Bourdais Gains Another Detroit Win; Daly Earns First IndyCar Podium

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photogrid_1465076001999.jpgToday’s race results mark the 35th IndyCar win for French driver, Sebastien Bourdais. This moves him up on the all-time career race wins list, tying Bobby Unser. Bourdais is not a stranger to the podium here on Belle Isle – he was victorious in the last race here as well: the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit – Race 2, in 2015. The air must be fresh up at the top of that podium, just as it was running the KVSH Racing No. 11 Hydroxycut Chevy at the front of the pack for a dozen laps today. The Saturday success moved Bourdais up to 14th in the Championship points standings.

photogrid_1465079737236.jpgAlso moving up in points was Dale Coyne Racing driver and Verizon IndyCar Series rookie, Conor Daly. He earned 41 points today, becoming 16th in the rankings. He was the biggest mover in the field, starting P16 and finishing P2. The podium finish is the best career finish for Daly and boy oh boy, he celebrated on that podium like it was a win! Champagne over the head and everything. It was impossible not to smile while watching it all happen. Even his podium-mates, Bourdais and Juan Pablo Montoya, made it something to remember as they both sprayed Daly with champagne and laughed throughout the experience. IndyCar is a family, we all celebrate when someone has an accomplishment, especially a first podium! It was really cool to witness.

Daly, like Bourdais, seems to get along pretty well with the track on Belle Isle – last year he jumped in the No. 5 SPM Honda for an injured James Hinchcliffe, led the field for a portion of the wet race, and ultimately finished P6 – his best career finish up until today. Fair to say he wouldn’t mind another podium celebration tomorrow, particularly now that he knows they have the car to compete for the lead: “We haven’t been able to show our potential in the car. To finally run up front, not get gobbled up by the guys around us, sort of proved we had the pace as well.”

The doubleheader in Detroit seems to somehow level the playing field – between drivers, experience, teams, and engine manufacturers. Look at the makeup of the last three podiums here:

Sebastien Bourdais (x2) KVSH Racing Chevrolet
Conor Daly Dale Coyne Racing Honda
Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet
Takuma Sato AJ Foyt Racing Honda
Graham Rahal RLL Racing Honda
Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda
Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda
Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet

photogrid_1464997233992.jpgAnother note-worthy story was Scott Dixon. It might not be immediately apparent given that he did not have a great run, having to retire from the race after 56 laps due to electrical issues with the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Chevy; finding himself down to third in the points standings when Helio Castroneves of Team Penske surpassed him, with a slight lead of 7 points. So, what’s the good part of this story you ask? I’ll tell you.

Dixon’s ran a race lap time of 1:14.6675. That’s not just a personal best on Belle Isle, that’s record breaking. Dixon now holds the overall track record, breaking the one that Castroneves set the day prior. The fact that the track record is a race lap time and not a qualifying lap time is pretty extraordinary. The Raceway at Belle Isle Park is the only circuit on the current IndyCar schedule to claim such a record.

Verizon IndyCar Series track times at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans:
Friday, June 3: Practice #1 – 10:45 a.m.; Quals for Duel #1 – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 4: Practice #2 – 10:05 a.m.; Duel #1 – 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 5: Systems Check – 8:45 a.m.; Quals for Duel #2 – 10:45 a.m.; Duel #2 – 3:30 p.m.

The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans (Duels 1 & 2) will be broadcast live on ABC. All other track action for IndyCar will be livestreamed via IndyCar – all information and links to those plus radio coverage is available here.

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