Detroit Grand Prix Race Review No. 1: Squirrely Edition


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Fittingly for Detroit the rodents ruled while the racing bit in another atrocious street “race” on Belle Isle. A track already known for enormous rats roaming the island saw a squirrel artfully dodging cars in one of the few highlights of a tedious afternoon of racing.


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Courtney’s dragster blew up Friday and her husband Graham Rahal, not to be upstaged, went out and won his fifth career IndyCar race the next day. Following last week’s horrifying crash, Scott Dixon held on to second for Ganassi and SPM’s James Hinchcliffe recovered from a first lap brush with the wall – which brought out the first caution – to a best ever third place result at Detroit.


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In an easy to root for effort for our veterans, Rahal raised nearly four thousand dollars in the Turns for Troops car. He Tweeted that he was “proud,” at the same time “thankful,” and again “proud.” Graham represents the seventh different winner in seven races this season. Problem is, he won from pole by over six seconds in another tragically typical street event, a real snoozer even for Detroit. Fleeing rodents had the right idea.

One of our picks to win was first out as Conor Daly suffered a mechanical after only twenty five laps to become the only retirement of the day. He brought out the second and final caution of the race. Charlie “pinball” Kimball also encountered problems on track, but did manage to finish without hitting too many cars. Our other pick rookie phenom Ed Jones went from 21st to 9th. In a decidedly non-squirrely run, Russian Mikhail Aleshin advanced the furthest during the race in gaining fourteen spots to finish sixth.


The mousy in appearance Helio Castro-Neves lost the pole on a penalty during qualifications, started second and led eleven laps before fading to seventh. “I was pissed,” he summed up. It was another Honda rout, with Chevy again squirrely in its performance with only three cars in the top ten.

Novice viewers at IRR’s watch party found it all rather drab and boring after Indy in spite of the squirrel’s antics, with precious little passing or exciting racing to be found. As one guest put it, “the guy who started up front ended up front.” That’s street course racing in a nutshell. It’s truly sad when the squirrels put on a more entertaining show than IndyCars, isn’t it?


6 thoughts on “Detroit Grand Prix Race Review No. 1: Squirrely Edition

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