Mother Nature had her way with the Verizon IndyCar Series in Belle Isle over the weekend, producing two surprise winners and suppressing the dominance otherwise displayed by Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing this season.
Carlos Munoz and Sebastien Bourdais used strategy and the rain to their advantage, stealing victories on both Saturday and Sunday respectively. That’s not to say that Andretti Autosport and KV Racing didn’t have the speed to contend but they needed the track position and the opportunity to defend and that’s what the weather provided them.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power still top the standings but the gap has tightened considerably. Montoya had the speed to win both races but circumstances didn’t fall his way and he could only muster a pair of 10th-place finishes over the weekend.
He leads Power by 21 points – the only driver within one race of the points lead.
Rapid Reaction: Dual in Detroit
The tightening of the championship race was exacerbated by the misfortune the top four in the standings experienced on Sunday. Montoya ran out of fuel on the final lap while Power and Helio Castroneves crashed in the closing stages of the event. Scott Dixon was also taken out by his teammate Charlie Kimball, ensuring that the gap would decrease even partially.
Marco Andretti was the big winner of the weekend, posting finishes of second and fifth to jump from ninth to seventh in the overall standings. Despite getting caught up in an accident not of his own making and posting a DNF on Saturday, Graham Rahal finished third on Sunday and moved up to fourth in the standings.
“We’re fourth in points now,” Rahal said. “Just one ahead of Helio and seven or eight behind Dixon. We just have to keep fighting. We can hang with these guys. We just got to keep working hard and we’ll be there.”
The complete IndyCar standings after the Dual in Detroit can be viewed below.
- Juan Pablo Montoya Ldr.
- Will Power -21
- Scott Dixon -63
- Graham Rahal -69
- Helio Castroneves -70
- Sebastien Bourdais -87
- Marco Andretti -91
- Josef Newgarden -109
- Simon Pagenaud -122
- Charlie Kimball -128
- Carlos Munoz -135
- Tony Kanaan -141
- Ryan Hunter-Reay -144
- Takuma Sato -149
- Gabby Chaves -182
- James Jakes -183
- James Hinchcliffe -186
- Jack Hawksworth -187
- Luca Filippi -195
- Stefano Coletti -211
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