Belle Isle, MI – Forgive those who thought Team Penske would dominate this weekend on the streets of Belle Isle. Heck, I was one of those people too. Outside of the Indy 500 last weekend, the Penske drivers combined to lead all but 16 laps in the other three races. In two of the last three races too, they led every lap.
In practice, they were strong, and even in qualifying, they had good pace on the primary tires. Instead, they had the wrong strategy, as the three stop strategy hurt them. In turn, it hurt Chevrolet’s chances too.
That’s a shame for them too, because this race is in their own backyard. A Chevy logo on their tower overlooks the south end of the 2.35-mile street circuit.
Instead, it was the Honda’s who dominated, with Graham Rahal, a Honda driver at that, setting the track record this morning and leading 55 of the 70 laps.
In fact, it was an all-Honda podium, with Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe finishing second and third respectively. Alexander Rossi and Mikhail Aleshin were fifth and sixth to give Honda five drivers in the top six. They had seven in the top nine and led all but 11 of the 70 laps.
That will make Chevy want to flip that tomorrow. They don’t want to be overshadowed like this in their own backyard.
After getting dominated in the year’s most important race last weekend at Indy, they don’t want to get dominated in their next important race to them the very next week.