Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Race Report

Circuit: Belle Isle Park (2.07-mile street circuit) Detroit, MI
2008 Winner: Justin Wilson (Newman Haas Racing Honda) 89.911 mph average [most recent event]

Weather: Mostly clear, mild, 67-degrees F

Top 10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver Team Engine Chassis Laps Average Speed/Notes
1. 1. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 60 85.012 mph avg, led 60 laps
2. 14. Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 60 -1.9628 seconds
3. 4. Simon Pagenaud-R Sam Schmidt Motorsports Honda Dallara 60 -2.4773 seconds
4. 2. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet Dallara 60 -3.5435 seconds
5. 16. Oriol Servia DRR Panther Racing Chevrolet Dallara 60 -9.6619 seconds
6. 18. Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Chevrolet Dallara 60 -10.1676 seconds
7. 6. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Chevrolet Dallara 60 -10.6455 seconds
8. 20. Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 60 -11.1048 seconds
9. 15. Mike Conway A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara 60 -11.5351 seconds
10. 3. Alex Tagliani Bryan Herta Autosport Honda Dallara 60 -12.5688 seconds

Other Honda-powered Results:

15. 12. Josef Newgarden-R Sarah Fisher Hartman Honda Dallara 59 Running
19. 17. Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 59 Running
20. 11. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda Dallara 38 Did not finish - crash
22. 10. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 28 Running
23. 23. James Jakes Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 26 Did not finish - mechanical

R - IndyCar Series Rookie

Dixon Masters Motown, Leads Honda Sweep

Scott Dixon was unstoppable Sunday on the streets of Belle Isle Park, fending off all challenges presented by his fellow IZOD IndyCar Series competitors, a two-hour race stoppage for track repairs and even a spot rain shower once the race resumed to win the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and lead a 1-2-3 sweep for Honda.

Starting from the pole, Dixon led all 60 laps around the city park temporary circuit, which was run in two halves when deteriorating track conditions led to a red flag after 45 laps to repair holes in the pavement. After a delay of just over two hours while repairs were completed, the race was resumed with a 15-lap "trophy dash" to the finish. But Dixon was never headed in either segment, leading his teammate Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti and Schmidt Hamilton Racing's Simon Pagenaud home for a Honda sweep of the first-three finishing positions.

Coming from 14th in the 25-car starting field, Indianapolis 500 winner Franchitti moved through the field to sixth during the first 45 laps, then gained four more positions in the final two restarts after the race resumed to follow Dixon home in second.

It was the second consecutive 1-2 IndyCar finish for Honda and the Target Chip Ganassi Racing team, as today's finish reversed the 1-2 result for Franchitti and Dixon at last week's Indy 500. Pagenaud rounded out the podium sweep for Honda in Detroit by passing championship points leader Will Power on Lap 47.

After starting well down the order, 20th, Charlie Kimball equaled his best previous results of 2012 with an eighth-place finish for Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing, while Mike Conway rebounded from the disappointment of his crash last week at Indianapolis to finish ninth today for A.J. Foyt Racing.

Alex Tagliani and his Bryan Herta Autosport team posted their own impressive recovery today. After qualifying third, electrical issues on the starting grid resulted in Tagliani starting last, from pit lane. Clever pit strategy and timely passes in the closing laps saw Tagliani make up 15 positions for a 10th-place finish.

The post Indianapolis 500 run of consecutive IZOD IndyCar Series races continues next week, with a return to oval track racing and the June 9 Firestone 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.

IZOD IndyCar Series Drivers' Championship (after 6 of 16 races):
1. Will Power 232 points (3 wins) 6. Simon Pagenaud 171
2. Scott Dixon 206 (1 win) 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay 169
3. Helio Castroneves 177 (1 win) 8. Ryan Briscoe 142
4. Dario Franchitti
176 (1 win)
9. Tony Kanaan 141
James Hinchcliffe 176 10. Oriol Servia 129

Manufacturers' Championship: Rookie of the Year:
1. Chevrolet 48 1. Simon Pagenaud 171
2. Honda 42 2. Josef Newgarden 87
3. Lotus 24 3. Katherine Legge 61

Scott Dixon (#9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 1st, finished 1st, his first victory of 2012 and 28th career win; Honda's second consecutive 1-2 finish of 2012 and first podium sweep: "It feels great, that was a fantastic day, a sweet 1-2 for the team for the second week in a row. I have to give a big shout out to Honda, they've done a heck of a job this year, gaining power and mileage. You can't ask for anything more. Hats off to all the fans who stuck around while the track was repaired. The final 15 lap shoot-out was exciting for me, so I sure hope the fans liked it. It was great to be back in Detroit and I hope we're here for many years to come."

Dario Franchitti (#10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 14th, finished 2nd: "Well, I had to make up for the poor showing in qualifying! I saw a couple of openings on the last restarts and had to stick the car in there and hope for the best. Fortunately, we were able to pull them off and a 1-2-3 finish for Honda is pretty special. But Scott [Dixon] was too quick today, he was brilliant all weekend. We love racing here in the Motor City."

Simon Pagenaud (#77 Schmidt Hamilton Racing Honda) started 4th, finished 3rd, his second podium finish of 2012: "It's a tremendous day for Honda. The guys at HPD have done such a great job providing us with a super-good power plant, today is a testament to all their work. I've also got to thank my team, Schmidt Hamilton Racing. It's amazing to be on a small, one-car team and fighting against Penske and Ganassi. I'm living the dream."

Roger Griffiths (Technical Director, Honda Performance Development) on today's Honda sweep of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix: "Obviously, we're all very, very happy. Scott [Dixon] was strong all weekend - the driver to beat, really - but I have to say we never expected a 1-2-3 on a track as tight and difficult to pass as Belle Isle. But a couple of phenomenal restarts from Dario [Franchitti] and Simon [Pagenaud] resulted in a great day for Honda. Thanks to all of our associates at HPD for their incredible work this year. We all had to dig deep after the first four races, but everyone responded to the challenge and the result was a 1-2 last weekend at Indianapolis and today's sweep in Detroit."

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