Track: Raceway at Belle Isle
Race: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans (Race 1)
Date: June 4, 2016
No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Juan Pablo Montoya
Laps Completed: 70/70
Laps Led: 13
Points Position: 6th (-90)
Recap: Juan Pablo Montoya recovered from a disappointing Indianapolis 500 with a podium finish Saturday in the first of two Chevrolet Dual in Detroit races on the Belle Isle street course behind the wheel of his Verizon Chevrolet. Montoya roared back from an early pit stop to contend with the leaders late in the race, finishing 5.7067 seconds behind winner Sebastien Bourdais. Montoya, who was part of Team Penske’s 1-2-3 sweep in qualifying and started third, pitted under green on lap nine of the 70-lap race. Just as Montoya completed his stop, a yellow flag came out for Max Chilton’s crash. Shortly after the restart, Montoya was back in contention, working into second place before teammate Will Power passed him, followed by Carlos Munoz. On lap 29, Montoya moved into the lead when Power pitted, but lost it three laps later while battling with Power as teammate Simon Pagenaud passed both for the top spot. On Lap 43, Montoya stayed out as the leaders pitted under caution and regained the lead. He headed to the pits while leading under green, giving the lead to Scott Dixon. Eventually, Montoya moved past Helio Castroneves and Pagenaud into third but couldn’t catch Bourdais and Conor Daly, settling for the final podium spot.
Quote: “After the last pit stop, we started having issues. But it was okay. We started pushing. It was a smart call. We were trying to play the rain. When we restarted, we never really pushed. We were trying to make sure we could make it to the rain, and the rain never came. We tried to run a smart race, but the rain didn’t happen. We got a decent podium out of it, so I’m pretty happy about that.”
No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Helio Castroneves
Laps Completed: 70/70
Laps Led: 0
Points Position: 2nd (-59 points)
Recap: Helio Castroneves finished in fifth place Saturday in the first of two Chevrolet Dual in Detroit races on the Belle Isle street course to keep the pressure on Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud for the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ championship as the season approaches the halfway point. Castroneves is now 59 points behind Pagenaud, who finished 13th, the race for the championship. Castroneves, who started second, chased Pagenaud for the lead through the early laps before teammate Will Power passed him for second on lap 14. Castroneves and his Hitachi Chevrolet team pitted under green and dropped to 17th place, but moved up to eighth place by lap 29 and pit stops cycled out. On lap 54, he was back up to fourth place, just ahead of Pagenaud, then moved to third on the following lap. Castroneves held on for the final 11 laps to score the top-five finish.
Quote: “I have to say the Hitachi Chevrolet was fantastic and ran really well and we were in great position to win. On the other side, we had to save fuel for about 30 laps. But if we look at the positive side, we’ve gained a lot of points in championship (now second) and that’s very good for Team Penske. We will go back tomorrow and look for better results.”
No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power
Laps Completed: 44/70
Laps Led: 5
Points Position: 12th (-124)
Recap: Will Power encountered mechanical issues midway through Saturday’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit race number one and was left stranded in a runoff area in the late stages of the event, resulting in a 20th-place finish. Power had led the race for five laps in his Verizon Chevy and was competing with the leaders before the nut came off the right rear wheel after a pit stop on lap 44, forcing him to come to a stop on the circuit. His Team Penske crew traveled to the runoff area to get the car running and ready to return to the race, but he was not allowed to return from the runoff area under green. Power, who missed the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., due to illness, is now 12th in the IndyCar standings. Sunday’s second race in Detroit will mark the halfway point in the 2016 season.
Quote: “The Verizon Chevy was great today. We started in ninth and were able to quickly gain ground and get up front. The car was really fast and felt very comfortable. Then we had that pit stop and problem with the wheel. You can’t do much about it. Things happen. My crew is the best. It was just one of those things. We’ll regroup and give it another go tomorrow.”
No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud
Laps Completed: 70/70
Laps Led: 30
Points Position: 1st (+59)
Recap: Simon Pagenaud dominated the early laps of Saturday’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit race one on the Belle Isle street course race before settling for a disappointing 13th-place finish. However, despite the rough finish, Pagenaud maintained his lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ championship. Pagenaud started from the pole position and quickly took the lead. He kept the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet on track during a caution period on lap nine and, after a restart, pulled away from second-place Will Power by 6.5 seconds on lap 22. On the following lap, Pagenaud pitted under green, dropping to 12th place when he returned. He began to then charge back to the front and, by lap 27, he was up to eighth place. Eventually, Pagenaud was once again back in the lead, passing teammates Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya in one turn to take the top spot. Pagenaud eventually had to make one more stop, then try and save fuel to make it to the finish. Unfortunately, the saving fuel strategy cost the points leader several positions on the track and the Frenchman ended up 13th. Despite the disappointing finish, Pagenaud remains 59 points ahead of teammate Helio Castroneves in the drivers’ standings.
Quote: “The Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet was strong today. We were running strong all day in the front, but it ended up being a fuel strategy race after we got caught up during the first yellow when we were in the lead. From then on, strategy was difficult. We needed a load of fuel to make it at the end but unfortunately there wasn’t much we could have done. If we came in, it probably would have been the same. The crew did a fantastic job. It just didn’t work out for us.”
Next Race: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans race two – Sunday, June 5 at 3:30 p.m. ET. Television coverage will be on ABC