BELLE ISLE, MI – Alexander Rossi was well on his way to his fourth career Verizon IndyCar Series victory on Sunday. He just completed his 46th lap led and was staving off his Andretti Autosport teammate of Ryan Hunter-Reay. The pace was there for his No. 27 Honda to hold off his American teammate.
With eight laps left in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, Rossi locked up his brakes heading into Turn 3. That allowed Hunter-Reay to close the gap to come right up to his rear wing. All he needed next was Rossi to make a mistake.
A mistake he made too.
One lap later, Rossi did it again, this time sliding through the turn and into the run off allowing Hunter-Reay to easily skate by. Rossi, would have to pit to change his tires as he’d finish a disappointing 12th. It was just the third time since last July that he didn’t come away with a top six effort. That also took him out of the points lead as he’s now 11 points out heading towards Texas.
For Hunter-Reay, it was redemption. He used another brilliant pit strategy to charge from his 10th starting spot to end a 43 race winless drought. Hunter-Reay easily won his 17th career INDYCAR race, his first since at Pocono Raceway in 2015. If you remember, his last win was a somber one as his teammate and friend Justin Wilson was tragically killed that afternoon when a piece of debris struck his helmet in a late race crash. Then, Hunter-Reay barely celebrated as Wilson was transported to a local area hospital and was there until it was pronounced that he passed a day later.
This one, Hunter-Reay can rejoice.
He brought his No. 28 Honda home runner-up on Saturday as this caps a great weekend. The win also moves him into a tie with Tony Kanaan for the all-time wins leader with Andretti Autosport. Each have 14 career wins with the organization. Hunter-Reay has six road/street course wins now, most for the team.
He also moves into fourth in the points standings, 31 points out.
Between Hunter-Reay and Rossi, they’d combine to lead 64 of the 70 laps on Sunday.
Will Power salvaged a great points day as he started third and brought his No. 12 Chevrolet home runner-up. He said on Saturday that they had nothing for the Honda’s and that he just needed to have damage control the rest of the way. His second place finish was his third top two effort in the last four races and fourth in the last six as he now moves back into the points lead heading towards Texas next Saturday night.
Ed Jones came home third in his No. 10 Honda for his second podium finish of 2018. He was also third on the streets of Long Beach back in April.
Yesterday’s winner and Jones’ Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon brought his No. 9 Honda home fourth for his seventh top six finish in eight races in 2018 while Graham Rahal rebounded from a crash on Saturday to finish fifth on Sunday.
The race got started off in a bizarre way. The pace car driver, a GM exec, spun the new 2019 Chevrolet Corvette when exiting the pits and hit the concrete barrier in Turn 1 head on. Luckily, no one was hurt, but the race started off in a delay.
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race No. 2 Results
- 28 Hunter-Reay
- 12 Power
- 10 Jones
- 9 Dixon
- 15 Rahal
- 6 Wickens R
- 14 Kanaan
- 23 Kimball
- 98 Andretti
- 22 Pagenaud
- 59 Chilton
- 27 Rossi
- 26 Veach R
- 4 Leist R
- 1 Newgarden
- 5 Hinchcliffe
- 30 Sato -1
- 20 King R -1
- 88 Chaves -1
- 19 Ferrucci R -1
- 18 Bourdais -3
- 32 Binder R -4
- 21 Pigot OUT