First thing's first -- I didn't get to see Sunday's Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix live due to work obligations and thus, I'll have to wait until INDYCAR puts up the full race on YouTube in the next 36 hours or so.
That said, you don't have to have seen the race to know that a 1-2-3 finish for Honda in Chevrolet's backyard -- which came one week after Honda rallied to win the Indianapolis 500 -- must be pretty satisfying for the Japanese manufacturer.
After losing the first four IZOD IndyCar Series races to the Bowtie, Honda has now fought back with a pair of big haymakers and they've done it with their bell cows over at Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Dario Franchitti charged from the back of the field to win his third '500,' and on Sunday, his teammate Scott Dixon led every lap from pole position to take his first win of 2012.
Dixon's victory will be remembered as one of the few parts about INDYCAR's return to the Motor City that wasn't bizarre. Yours truly was shaking his head during a work break over the 2.1-mile street circuit's rapid deterioration, which I found out in bits and pieces of info that came through a choppy audio stream.
The broken chunks of asphalt and sealant made their presence known on James Hinchcliffe's crash at Lap 40, which along with Takuma Sato's own crash on another part of the track, brought along a lengthy red flag period to repair the course starting at Lap 45:
Yeah, The Mayor was not pleased. And you wonder what went through the head of Roger Penske, whose corporation put on Sunday's event. However, we figure a sold-out crowd on Belle Isle will make him feel better about things.
Two hours later, the race was basically reset: 15 laps to go instead of 45, and fresh tires for everyone (but no changing of compounds; drivers had to stick to the compound they were on when the red flag began). But despite the changes, Dixon was able to hang on to the point through two more restarts in the final stint, while his teammate Franchitti and rookie-in-name-only Simon Pagenaud both jumped Will Power on said restarts to hit the podium.
As a result, Power's lead in the championship was melted slightly to 26 points over Dixon as we head for what should be a more entertaining Firestone 550 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway (8 pm ET, NBC Sports Network). Yours truly will be on the ground at TMS, so expect plenty of copy from me later this week.
In the meantime, I shall await the Detroit "tape" from on high so I can take a good look at Sunday's race myself.
IZOD IndyCar Series
Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix
Belle Isle Park, Detroit, Mich.
Race shortened to 60 laps due to track repairs and subsequent red flag of one hour, 59 minutes
1. 9-Scott Dixon, Ganassi-Honda, led all 60 laps
2. 10-Dario Franchitti, Ganassi-Honda, -1.9628 seconds.
3. 77-Simon Pagenaud, SHM-Honda, -2.4773 seconds.
4. 12-Will Power, Penske-Chevy, -3.5435 seconds.
5. 22-Oriol Servia, Panther+DRR-Chevy, -9.6619 seconds.
6. 11-Tony Kanaan, KVRT-Chevy, -10.1676 seconds.
7. 28-Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti-Chevy, -10.6455 seconds.
8. 83-Charlie Kimball, Ganassi-Honda, -11.1048 seconds.
9. 14-Mike Conway, Foyt-Honda, -11.5351 seconds.
10. 98-Alex Tagliani, BHA-Honda, -12.5688 seconds.
11. 26-Marco Andretti, Andretti-Chevy, -24.5855 seconds.
12. 20-Ed Carpenter, ECR-Chevy, -26.66 seconds.
13. 78-Simona de Silvestro, HVM-Lotus, -28.4369 seconds.
14. 4-J.R. Hildebrand, Panther-Chevy, one lap down.
15. 67-Josef Newgarden, SFHR-Honda, one lap down.
16. 2-Ryan Briscoe, Penske-Chevy, one lap down.
17. 3-Helio Castroneves, Penske-Chevy, one lap down.
18. 5-E.J. Viso, KVRT-Chevy, one lap down.
19. 38-Graham Rahal, Ganassi-Honda, two laps down.
20. 15-Takuma Sato, RLL-Honda, Lap 40 -- Contact.
21. 27-James Hinchcliffe, Andretti-Chevy, Lap 40 -- Contact.
22. 18-Justin Wilson, Coyne-Honda, Lap 28 -- Mechanical.
23. 19-James Jakes, Coyne-Honda, Lap 26 -- Mechanical.
24. 7-Sebastien Bourdais, Dragon-Chevy, Lap 24 -- Mechanical.
25. 8-Rubens Barrichello, KVRT-Chevy, Lap 11 -- Mechanical.
Time of race: One hour, 27 minutes, 39.5053 seconds. Lead changes: None. Caution laps: 12.
Lap Leaders: Dixon 1-60.
Points: 1. Power 232, 2. Dixon -26, 3. Castroneves -55, 4. Franchitti/Hinchcliffe -56, 6. Pagenaud -61, 7. Hunter-Reay -63, 8. Briscoe -90, 9. Kanaan -91, 10. Servia -103.
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