Photo from takumasato.com
Considering that incredible Indy 500 result, the season’s obviously gone completely through the looking glass. Up is down, black is white and forty year old foreign ride buyers reign supreme. Hold on to your hats tightly for our picks for this Duesie of a double header in Detroit.
Photo from usnews.com
Any series that thinks Belle Isle is worthy of one race a year – much less two, hot on the heels of Indy – has long occupied bizzarro land. As we’ve documented before at some length, it’s a rat infested dump best avoided, a destination rivaled in its unpleasantness only by Gateway in East St. Louis. It’s a peculiar location for a series seeking to maintain momentum to feature, for sure.
The thing about predicting how the races will turn out in bizarro IndyCar is that it’s just so damned . . . well, unpredictable. Did we mention this year’s 500? Oh, yeah. In light of all that, here go some rather unexpected, unorthodox picks for this weekend.
Photos from twitter.com and usatoday.com
Pole sitters for the two races will be unusual in the sense that they won’t include Frenchman Simon Pagenaud for a change. In an unbelievably hoggish display he occupied point for both races last year, edging Ryan Hunter-Reay and stable mate Helio Castro-Neves. It’ll be Helio and Will Power starting P1 in a purely Penske pole production this weekend. You really can’t get much stranger than those two. Except . . .
First out of the races will be Max “Paris” Chilton and Canadian James Hinchcliffe who, no matter the level of absurdity in the series, always seem to struggle on the northern border. Chilton retired due to contact last year in both races, a rarely achieved feat of IndyCar destruction.
When healthy enough to drive the dilapidated streets of Belle Isle, Hinch doesn’t fare that well either with finishes of 18th and 21st thanks to contact last year. Who can forget the surreal spectacle of the track coming apart and ruining Hinch’s race in 2012?
Photo from detroitnews.com
Believe it or not, the biggest surprises of these curious races are yet to come. They’re the winners.
Photo from twitter.com
Sebastien Bourdais has won races in Detroit the last two years, but was injured in a practice crash at Indy and is out for the year. So we’re going with the relentless, robbed of the ROY rookie teammate Ed Jones to pull out a victory instead. It’ll be a bit of poetic justice.
In the other race – and even more bizarrely – it’ll be Conor Daly atop the podium, who finished 2nd last year and generally does decently at Detroit. Imagine that – two first time winners in one weekend AND Dale Coyne and A.J. Foyt in victory lane. IndyCar truly is taking a turn for the extraordinary.