INDYCAR: Castroneves Grabs Pole for Race 1 at Belle Isle

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Northeast, Sprints & Midgets, Verizon IndyCar Series 0 Comments

DETROIT — official release — IndyCar photo — Helio Castroneves, who was crestfallen after falling short by the blink of an eye of securing his record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 Mile Race six days earlier, was his usual exuberant self after earning the Verizon P1 Award for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans with a best lap of 1 minute, 17.5362 seconds in the Firestone Fast Six.

“The car is spectacular, it’s on rails,” said Castroneves, whose lap of 1:17.2597 in Group 1 of Round 1 in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car set the track record in its current 2.36-mile, 13-turn configuration. “The car that we had at Indy was amazing and we’re carrying that momentum.”

The 70-lap race will be televised by ABC (3:30 p.m. ET) as will the June 1 race (3:30 p.m. ET). Allen Bestwick is the chief announcer, with Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. the analysts.

Both races will be broadcast on IMS Radio Network affiliates, XM 209 and Sirius 213, and INDYCAR 14 app (both in conjunction with real-time Timing & Scoring). Paul Page is the chief announcer.

It was the 39th career Indy car pole for Castroneves, who is the active leader, and his first of the season. Earlier this season, Castroneves earned third-place finishes on the St. Petersburg and Indianapolis street circuits after starting 10th.

He is the sixth different pole winner in as many races, and five different teams were represented in the Firestone Fast Six.

James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car for Andretti Autosport, posted a best lap of 1:17.9788 in the Firestone Fast Six to earn his third front-row start this season on road/street courses.

“It’s my best start by a big margin, but I’m not counting my chickens just yet,” said Hinchcliffe, who has qualified second four times overall this season. “This place and I have a pretty tumultuous relationship up to this point. This weekend’s been really good so far. It’s just so tough here. You come from the greatest, grandest smoothest most open track … to a tight, twisty, bumpy multi-surface street track and it’s such a tough adjustment.”

Rookie Jack Hawksworth, who has advanced to the Firestone Fast Six round three times, will start a season-best third in the No. 98 BHA/BBM with Curb Agajanian car and will join Ed Carpenter Racing’s Mike Conway, the Race 1 winner last year, on Row 2.

Ryan Briscoe, driving the No. 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing car, qualified a season-high fifth and Juan Pablo Montoya also qualified a season-best sixth in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske car.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who vaulted to a 40-point lead in the championship standings on the strength of his victory in the Indianapolis 500 that supplied double points, will start 21st after the left-rear of the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport brushed one of the concrete barriers in Group 1 of Round 1. Will Power, who is second in the standings, qualified 16th in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car. Both races carry full points with bonuses for leading a lap (1 point) and most laps led (2 points).

Race 2 qualifications, divided into two groups for 12 minutes each on the circuit, will be held at 10 a.m. (ET) June 1.

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