that is what happened to us last year.  I don't know.  We ran a good race, it just wasn't the race to run today.   I don't think you can blame anybody on that, it's just typical INDYCAR and you just can't predict these things. It is good to see Team Chevy get the win.  I am happy for Team Penske and happy for Will (Power)."

No. 3 Gallagher Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin
Start: 10th
Finish: 19th                                           
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 10th (-82 pts)

Race Rundown:  Scott McLaughlin and the No. 3 Gallagher Chevrolet team were hoping their two-stop strategy would pay off for the final Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle, but unfortunately an early mishap left them with a 19th-place finish. Starting from the 10th position on Firestone alternate red tires, the sky-blue Gallagher machine held its ground while green flag laps ticked by until the No. 3 locked up on corner entry and ran into a runoff area right before their plan to pit. Coming down pit road for the change to primary black tires, McLaughlin and the team reset their focus to try and regain lost position to earn valuable points for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship standings. While they were not able to make it back to the lead lap, determination prevailed as McLaughlin was able to continually track down position and improve their finish after the early incident.

McLaughlin's Thoughts: "Unfortunately, a tough day for us but at least one Team Penske car did win for Team Chevy in the final Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.   That was the main goal for everyone.  But yes, disappointing for us in the Gallagher Chevy.  We were thereabouts all weekend and I just made one mistake that just absolutely destroyed us.  I am really disappointed but the great thing about back-to-back weekends is that we have another go next week.  We will reload and get going."

No. 12 Verizon 5G Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Start: 16th
Finish: 1st – 41st career INDYCAR SERIES win
Laps Led: 55
Point Standings: 1st (+3 pts)

Race Rundown: Will Power charged from his 16th-place starting position to score the 41st NTT INDYCAR SERIES win of his illustrious career in Sunday's Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, the last edition of this race to be run at Belle Isle Park before moving to a downtown circuit in 2023. The win was the 100th for Chevrolet and their 2.2L twin turbo V6 engine that has been used since their return to the series in 2012. Power started the 70-lap event with the Firestone primary tires on his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet, and he put them to good use while many in the field began on the alternate, softer compound tires. He moved past Team Penske teammate, Josef Newgarden, on the 13th lap and built a commanding lead over the first two stints of the race. Race strategist Ron Ruzewski called Power down pit road for the second – and final – time for their mandator stint on the alternate Firestone tires on lap 50. From there, Power drove masterfully to save the softer tire from the rough Belle Isle surface. He was able to easily hold off the No. 27 of Alexander Rossi to score the victory placing him one win away from tying Michael Andretti for fourth place on the all-time wins list.

Power's Thoughts: "Obviously very satisfying. Redemption from last year. Yeah, the last stint, it was good because I had such a gap. On the out lap, it was really nice. You can do a bit of damage on the cold tires. I was really cognizant of not slipping the tire too much. Then just got in a rhythm and drove it really straight, really straight. Can be very quick that way. Just a certain way you can drive when tires are like that. The fact that the track had rubbered so much looked after them. They never, like, dropped and I was like, Oh, my God. I just looked after them in case there was a battle at the end. If I had to go hard at the end, I think I could have. Just a great day for Verizon and for Chevy. I cannot thank them enough. They work really hard. Certainly, improved over last year. Better drivability, better engine all around. Yeah, really proud to get the hundredth win for them."