Saturday, May 30, 2015

Morning Warm-Up: Belle Isle 2015 Race One

Will Power and Hélio Castroneves will lead field to green flag today.
For the 14th consecutive race, a Chevrolet won pole position and for the third time this season, Will Power will lead the field to the green flag. The Australian broke the Belle Isle track record with a lap of 76.0941 seconds. His Penske teammate and all-time leader in Belle Isle victories Hélio Castroneves will start second after missing out on pole position by 0.0259 seconds. Indianapolis 500 winner and championship leader Juan Pablo Montoya made it a clean sweep of the top three for Team Penske. Takuma Sato is the top Honda starter in fourth. Simon Pagenaud makes it four Penskes in the top five with Sébastien Bourdais makes it an all-French row three.

Scott Dixon starts seventh. Only once has a Belle Isle winner started seventh, which was Greg Moore in 1997. Stefano Coletti will start a career-best eighth. He finished eighth in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Marco Andretti will start ninth. He has two top tens in seven starts at Belle Isle, both top ten finishes coming within the last two seasons. James Jakes rounds out the top ten. The last time Jakes competed at Belle Isle he finished tenth and second after starting third and second. Tristan Vautier returns for a second consecutive round of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. He will roll off from 11th, Dale Coyne Racing's best starting position of the year. Sage Karam rounds out the top 12 after advancing to the second round of qualifying for the second time in his career. He started 12th at Barber.

Graham Rahal starts 13th. He has three consecutive top five finishes, the longest streak of top five finishes in his career. Last year, Rahal finished second in race one from ninth on the grid. His worst finish this season is 11th. Jack Hawksworth starts 14th. He finished eighth at the season opener from St. Petersburg but has finished outside the top twenty in four of the last five races. Tony Kanaan starts 15th. Kanaan has not won on a road/street circuit since Belle Isle 2007. Only two of Kanaan's 17 victories have come on road/street circuits. Ryan Hunter-Reay starts 16th. Last year, Will Power became the first driver to win at Belle Isle from starting outside the top ten. Power won from 16th last year in race one.

Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden make up row nine. Newgarden was going to advance to round two of qualifying but caused a red flag after hitting the barrier exiting turn 12. Newgarden's CFH teammate Luca Filippi will start 19th with Carlos Muñoz rounding out the top twenty. Three rookies round out the grid. Conor Daly will start 21st as he substitutes for the injured James Hinchcliffe. Rodolfo Gonzalez starts 22nd in his second career start. Gabby Chaves will round out the grid in 23rd.

There is an 80% chance of precipitation today in Detroit with a 75% chance of rain at race time. ABC's coverage for race one of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit begins at 3:30 p.m. ET with green flag at 3:50 p.m. ET.