Bourdais Wins Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans Race 2
DETROIT (May 31, 2015) – Sebastien Bourdais held off Takuma Sato over the final three laps of Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans to collect his 33rd career Indy car victory. The race win made Bourdais the seventh different winner in eight Verizon IndyCar Series races this season and brought him to within one win of Al Unser Jr. for seventh on the all-time Indy car victory list.
The front runners were all low on fuel when a red flag was displayed on Lap 65 of the scheduled 70-lap race as the Holmatro Safety Team cleaned up debris from an incident involving Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves, who made contact in Turn 2 of the 14-turn, 2.35-mile street circuit on a restart.
INDYCAR called for a timed race, and Bourdais – whose No. 11 Team Mistic E-Cigs KVSH Racing Chevrolet likely wouldn’t have had enough fuel to go the originally scheduled 70 laps – had just enough Sunoco E85 to run the final 2 minutes, 50 seconds in the race.
“It was just about as nerve-racking as it gets,” Bourdais said. “When we elected to stay out (instead of pitting late for fuel) I was like, ‘Oh, man, it’s all or nothing.’ All I could hope for was the same scenario as NOLA (with) complicated conditions and one yellow after another. It was the right call again today. The difference is we obviously deserved it because the boys worked really hard and we were on the pace, we passed a bunch of cars and made the moves when it mattered. We made it stick all the way to the end.”
The four-time Indy car champion, who started ninth on entrant points after a downpour cancelled the late-morning qualifications, finished 1.7644 seconds ahead of Sato in the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda.
Graham Rahal finished third in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for his third podium in the last five races. Tristan Vautier gave Dale Coyne Racing its best finish this season in fourth after starting 23rd and Marco Andretti, runner-up in Race 1 on May 30, finished fifth in the No. 27 Merchant First/Snapple Honda for Andretti Autosport.
Conor Daly, substituting for the injured James Hinchcliffe in the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, led 12 laps early and finished sixth.
Pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya, who led a field-high 35 laps, slipped to 10th on the final lap as the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet ran out of fuel. The recently-crowned Indianapolis 500 winner still maintained the championship points lead (315-294 over Power) at the halfway point of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.
“We had a really good Verizon Chevy today. It was really good in the rain as we jumped out to a big lead. It looked to be a nice day for the team,” Montoya said. “We gained points on Will with a 10th-place finish so it’s not a terrible day.”
Bourdais inherited the lead on Lap 51 when Daly pitted under caution for fuel and a change from rain tires to Firestone alternates, and was aided in fuel conservation by four yellow flags over the duration. Sato overtook Montoya on a Lap 65 restart before the yellow flag flew for the Castroneves-Power contact, which was instigated by Power’s No. 1 Verizon Team Penske car being clipped from behind.
Sato, who started 15th, earned his first podium finish since Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2013.
“It was a long race, but it was a fantastic show,” Sato said. “It was difficult to overtake today with the greasy conditions, but after we made a good call and the boys did a fantastic job with the pit stops. Every restart was very exciting, especially the last few. We needed a little bit more (for the win) but it was a great day for AJ Foyt Racing.”
In Race 1, Carlos Munoz earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory. Simon Pagenaud clinched his first podium finish as a Team Penske driver.
WILL POWER (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m proud of the Verizon Chevy team and we were in good shape, despite the weather conditions. We had a bit of a steering problem and went toward a different strategy, then made good ground on the restarts. But going into the wall toward the end was a bad way to finish and I’m obviously disappointed. But we will look toward a better result in Texas.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “We had a really good Verizon Chevy today. It was really good in the rain as we jumped out to a big lead. It looked to be a nice day for the team. I don’t really agree with what happened on the next-to-last restart, but that’s a conversation I will have. We gained points on Will (Power) with a 10th-place finish so it’s not a terrible day.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “The Hitachi Chevrolet was really good today, especially in the dry. We made some different strategy calls, which were actually starting to pay off there at the end of the race. Unfortunately, we got caught up in an incident between Will (Power) and another car and it ended our race. We were easily going to crack the top five or top six, so it’s frustrating to not be able to finish. But it’s racing and you have to move on.”
STEFANO COLETTI (No. 4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet): “I’m disappointed about how the race ended. We were fast in the wet and making up positions, but when I switched to slicks I hit the tire barrier in Turn 3 and lost a lap. The conditions this weekend were really tough and we definitely had a car to be up front in both races. Unfortunately, we are going home with 15th and 16th instead. I have to congratulate my teammate Sebastien (Bourdais) on a great win today and hopefully that will be me on the podium soon.”
CONOR DALY (No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda): “”Well, that was very interesting. Such a crazy race up and down but our Arrow car was fantastic the whole time – wet and dry. To lead the race, and to lead the race with the strength that we did, makes me over the moon. We got a little bit unlucky with the yellows but to come back and finish sixth, was so great. It was my goal to try and be here at the end of race two. I almost had a tear in my eye because I enjoyed it so much. It was wild and crazy, but I’m just happy to have it here and have a great finish.”
JAMES JAKES (No. 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “It was a very frustrating day for us in the No. 7 SPM MediaTech Honda car. We just made the wrong call at the start and weren’t able to make any progress from that. It’s a shame because we had very good pace with the car this weekend, so we’ll take that as a positive and just move on.”
SAGE KARAM (No. 8 Comfort Revolution / Big Machine Records Chevrolet):“Today was a learning experience for sure. I knew we had a good car after we led the qualifying session before it was canceled. The whole team did a great job with the car and getting it right for me today. But I made some mistakes out there and you can’t get penalties and expect to win races. I learned a tough lesson today and I’m going to put it behind me and go to Texas with more experience under my belt. I know what I need to do to improve to help this team be successful.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet): “There were a ton of different strategies and the race seemed to change every lap there after halfway. We just kept trying to make something happen in the Target car. Someone made a lunge at Charlie’s (Kimball) car, Charlie tried to cross over and then I guess he just didn’t see me and we got into the wall. Overall, I think our car was really good. We had a top-three car. It was just a crazy race out there today for sure.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 Taylor Swift Big Machine Records Chevrolet): “Another bad day for the 10 car. We worked our way up from 13th to get into the top five and we had a solid strategy when we were planning on the race being timed. When that last yellow came out, we knew we could make it on fuel but when they threw the red we had to come in before the last restart. I know we had a good car and after the team rallied back after our incident yesterday. I felt good about today’s race. It’s just frustrating to know how much potential we have every race and then to not be able to get the results we want.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 11 Team Mistic E-Cigs KVSH Racing Chevrolet): “It was just about as nerve-racking as it gets. When we elected to stay out I was like, ‘Oh, man, it’s all or nothing.’ All I could hope for was the same scenario as NOLA (with) complicated conditions and one yellow after another. It was the right call again today. The difference is we obviously deserved it because the boys worked really hard and we were on the pace, we passed a bunch of cars and made the moves when it mattered. We made it stick all the way to the end. When we got on the Firestone red tires I was like, ‘Boy, that’s way too early.’ It just felt like it was a risky move, but I knew it was the right one just like yesterday. I just couldn’t be any happier that we made it stick.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda): “It was a long race, but it was a fantastic show. It was difficult to overtake today with the greasy conditions, but after we made a good call and the boys did a fantastic job with the pit stops. How may restarts did we do? I can’t remember. Every restart was very exciting, especially the last few. I made a couple positions up on a good move. Congratulations to Sebastien (Bourdais) on a good win. We needed a little bit more (for the win) but it was a great day for AJ Foyt Racing. (On the restart where he overtook Montoya) It was supposed to be a steady acceleration, but Montoya had to brake and I had to brake as well. It wasn’t clean really.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda): “(Today’s result) helped a lot. Yesterday was brutal. That’s the nice thing about this doubleheader. We reversed our roles from last year. Last year we had a good first day and a bad second day. At least this year I’m leaving here getting on the airplane on a good note. (Looking at next week) All I know is we had a good run of it in the ‘500’ and we’re going to keep working hard here and keep getting points. We’re fourth in points now, just one or two ahead of Helio (Castroneves) and seven behind (Scott) Dixon. We’re just going to keep fighting because we can hang with these guys, so we’ve just got to keep working hard and we’ll be there.”
TRISTAN VAUTIER (No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): “I’ve been out of an IndyCar for a year and a half and today I was able to finish fourth. Hats off to the team for making the perfect calls today on strategy. It really paid off for us. The car was really good. You know, it was chaos out there, but you couldn’t be too conservative because if you were too conservative you would just get passed by everyone. It was a fine line between aggressive and keeping the car in one piece, but we found it today so it is amazing. A big thanks to Dale Coyne for having me drive for his team this weekend and thanks to all the guys. It was an amazing experience and I hope we can do more together.”
LUCA FILIPPI (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka CFH Racing Chevrolet): “We raced really hard to make up positions at the beginning of the race. We came out of the pits on one stop on cold red tires and I just lost it. I’m very sorry to my team. We had a good result in our hands, even though we started in the back. The car felt great all the time. Today was probably the most difficult conditions we could find, because it was not only damp but also very cold. Everything combined made it very tricky and we had many cautions because it was very hard to keep it on the track.”
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet): “It was an interesting day. We qualified second in our group but unfortunately qualifying got canceled when the second group couldn’t finish because of the weather. That was a setback for us. We started eighth and the car was set up for dry conditions. We needed it to dry quicker than it did. When it finally started drying at the end of the race we were at our best and we were doing great, racing up into the top five. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay there with some strange rulings there at the end. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t bring the PPG Chevy home in the top five. We definitely had the pace for it. We will just recover and move on to Texas. I’m really excited about Texas.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 AndrettiTV Cinsay Honda): “I think I had a couple of good first few laps – I went from 11th to fifth, and I was catching (Scott) Dixon. I suddenly lost power and I saw smoke in the rear. We aren’t sure what happened. We got the win yesterday, and it’s a shame we can’t finish a great weekend. I think we were looking really good, but this is racing. We’ll just concentrate and look ahead to Texas next weekend.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Merchant First / Snapple Honda): “Decent weekend for points. We really lost the back end (of the car; we were struggling there but we salvaged what we could. I really wish we could have gotten (Tristan) Vautier though. In the end, we’ll take a podium and a top five. A few more laps of green (flag conditions) at the end of today would have gone a long way for us.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Things just didn’t go our way this weekend and that continued in Race Two. Our strategy was the right one, however, when the race was shortened at the end it saved most the cars running in front of us. The biggest mistake was taking primary black tires instead of the softer red option tire. We were surrounded by cars on reds in low-grip conditions and just didn’t have enough grip at the end. We’re bound to break through soon. Looking forward to getting the No. 28 DHL Honda back up front where it belongs.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 67 Hartman Oil CFH Racing Chevrolet): “Tough day, tough conditions. I made a mistake and threw it into the wall and cost us a decent result today. I feel bad about that; that’s not something you want to do, but unfortunately those things do happen sometimes. I have to work on being error-free on my side for next time and do a better job for the Hartman Oil boys. They did a good job and I had a good car. CFH Racing was great. Now it’s on to the next one to try and redeem ourselves.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir FlexTouch Chevrolet): “It was just really tough conditions throughout the entire weekend in Detroit, especially today. I feel really badly that I made contact with my teammate. I honestly didn’t even know he was back there and if I would’ve known it was him there would have been a completely different outcome than what happened. I understand the importance of the one-team mentality here at Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and I hate that the race ended that way for Scott (Dixon) because of me. It was a rough weekend for the whole team and I think we’re all ready to move on to Texas and have drastically different results there.”