The first part of the Chevrolet Duel in Detroit was run on Saturday, being the 7th round of the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Marco Andretti had taken Pole Position for the race, which was his first Pole since Milwaukee 2013! Scott Dixon had secured second position, ahead of Robert Wickens, Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Championship leader Will Power was starting the race from P6.
The race got off to a calm start, without anything major happening at the top.
Robert Wickens had to pit early, since he got into troubles with his rear tires losing grip. His good start position evaporated into a mid-field run, dropping out of top-10.
Marco Andretti kept the lead for the first 24 laps, before he pitted for his first stop. The Andretti team wasn’t as effective as Chip Ganassi Racing and Scott Dixon, who took the lead of the race.
Halfway through the race, we had Scott Dixon in the lead of the race ahead of Graham Rahal and Ryan Hunter-Reay, while Polesitter Marco Andretti had fallen back into fourth. He was however under a lot of pressure from teammate Alexander Rossi.
Rene Binder outbraked himself in Turn 7, and had to make a 7-point turn to get the car back on the track.
After 47 laps we had the first Full Course Yellow of the day, when Graham Rahal hit the concrete wall hard. The American clipped a curb, which sent his car into a big oversteer moment, so he wasn’t able to catch it before it was too late.
Luckily everybody in the top-6 had already pitted, so Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Alexander Rossi, Ed Jones and Takuma Sato were able to breath a sigh of relief.
Ed Jones had quietly worked his way from 11th starting position, so it was clear that Chip Ganassi Racing had some good cars for today’s race.
When the race was restarted, Takuma Sato dived past Ed Jones in Turn 1 already.
Santino Ferrucci was the next driver to cause a FCY. He went off on one of the fastest parts of the track, when Charlie Kimball drove into the rear of him, pushing him around. So the replacement for Pietro Fittipaldi at Dale Coyne Racing was totally innocent, in what was a good debut race, where he was in the best half of the field. Kimball was awarded a drive-through penalty as the guilty party
The race was restarted with 10 laps to go.
Alexander Rossi instantly started attacking Marco Andretti. Rossi was on his way around the outside in Turn 3, and was inches from hitting the wall, but he kept the car on the track and started hunting down Dixon and Hunter-Reay out in front.
But nobody was able to catch up with Scott Dixon out in front, who took his 42nd victory. That makes him the third most winning driver in the Indycar history, being equal with Michael Andretti.
Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second, ahead of Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato and Ed Jones. Will Power was the best Chevrolet driver in P7.
That meant that he lost the lead of in the Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, which is now led by Alexander Rossi ahead of Scott Dixon and Will Power.
The drivers now need a good nights sleep, before they will have another qualifying and race tomorrow, Sunday.