It seemed as if “Dual 2″ at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix would bring a flare of deja vu after Race 1 winner Mike Conway started in the front row and A.J. Allmendinger crashed into the wall on the first lap, looking almost identical to his crash in “Dual 1.”
The repetitiveness from Saturday’s race came to a halt for Josef Newgarden and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) on lap 14 when Graham Rahal, driving the No. 15 car, made contact with the back of Newgarden’s No. 67 SFHR/Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, damaging the gear box.
“It’s a shame that we got caught out by something that wasn’t our fault,” Newgarden, who finished the day in 16th position, said. “We just had to salvage what we could. It’s a tough day but at least we got some points.”
The SFHR pit crew scrambled to replace the gear stack as quickly as possible, but the sophomore driver, who finished 7th in Saturday’s race, lost six laps before the car was able to return to the track.
“They’re pretty stout here at SFHR so they did the best job they could to put the car back together and get it going as quickly as possible under green flag conditions,” Newgarden said. “We fixed it as fast as we could and didn’t lose too many laps.”
Lap 27 caused more chaos for the field, with a multiple car collision that ended the day for many teams. In the back of the pack, the No. 67 car was able to come out of the incident with nothing more than a bruised nose, which the crew fixed under caution.
“The incident helped us gain as many positions as we could, but still a rough day,” Newgarden, who completed 64 of 70 laps, said. “We were able to run it right to the end of the race and luckily gained a few spots back through the cautions.”
Driver Simon Pagenaud won “Dual 2″ in Detroit, and was joined on the podium by James Jakes and Mike Conway in second and third positions respectively.
The IZOD IndyCar Series heads south next weekend to Fort Worth, Texas for the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway. The evening race will air live on ABC at 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 8.
“It’s a quick turn around so we’ll try to get the car ready to rock for Texas and we’ll come back fighting as hard as we can,” Newgarden said. “Points are everything in this series and we’ll be looking to capitalize in Texas.”
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