Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 for the 2nd time in his career

CFy4lhkW8AEtW2TJuan Pablo Montoya often has said that his three Team Penske teammates pose the most formidable competition in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

In the closing laps of the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, that proved to be the case.

Montoya, who won the race 15 years earlier, held off reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion and teammate Will Power by .1046 of a second — the fourth-closest finish in race history — in a thrilling battle over the final 15 laps that also included pole sitter and 2008 race winner Scott Dixon. Five of the 37 lead changes occurred in the final 15 laps following a restart, with Montoya overtaking Dixon in Turn 1 for second place and Power in Turn 4 to lead Lap 197 by .0420 of a second.

“It was awesome,” Montoya said in Victory Circle. “This is what racing in Indy car is all about, racing down to the wire. These guys, Team Penske, did an amazing job. I had the feeling that I had a really good car, but that fight at the end was really, really hard. All the way down to the wire. This is pretty awesome.”

The victory extended Roger Penske’s record of Indy 500 victories to 16.

“You give that guy the bit and put it in his mouth and he doesn’t give up,” said Penske, the race strategist for three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves. “It’s a great day for Team Penske. I knew we had two up there, but the worry was Dixon and the 83 (Charlie Kimball). At the end of the day, they played fair. Good passing and we won the race.”

Indy 500 Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Laps Status
1 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 200 Running
2 1 Will Power 200 Running
3 83 Charlie Kimball 200 Running
4 9 Scott Dixon 200 Running
5 15 Graham Rahal 200 Running
6 27 Marco Andretti 200 Running
7 3 Hello Castroneves 200 Running
8 6 JR Hildebrand 200 Running
9 21 Josef Newgarden 200 Running
10 22 Simon Pagenaud 200 Running
11 11 Sebastien Bourdais 200 Running
12 5 Ryan Briscoe 200 Running
13 14 Takuma Sato 200 Running
14 24 Townsent Bell 200 Running
15 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 200 Running
16 98 Gabby Chaves 200 Running
17 48 Alex Tagliani 200 Running
18 7 James Jakes 200 Running
19 29 Simona de Silvestro 200 Running
20 26 Carlos Munoz 200 Running
21 25 Justin Wilson 199 Running
22 63 Pippa Mann 197 Running
23 17 Sebastion Saavedra 175 Accident
24 41 James Hinchcliffe 175 Accident
25 4 Stefano Coletti 175 Accident
26 10 Tony Kanaan 151 Accident
27 19 James Davison 116 Mechanical
28 18 Tristan Vautier 116 Mechanical
29 32 Oriol Servia 112 Accident
30 20 Ed Carpenter 112 Accident
31 88 Bryan Clauson 61 Accident
32 8 Sage Karam 0 Accident
33 43 Conor Daly 0 Mechanical

 

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Viva Colombia: Huertas, Montoya, Munoz contribute to nation’s great sports day

06-28-Race-1-Podium-StdCarlos Huertas completed a monumental sports day for Colombia.

The 23-year-old Verizon IndyCar Series rookie won Race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston presented by the Greater Houston Honda Dealers under caution for his first victory. Juan Pablo Montoya finished second and rookie Carlos Munoz placed third for the podium sweep, and earlier in the day Colombia won its FIFA World Cup knockout match.

Huertas’ previous best finish was eighth in the opening round of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit a month ago. He is the seventh different winner in nine races. Marco Andretti in 2006 at Sonoma Raceway was the last driver to win in his first season.

“The kid has been getting better all year and he showed a lot today,” said team owner Dale Coyne, who picked up his first victory since May 2013 at Belle Isle with driver Mike Conway. “He’s been very steady and fast, and he performs. We used a good strategy to get him to the front, and when he got there he knew what to do.”

Huertas, who led the final seven laps (his first of the season) after teammate Justin Wilson had to pit for fuel, started 19th in the race that was scheduled for 90 laps but was ruled a timed race (1 hours, 50 minutes) because of rain that delayed the standing start. A one-lap shootout on a restart was set up following a caution on Lap 78, but the car of Graham Rahal clipped the rear of Tony Kanaan’s car heading to the restart zone and a “no start” call came from Race Control.

“The races are so long, you always have a chance to win if you do the right things at  the right time,” said Huertas, who went a field-high 39 laps on one set of Firestone tires and 18.5 gallons of E85 to close out the 80 laps. “Today was really tough. I was really struggling. I had no pace in the first half of the race. But I reminded myself just to stay calm and do what you have to do and I did that.

“The team called it perfectly with the fuel, and it’s a great day.”

Sebastien Bourdais, who won on the temporary street circuit in 2006 and ’07, placed a season-best fourth and James Hinchcliffe, who led 32 laps early, earned his second top-five finish of the season. Rookie Jack Hawksworth, whose No. 98 car made contact in practice June 27 and started 21st, earned a season-best sixth place.

Championship leader Will Power, who started 18th in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, slid into the Turn 9 tires on Lap 58 to bring out the caution flag. He finished 14th and, combined with teammate Helio Castroneves’ ninth place, takes a 33-point lead into Race 2 on June 29.

Montoya, who is competing in his first Indy car season since 2000, posted his best finish of the season and follows third place at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7. Munoz, who started 23rd, earned his third career podium and fourth top-five finish (in 12 races).

“We were forced to do something different (fuel strategy) and it paid off,” said Montoya, who also won in his first Indy car season (1999). “We did a timed race and with 35 minutes to go, I’m counting laps and I’m thinking, ‘We can make it. Why are they not stopping.’ Our Verizon Chevy was very good. I thought we had a chance to win, but at the end the tires went off.”

The Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Race 1  Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Total Laps Status
1 18 Carlos Huertas {R} 80 Running
2 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 80 Running
3 34 Carlos Munoz {R} 80 Running
4 11 Sebastien Bourdais 80 Running
5 27 James Hinchcliffe 80 Running
6 98 Jack Hawksworth {R} 80 Running
7 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 80 Running
8 25 Marco Andretti 80 Running
9 3 Hello Castroneves 80 Running
10 19 Justin Wilson 80 Running
11 15 Graham Rahal 80 Running
12 8 Ryan Briscoe 80 Running
13 10 Tony Kanaan 80 Running
14 12 Will Power 79 Running
15 17 Sebastion Saavedra 79 Running
16 77 Simon Pagenaud 74 Running
17 20 Ed Carpenter 55 Mechanical
18 83 Charlie Kimball 54 Contact
19 9 Scott Dixon 46 Contact
20 67 Josef Newgarden 41 Mechanical
21 16 Luca Filppi {R} 36 Contact
22 14 Takuma Sato 32 Contact
23 7 Mikhall Aleshin {R} 31 Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ed Carpenter withstands late restart to win at Texas

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It was shaping up to be a shootout between Ed Carpenter and Will Power under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway following the final round of service stops in the Firestone 600. That is until Power lost his weapon.

Power, the Verizon P1 Award winner in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, led more than half of the 248-lap race on the 1.455-mile, high-banked oval but succumbed to a season-long gremlin entering pit lane by not hitting the 60 mph speed limit. That resulted in a speeding violation — his fourth in the past five races — called by Race Control with 35 laps left.

A speeding violation figured in Power finishing eighth in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on May 25.

“I’ve got to stop making mistakes like that,” Power said earlier this week. “One potential win turned into an eighth-place finish.”

Carpenter, who knows the heartache of a promising Indy 500 finish gone south, was the beneficiary. After gaining a 12-second lead over Juan Pablo Montoya on Lap 242, he held on following a restart on Lap 246 to win by .5247 of a second over Power. Yes, Power. Race strategist Tim Cindric called in Power to pit on Lap 244 for fresh tires, and the Aussie overtook three cars on the restart to gain back most of the points he would have lost because of the penalty (12-point difference between second and sixth).

“I was really disappointed by doing it again, but what an awesome call by my team. It would have been a good battle there at the end, but to get the Verizon car second was just an awesome last lap,” said Power, who leads the championship standings by 43 points over teammate Helio Castroneves. “One more lap and the guy with the tires is going to win.”

Montoya finished a second-high third in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske car and Simon Pagenaud was fourth in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car. Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon placed fifth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, followed by teammate Tony Kanaan.

Carpenter, who had led a single lap in his previous 12 starts on the oval and had a best finish of fourth, led 90 laps and earned his third Verizon IndyCar Series victory (his first since the 2012 season finale at Auto Club Speedway. He’s the sixth different winner in eight races. The margin of victory was 14th in the 26 races at Texas Motor Speedway, which has 17 races with a margin of victory of less than a second.

“I knew we had a good car, though we left some on the table in qualifying,” said Carpenter, who started fifth in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car. “I love this racetrack and I’ve always wanted to win here so it’s nice to come here and get a win.”

Firestone 600 Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Total Laps Behind Status
1 20 Ed Carpenter 248 Leader Running
2 12 Will Power 248 0.5247 Running
3 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 248 0.5771 Running
4 77 Simon Pagenaud 248 1.1514 Running
5 9 Scott Dixon 248 2.1510 Running
6 10 Tony Kanaan 248 2.4464 Running
7 8 Ryan Briscoe 247 -1 Lap Running
8 83 Charlie Kimball 247 -1 Lap Running
9 7 Mikhall Aleshin {R} 247 -1 Lap Running
10 3 Hello Castroneves 247 -1 Lap Running
11 67 Josef Newgarden 247 -1 Lap Running
12 15 Graham Rahal 246 -2 Laps Running
13 34 Carlos Munoz {R} 245 -3 Laps Running
14 17 Sebastion Saavedra 244 -4 Laps Running
15 27 James Hinchcliffe 244 -4 Laps Running
16 98 Jack Hawksworth {R} 244 -4 Laps Running
17 18 Carlos Huertas {R} 244 -4 Laps Running
18 14 Takuma Sato 238 -10 Laps Mechanical
19 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 136 -112 Laps Mechanical
20 11 Sebastien Bourdais 118 -130 Laps Contact
21 19 Justin Wilson 118 -130 Laps Contact
22 25 Marco Andretti 3 -245 Laps Mechanical

 {R} – Rookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Power makes it two pole in a row Texas

06-06-Will-Power-Wins-Verizon-P1-Award-At-Texas-StdWill Power earned his second consecutive Verizon P1 Award for the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with a two-lap average speed of 218.896 mph on the 1.455-mile, high-banked oval.

Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, broke a tie with Dario Franchitti for sixth on the all-time Indy car list with his 34th pole and second of the season.

“I was actually surprised by the speed on the first lap (219.550 mph) and thought ‘I have to do it again,’ ” said Power, who has started in the top five at Texas the past six years and won in 2011. “I’m very focused on the race. Last year, (teammate) Helio (Castroneves) was very strong so I’ll try to get a car that strong for the race if I can.”

Four different teams are represented in the top five and seven in the top 10.

Josef Newgarden will start second in the No. 67 Strike/Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, recording his best qualifying effort in his third Verizon IndyCar Series season with a two-lap average of 217.835 mph. He was the only driver to improve his speed from Lap 1 to 2 (217.446 mph to 218.225). Newgarden’s previous best qualifying position on an oval was fourth at Auto Club Speedway in the 2012 season finale.

“I was happily surprised,” said Newgarden, of Hendersonville, Tenn. “We worked mainly on race stuff this morning (in the lone practice session). The name of the game is how to reduce tire degradation during the course of a run, so that’s what we focused on. We didn’t go super conservative for qualifying, but we didn’t go to the edge. The car was really fast. It’s almost like opening a gift at Christmas and getting what you want.”

Newgarden started second in the 2012 race at Long Beach because of penalties, and his best qualifying on a road/street course is fourth at Long Beach and Barber Motorsports Park this season.

Tony Kanaan, who wrapped up his 2004 series championship at Texas Motor Speedway, and Juan Pablo Montoya will start on Row 2. Kanaan, the first of the 22 qualifiers in the No. 10 Suave for Men entry for Target Chip Ganassi Racing posted a two-lap average of 217.826 mph. Montoya had competed in 17 NASCAR races at the speedway, but is making his first Indy car start. His two-lap average of 217.724 mph in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske car was a season high.

Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter (217.677) in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car will be on Row 3 with Simon Pagenaud (217.222), driving the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car.

“We attacked today differently than qualifying for Indianapolis, focusing much more on the race pace than qualifying,” Pagenaud said. “It was a bit hairy during my qualifying run. We trimmed out as much downforce as possible, but qualifying runs are supposed to be on the edge. The car feels really light when you’re running like that, but it’s fun. I think we’ve got a good race package, and I’m feeling very confident with it.”

Firestone 600 Qualifying Results
Pos. Car # Driver Avg. Speed Total Lap Behind
1 12 Will Power 218.896 47.8584 Leader
2 67 Josef Newgarden 217.835 48.0915 -0.2331
3 10 Tony Kanaan 217.826 48.0935 -0.2351
4 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 217.724 48.1159 -0.2575
5 20 Mike Conway 217.677 48.1264 -0.2680
6 77 Simon Pagenaud 217.222 48.2272 -0.3688
7 9 Scott Dixon 217.128 48.2480 -0.3896
8 19 Justin Wilson 217.007 48.2749 -0.4165
9 27 James Hinchcliffe 216.967 48.2838 -0.4254
10 34 Carlos Munoz {R} 216.960 48.2853 -0.4269
11 7 Mikhall Aleshin {R} 216.880 48.3031 -0.4447
12 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 216.823 48.3159 -0.4575
13 8 Ryan Briscoe 216.667 48.3506 -0.4922
14 3 Hello Castroneves 216.591 48.3676 -0.5092
15 83 Charlie Kimball 216.151 48.4661 -0.6077
16 14 Takuma Sato 216.064 48.4857 -0.6273
17 25 Marco Andretti 215.697 48.5681 -0.7097
18 11 Sebastien Bourdais 214.407 48.8604 -1.0020
19 17 Sebastion Saavedra 214.156 48.9177 -1.0593
20 98 Jack Hawksworth {R} 214.145 48.9202 -1.0618
21 15 Graham Rahal 213.292 49.1157 -1.2573
22 18 Carlos Huertas {R} 212.191 49.3706 -1.5122

{R} – Rookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castroneves completes sweep for Chevy and Penske

06-01-Helio-Climbs-The-Fence-520BottomIt was an impromptu eruption of joy on June 18, 2000, on Belle Isle, and the fence climb instantly became Helio Castroneves’ signature victory celebration. Older but no less exuberant, Castroneves bounded to the fencing near Turn 1 to celebrate his 29th Indy car victory June 1 in Dual 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.

Castroneves, who started third in the 70-lap race in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car, completed a sweep for engine supplier Chevrolet and Team Penske in the first of three Verizon IndyCar Series doubleheader weekends this season. His victory tied Rick Mears for 11th on the all-time list.

“We came out with the Hitachi car spot on,” said Castroneves, whose crew joined him in scaling the fencing in front of the appreciative large grandstand crowd.

A week earlier, Castroneves was crestfallen after falling .0600 of a second short of joining Mears, A.J. Foyt and Al Unser as the only four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

“Indy 500. It 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,” he said. “More than anything, I want this championship.”

Castroneves, who is the fifth different winner in seven races this season, moved to second in the standings — 19 points behind teammate Will Power. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who amassed 126 points in winning the Indianapolis 500, dropped to third with a disappointing pair of races that carried full points.

It was the first victory for Castroneves since last June at Texas Motor Speedway, which hosts the always breathtaking Firestone 600 under the lights June 7 on the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval.

Power, who held off Graham Rahal’s No. 15 National Guard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car by .3308 of a second to win the opening race on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn street course, was runner-up for his fifth top-five finish in the seven races.

Castroneves, who pitted for service for the final time on Lap 50, led Power by 9.4 seconds and was hoping for a clear road to the victory. But the third caution of the race, on Lap 59, set up what everybody thought would be a duel between the teammates following a Lap 64 restart.

But another caution followed on Lap 65 for a single-car incident — after the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing car of Charlie Kimball and the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car driven by James Hinchcliffe overtook Scott Dixon for third and fourth — that set up a three-lap sprint to the finish.

On the single-file restart, Castroneves wouldn’t let Power get closer than the final margin of 1.6836 seconds. Kimball held third place — advancing 17 positions — for his best finish of the season and Dixon drove from last on the starting grid to fourth. Hinchcliffe placed fifth.

“A huge credit to the Target team coming from dead last to fourth. That’s a huge accomplishment,” said Dixon, the reigning series champion. “Overall, a good day and the team did a good job on strategy.”

Hunter-Reay and the crew for the No. 28 DHL entry for Andretti Autosport had a long weekend. Contact in qualifying sessions for both races set him toward the rear of the grid (21st both races), and he finished a lap down in 16th place in Dual 1 and an electrical issue relegated him to 61 laps and 19th place in Dual 2.

“I’ll try to erase this one from my memory and move on to Texas,” he said. “What put us out was we lost pressure in the shift actuator, so we couldn’t get out of first gear. We started with a puncture and we had to come in … then we were off strategy. We tried saving fuel, then we had to abandon that because it went green in the middle. Nothing we did worked this weekend. We will just move on from these two races and focus on the future.”

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Race 2 Results
Pos. Car # Driver Total  Laps Behind Status
1 3 Hello Castroneves 70 Leader Running
2 12 Will Power 70 -1.6836 Running
3 83 Charlie Kimball 70 -2.9746 Running
4 9 Scott Dixon 70 -3.4290 Running
5 27 James Hinchcliffe 70 -4.6528 Running
6 77 Simon Pagenaud 70 -4.9894 Running
7 7 Mikhall Aleshin {R} 70 -5.5279 Running
8 34 Carlos Munoz {R} 70 -5.6906 Running
9 10 Tony Kanaan 70 -6.2501 Running
10 8 Ryan Briscoe 70 -6.5923 Running
11 20 Mike Conway 70 -7.1114 Running
12 19 Justin Wilson 70 -7.2822 Running
13 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 70 -7.9649 Running
14 98 Jack Hawksworth {R} 70 -8.7723 Running
15 18 Carlos Huertas {R} 70 -9.2906 Running
16 25 Marco Andretti 70 -27.2464 Running
17 67 Josef Newgarden 69 -1 Lap Running
18 14 Takuma Sato 69 -1 Lap Running
19 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 61 -9 Laps Electrical
20 11 Sebastien Bourdais 58 -12 Laps Contact
21 15 Graham Rahal 43 -27 Laps Contact
22 17 Sebastion Saavedra 9 -61 Laps Contact

{R} – Rookie

Power wins Race 1 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

Bo_xzr-IUAA0I8TIn the shadow of the three-cylinder Renaissance Center — the headquarters of Chevrolet — Will Power gave the Verizon IndyCar Series engine manufacturer and team owner/area resident/race promoter Roger Penske a hard-fought victory over Graham Rahal in Race 1 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.

Power, who started 16th in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, overtook race leader Ryan Briscoe on a Lap 60 restart and then held off Rahal in the 10-lap sprint to win by .3308 of a second. It was his 23rd Indy car victory, tying Tommy Milton for 18th all time.

“(Rahal) was really pushing me at the end and it was a great victory for Roger, the (crew) guys and Verizon,” said Power, who climbed to three points of front-runner Ryan Hunter-Reay in the championship standings.

Rahal, driving the No. 15 National Guard car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, recorded his best finish since placing second at Long Beach in April 2013.

“I thought I would finally get that monkey off our back,” said Rahal, whose lone Verizon IndyCar Series win came in his series debut on April 4, 2008, at St. Petersburg, Fla., when he was 19 years old. “Maybe tomorrow.”

Tony Kanaan in third place — his 66th career podium and best street/road course finish since Baltimore in 2011 — posted his best finish of the season, as did Justin Wilson in fourth. Verizon P1 Award winner Helio Castroneves, who led a field-high 30 laps, finished fifth.

Qualifications for Race 2 — split into two groups of 12 minutes each of track time — are at 10 a.m. (ET) June 1 and will set the starting lineup for the 70-lap race at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ABC. Allen Bestwick is the chief announcer, with Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. the analysts.

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Race 1 Results
Pos. Car # Driver Total  Laps Behind Status
1 12 Will Power 70 Leader Running
2 15 Graham Rahal 70 -0.3308 Running
3 10 Tony Kanaan 70 -5.5096 Running
4 19 Justin Wilson 70 -8.5951 Running
5 3 Hello Castroneves 70 -10.7365 Running
6 27 James Hinchcliffe 70 -11.5074 Running
7 34 Carlos Munoz {R} 70 -14.8813 Running
8 18 Carlos Huertas {R} 70 -26.5965 Running
9 83 Charlie Kimball 70 -32.5852 Running
10 25 Marco Andretti 70 -33.1818 Running
11 9 Scott Dixon 70 -33.3522 Running
12 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 70 -34.0094 Running
13 11 Sebastien Bourdais 70 -36.0240 Running
14 17 Sebastion Saavedra 70 -37.0532 Running
15 8 Ryan Briscoe 70 -56.6632 Running
16 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 69 -1 Lap Running
17 7 Mikhall Aleshin {R} 68 -2 Laps Running
18 14 Takuma Sato 66 -4 Laps Running
19 98 Jack Hawksworth {R} 65 -5 Laps Running
20 67 Josef Newgarden 36 -34 Laps Contact
21 20 Mike Conway 14 -56 Laps Contact
22 77 Simon Pagenaud 4 -66 Laps Contact

{R} – Rookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drivers look to break Belle Isle record

05-30-Pagenaud-On-Course-Detroit-StdSimon Pagenaud and Mike Conway remembered the route to the media center on Belle Isle following the second practice session for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.

Both had been escorted there for post-race interviews last year as winners of the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend doubleheader. This time, they were 1-2 in the 45-minute practice session that precedes the three rounds of qualifications, including the Firestone Fast Six to determine the Verizon P1 Award winner, for Race 1 at 8:30 a.m. (ET) May 31. ABC will televise both 70-lap races (3:30 p.m. ET May 31 and June 1).

Pagenaud, whose victory in Race 2 was his first in Indy car racing and the first for Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports, set the bar high in the afternoon practice with a lap of 1 minute, 17.6502 seconds on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit. Conway was .0647 of a second back in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka car for Ed Carpenter Racing, and both were within three-tenths of a second of Conway’s track record in its current configuration (1:17.4371) set in Race 2 last June.

“I think it’s becoming an interesting track in terms of racing, not just qualifying, but there’s some good places for passing — Turn 3, Turn 7,” said Pagenaud, who won May 10 in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. “It’s breathtaking after being two weeks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You really get your handful. It’s certainly hard work. You just push yourself as hard as you can and try to do a good lap.”

Conway earned the Verizon P1 Award for Race 2 with a best lap of 1:18.0977, while Dario Franchitti was the pole winner for Race 1 with a lap of 1:19.3311.

“Obviously, couldn’t do it without a good car from Ed Carpenter Racing,” said Conway, who competes in road/street course events while Carpenter drives on the ovals. “I think we just picked up where we left off at Long Beach (victory in mid-April); it seems to be a good place to start with here. I haven’t touched it much, which is a big credit to the team really. Around the place it’s a lot of fun. Each lap gets your attention that’s for sure. There’s non-stop action around here.

“I think qualifying will be very exciting with the Firestone red tires added to the mix.  You could see some low 76s (seconds) laps.”

Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves, runner-up in the Indianapolis 500 on May 25, and Will Power also recorded laps under 1:18 in the practice, while Ryan Hunter-Reay was fifth with a best lap of 1:18.1674. The newly-crowned 500 Mile Race champion was quickest in the opening session.

“We had a great first session and in the second session we only used one set of tires, so we’ve got some tires in the back pocket for the rest of the weekend,” said Hunter-Reay, who arrived in Detroit on May 29 after a whirlwind Indianapolis 500 Victory Tour. “I think we’ve got a pretty good car for qualifying; we’ll see how it goes on session at a time.”

Pagenaud, in his third year with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports, credits continuity, in part, with results posted by the No. 77 Honda-powered entry (four top-five finishes in the initial five races), while Conway is in his first season with Ed Carpenter Racing. He won at Detroit last year in a Dale Coyne Racing car and started from the pole for Race 2.

“I tried to bring as much back from last year as I could,” he said. “We come to this point where we can roll out and be in the top six, which is where you always want to be, especially with the doubleheaders. All credit to the team though. They’ve been working flat out for the last eight, nine weeks. They’re still pushing all the time.”

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit 2nd Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Speed Best Lap Behind Total  Laps
1 77 Simon Pagenaud 108.950 77.6502 Leader 16
2 20 Mike Conway 108.859 77.7149 -0.0647 20
3 3 Hello Castroneves 108.856 77.7171 -0.0669 18
4 12 Will Power 108.606 77.8966 -0.2464 17
5 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 108.229 78.1674 -0.5172 14
6 9 Scott Dixon 108.116 78.2490 -0.5988 18
7 14 Takuma Sato 108.045 78.3006 -0.6504 17
8 27 James Hinchcliffe 108.015 78.3223 -0.6721 16
9 8 Ryan Briscoe 107.839 78.4500 -0.7998 19
10 15 Graham Rahal 107.615 78.6137 -0.9635 12
11 10 Tony Kanaan 107.593 78.6294 -0.9792 21
12 34 Carlos Munoz {R} 107.593 78.6299 -0.9797 17
13 17 Sebastion Saavedra 107.570 78.6468 -0.9966 14
14 67 Josef Newgarden 107.450 78.7344 -1.0842 16
15 25 Marco Andretti 107.081 79.0057 -1.3555 12
16 19 Justin Wilson 106.963 79.0925 -1.4423 13
17 98 Jack Hawksworth {R} 106.832 79.1898 -1.5396 15
18 18 Carlos Huertas {R} 106.568 79.3857 -1.7355 13
19 2 Juan Pablo Montoya 106.369 79.5345 -1.8843 14
20 83 Charlie Kimball 106.287 79.5957 -1.9455 14
21 11 Sebastien Bourdais 106.275 79.6048 -1.9546 18
22 7 Mikhall Aleshin {R} 106.207 79.656 -2.0058 15

{R} – Rookie