Verizon IndyCar Series Race Report - Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 1

May 31, 2015

Track: Streets of Belle Isle, Detroit, Mich.
Race: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, Race 1
Date:   May 30, 2015
No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – Will Power
Start:  1st
Finish: 4th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  47/47
Laps Led:  4
Points Position (behind leader):  2nd (-11 pts.)
Recap: Will Power started on the pole position and brought the No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet home in fourth place during a rain-shortened race on the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit. He’ll get another chance Sunday during the second race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. On Saturday, Power recovered from a mishap on his first pit stop of the race in which his car’s left rear tire was hung on a piece of suspension. The long pit stop on lap 15 dropped him out of the top 10, but Power battled back to fourth and maintained his second-place position in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ standings. Power is now 11 points behind series leader and Team Penske teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya.
Quote:  “Obviously the rain throws your strategy off quite a bit. As one of the front-running cars we didn’t want to give up the track position to put on primary or ‘red’ Firestone tires once the track began to dry. After other teams started to do that we had to do it too. That’s what put us back in the pack a bit, but we were able to work our way back through the field for a top-five finish. The rain actually helped us because we were about to pit in a couple of laps. But I’m proud of my Verizon Chevy guys. They worked their tails off today.”
No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Start:  3rd
Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  47/47
Laps Led:  0
Points Position (ahead of second):  1st  (+11)
Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya finished the first race following his second Indianapolis 500 victory last Sunday afternoon with a somewhat disappointing result. Montoya finished 10th in the rain-shortened first race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans after having to stop twice for rain tires late in the event. Montoya started on the second row and was in fourth place when Charlie Kimball’s accident brought out a yellow flag on lap 15. Montoya pitted to take on slick tires, dropping him back to 10th. Later, after pitting for rain tires on lap 35, Montoya dropped back in the field but was able to pass several cars before the race was eventually called on lap 48. With the finish Montoya, maintains an 11-point lead over his Team Penske teammate, Will Power.
Quote:  “It is what it is. As a driver you really like to have consistency with the weather. Unfortunately today we didn’t have it and that makes the race a bit of an unknown. We didn’t want to see the rain come back because we had already made our stop. We needed it to stay green so that we would get our track position back when the leaders pitted. That’s racing though. We know we have a good Verizon Chevy for tomorrow.”
No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves
Start:  2nd
Finish: 6th
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  47/47
Laps Led:  0
Points Position (behind leader):  4th (-58 pts.)
Recap: Helio Castroneves came through an unusual, rain-delayed and rain-shortened race on Saturday with a sixth-place effort in the first race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. Castroneves, who has won three times on the Belle Isle circuit, came back on track after the first round of pit stops in the ninth position. He moved up to seventh-place before pitting for rain tires on lap 32, dropping him back before rallying to finish sixth as the race was called because of severe weather. Castroneves has finished outside the top seven only one time in seven races this season.
Quote:  “Man, we had everything thrown at the Hitachi Chevrolet today. You never like to see that much rain at a racetrack. I hate it for Roger (Penske), Bud (Denker) and everyone that puts on this great race. They control everything they can, but the weather has a mind of its own. Our goal now is to come back tomorrow and make sure the trophy for the second race comes back to Team Penske.”
No. 22 PPG Automotive Finishing Team Penske Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Start:  5th
Finish: 3rd
Status: Running
Laps Completed:  47/47
Laps Led:  0
Points Position (behind leader):  8th (-115 pts.)
Recap: Simon Pagenaud used great team strategy to finish on the podium in an unusual race that started in the wet before moving to dry conditions and ending after a deluge of rain and lightning that finished the race after 47 laps completed. Pagenaud started fifth and drove to his best finish in his first season with Team Penske thanks to some timely strategy. Pagenaud stayed out on slicks as long as possible while other teams came in to get wet tires, eventually building up enough of a lead to come out among the leaders when he pitted for rain tires on lap 40. With slick tires nearly 10 seconds faster than wets, Pagenaud was able to build up a cushion on the rest of the field.  When he got wets, Pagenaud was able to hold onto his third-place position before the race was eventually called early due to lightening. Pagenaud, who led the second-most laps in the Indianapolis 500 last weekend, had a best previous 2015 finish of fourth in April on the streets of Long Beach, Calif.
Quote:  “Today was all about team effort and I can’t thank the PPG crew enough for a good strategy and a great call. It was very dicey. We never knew when the rain was going to come. We could only look at the radar, but on the race track it wasn’t raining when they called me in so we had a few communications exchanges. We stayed out a bit longer and then made the call at the perfect time to jump to third and then get a first podium with Team Penske.”