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Will Power saved The Cap’n’s weekend by winning at Detroit on Sunday. The race became a buzz killing Penske parade with one of the series’ least popular drivers searching for a celebration in victory lane. It didn’t help that his suit was soaking wet.
The race was preceded by wild morning qualifications that included Power and Conor Daly – among others – being penalized, though of course Penske was sanctioned less severely than Coyne. Pags stole yet another pole in the bifurcated session, with the second group dealing with a wet track. Like Saturday, starting P1 did the Frenchman little good.
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Pre-race coverage began with Allen Bestwicke assuring viewers, “This is not a repeat. This is a live, original program.” A heavily made up Goodyear sagely – if slightly contradictory – said, “I think we’re going to see the same thing,” while Cheever again mentioned “all these bumps!” Thank goodness it was ABC’s last IndyCar broadcast of the year.
In pre-race interviews, eventual winner Power provided his usual muddied mumbo jumbo, saying, “We’re just gonna do what we think.” Daly looked back to yesterday, crediting “Our master wizard on the stand, Dale Coyne.” Regarding the call that sent him to the back in Sunday morning’s qualifications, he bluntly said, “Very questionable in my opinion, very unhappy about it.”
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Sunday’s start wasn’t the same as Saturday’s, which was clean and green. On the first lap, Charlie Kimball contacted Carlos Munoz, sending him into Hinch, who wound up in the wall for the second consecutive day. The Mayor wasn’t happy, with the “pisses” and “B.S.” flying Munoz’s way over the airwaves. This comes after Chilton’s F-bomb Saturday. On all of this, no further action was taken.
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Hinch angrily blamed Munoz, but in reality it was all started by Kimball. Race control reviewed the incident along with others, though “no further action” was taken. In the aftermath, Chilton rear ended the Mayor ending his day and Sato clipped 500 winner Alexander Rossi. At least they were both able to continue. Hinch later apologized to “the kid,” admitting he’d lost his temper.
Caution resulted again after Montoya‘s latest brain fade when he crashed in a tangle with Dixon. Juan’s day was finished, clearing the way for other, less crotchety competitors. After the penalty, Daly raced from twenty first to sixth, while Marco who qualified dead last finished ninth.
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Power’s win furthered The Cap’n’s 50th anniversary party in Indycar. Think Monty Burns when considering the octogenarian billionaire, only more lively. Penske’s track at Belle Isle is so bumpy it resembles African roads in its retina destroying capabilities. Fittingly, Shinola signs were prominently displayed at the track, conjuring up the old saying that one “doesn’t know shit from Shinola.”
Like Bourdais who won Saturday, “Mad” Will Power was also slow getting out of the car, doing so to almost no cheers. Yet again, the off kilter Aussie had to look around for a hand to shake in victory lane. His “victory celebration” looked about as exciting as a kindergarten graduation, and it was assuredly more immature.
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Said Sunday’s winner, “Well, yeah, it was . . . restarts are where we’ve got to capitalize here. . . . Very happy. . . . You know, tough start to the year.”