Helio Castroneves took the second race in IndyCar’s Dual in Detroit to give Team Penske a one-two and give the series a fifth winner in just seven races.
Climbing the fence at Belle Isle once again since starting the tradition in 2000 with his first Detroit win, Castroneves led from lap 28 and didn’t look backwards – he was not the leader for just one lap and that was because he and lap leader Jack Hawksworth were on different pit stop strategies.
The very start of the race saw Takuma Sato, who started on pole, dominate the race through numerous caution periods at the start. One of which was due to Will Power, who eventually finished second, being rather over optimistic on the opening lap. The Australian rode the curb on the inside of turn three to get past Josef Newgarden but he ended up clipping the Sarah Fisher Hartman driver who then spun into Graham Rahal who in turn was rear ended by Justin Wilson.
That was far being the only caution period in a race that had a middle stint surprisingly caution free considering how close the walls get to the racing line at points of the Belle Isle track.
The biggest caution period during the final third of the race went to Sato, just a few laps after going back to green following Sebastien Bourdais’ trip into the barriers. For Sato, who led the first 10 laps, his end came when Marco Andretti tag his rear and span him into the wall.
The restarts gave Power, who had to serve a drive-through penalty, a chance to catch up to Castroneves but a 1.6 second gap was the closest the battle got when the chequered flag flew.
“The Indy 500 just clicked something. It just made us hungry and here I am in Victory Circle where I won my first race. It’s great energy again. I wanted it so bad,” said Castroneves, who a week earlier came just short of joining Rick Mears, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser as the only four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. “More than anything, I want this championship.”
For Castroneves and the rest of the IndyCar paddock, the next race is a visit to the oval as they visit the Lone Star State and the Texas Motor Speedway.