By Mike Specht
(DETROIT, MI) – Chevrolet capped off a monster weekend at the IndyCar Dual in Detroit. After Will Power took home the first of two races on Saturday, Indy legend, and fan favourite, Helio Castroneves held on in the final ten laps to make it a clean sweep for Team Penske.
With the win, and a second place finish by Power, the team-mates overtook Ryan Hunter-Reay for the overall IndyCar points lead. Power now sits in first with 327, while Castroneves, who finished 0.06 seconds behind Hunter-Reay last week in Indianapolis, moves into second place with 307.
“You name it, we had the problem this weekend, I’m just glad to be getting out of here,” said Hunter-Reay, who crashed out of the first race on the final lap and was forced out of day two with an electrical problem on lap 61. The race was relatively clean during the middle portion, until Turn 5 gave fits to Sebastian Bourdais and pole sitter Takuma Sato in the final 11. Bourdais was the first to wreck and Sato closely followed four laps later, and roughly four inches away from where Bourdais was towed.
With 20 rotations to go, Castroneves held a 38 second lead and was able to pit without losing position. The 39 year-old never looked back in his sprint to the finish, with only his teammate Power within striking distance.
“The whole time, when I had a 12- to 15-second lead, I was pushing, but under control,” said Castroneves. “When the restart came, I didn’t look into the mirror. I don’t want to sound cocky, but I was confident the car was just absolutely perfect.”
“Helio was very quick anyway. It would have been difficult to get by him,” said Power, who also acknowledged that he refrained from trying to pass for fear that both cars would crash. That perfection led to the 29th win of his storied career, moving Castroneves into a tie for 11th all-time with Rick Mears.
“He’s relentless,” Power said. “To me, he’s better than when I first turned up on the scene, for sure. Definitely better.”
Other notable finishes include Charlie Kimball in third, followed by Scott Dixon and the Oakville-born James Hinchcliffe in fifth.
The Dual in Detroit has certainly set the stage for a street fight in the point standings as the speed demons roll into Houston next week.