Will Power held onto his alternate red wall tyres for twenty laps in his final stint, holding off an insane charge by Alexander Rossi to win the final Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.
Power held a gap of over sixteen seconds after his final pit stop on lap 50 that Rossi managed to shrink down to one second, but Team Penske‘s two-stop strategy held strong to beat out Rossi on the three-stop.
“I just drove it as straight as I could,” Power said post-race. “I never put any slip in it, I was just driving it really straight and really nice on the brakes, on the throttle. I knew that if we could keep a reasonable gap to the end we’d be okay but I was a bit worried because I could see how badly [the tyres] died, but there’s a lot more rubber on the track at the end.”
After watching a win at Detroit slip away last year, Power found this win to be a cathartic one.
“It’s redemption from last year. I was just waiting for something to happen those last ten laps, but just stayed laser-focused.”
Rossi, who just announced that he will be moving to Arrow McLaren SP prior to this race weekend, seemed to be the favorite after how well he made the three-stop strategy work, but in the end the American simply ran out of laps to catch Power.
Josef Newgarden led the field to green alongside Takuma Sato, who quickly fell behind the two Meyer Shank Racing cars of Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves. Rossi, who started eleventh, gained three positions on the first lap as he marched through the pack. Some drivers came into the pits as early as lap three to get off of the alternate tyres and move to a three-stop strategy, namely Rossi (lap four), Rinus Veekay (lap three), and Conor Daly (lap five) among others.
Those that started on the primary tyre like Power, Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, and rookie Kyle Kirkwood quickly shot through the field as the alternate tyres fell off, with those on the reds hoping to make it to lap 16 to stay in the two-stop window. That proved costly, as the aforementioned trio sent Newgarden from first to fourth in only a few corners on lap 14, with Power inheriting the lead. Rossi even managed to pass Newgarden on track on lap 17, already one pit stop ahead of the polesitter.
Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, and Colton Herta all finally pit on lap 18 after the threat of caution for a slowing Castroneves who was plagued with an electrical issue. He was officially out of the race on lap 21.
Rossi made his second of three pit stops on lap 24, while Power, Dixon, and Palou all made their first stops a few laps later. The Chip Ganassi Racing duo opted to do their alternate stint at this stop, while Power went for primary tyres to leave the reds until the very end. From here, Rossi hunted the CGR driver as their tyres quickly began to fall off. He finally caught and passed Palou in turn three on lap 38, with Dixon still to go and a fifteen second gap to Power in the lead.
Rossi finally dispatched Dixon on lap 43 and now the chase really began for Rossi, but not before a pit stop on lap 46 for another set of primary tyres. Two laps later, Kirkwood came in for his final stop, but a tank-slapper on his out-lap saw the rookie make contact with the wall, damaging the car much more than initially thought, ending a promising run that could have ended up in a top ten finish. He was officially out on lap 50.
Power made his final stop for the reds on that same lap, and with a sixteen second gap to make up and clean track ahead Rossi managed to close it down to one second, but it wasn’t enough to steal the win.
Behind Power and Rossi, Dixon rounded out the podium with a strong third place finish, rebounding well after another disappointing Indy 500. Newgarden managed to recover from his first-stint free-fall to finish fourth, with O’Ward rounding out the top five.
Palou finished sixth with teammate Marcus Ericsson seventh, a strong result after the whirlwind of appearances (and lack of sleep) that comes with winning “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Herta finished eighth for Andretti Autosport, while Pagenaud finished ninth to record his fifth top ten result of the season. Felix Rosenqvist rounded out the top ten with a brilliant result after starting on the last row of the grid. A result much needed with his future at AMSP in the balance.
This win puts Power back at the top of the points standings heading into the eighth race of the season next weekend at Road America for the Sonsio Grand Prix on 12 June, 2022.
Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit – Official Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||NAT.||TEAM||TOTAL TIME|
|1||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||01:32:08.8183|
|2||27||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport||+ 1.002 sec.|
|3||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||+ 7.123 sec.|
|4||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||+ 10.671 sec.|
|5||5||Pato O’Ward||MEX||Arrow McLaren SP||+ 11.234 sec.|
|6||10||Alex Palou||ESP||Chip Ganassi Racing||+ 14.905 sec.|
|7||8||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||+ 40.899 sec.|
|8||26||Colton Herta||USA||Andretti Autosport||+ 41.128 sec.|
|9||60||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Meyer Shank Racing||+ 41.294 sec.|
|10||7||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Arrow McLaren SP||+ 42.877 sec.|
|11||18||David Malukas (R)||USA||Dale Coyne Racing w/ HMD Motorsports||+ 45.891 sec.|
|12||20||Conor Daly||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||+ 51.176 sec.|
|13||51||Takuma Sato||JPN||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing||+ 52.216 sec.|
|14||30||Christian Lundgaard (R)||DEN||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+ 1:12.776 sec.|
|15||45||Jack Harvey||GBR||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+ 1:28.241 sec.|
|16||21||Rinus VeeKay||NED||Ed Carpenter Racing||+ 1 Lap|
|17||28||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Andretti Autosport||+ 1 Lap|
|18||29||Devlin DeFrancesco (R)||CAN||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||+ 1 Lap|
|19||3||Scott McLaughlin||NZL||Team Penske||+ 1 Lap|
|20||4||Dalton Kellett||CAN||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||+ 1 Lap|
|21||77||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Juncos Hollinger Racing||+ 2 Laps|
|22||48||Jimmie Johnson||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||+ 2 Laps|
|23||11||Tatiana Calderon (R)||COL||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||+ 2 Laps|
|24||14||Kyle Kirkwood (R)||USA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||Crash|
|25||06||Helio Castroneves||BRA||Meyer Shank Racing||Mechanical|
|26||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Accident|