Sunday, June 5, 2016

Morning Warm-Up: Belle Isle 2016 Race Two

Can Sébastien Bourdais sweep or will there be another surprise winner? 
Simon Pagenaud made it two-for-two in terms of pole positions at Belle Isle. The Frenchman won his fourth pole position of the season and sixth of his career with a lap of 74.0379 seconds. He extended his championship lead with another point. Ryan Hunter-Reay ended up second and fastest in the second group, giving him a point toward the championship. This will be Hunter-Reay's best starting position of the season and his first front row start on a road/street circuit since he won pole position at Long Beach in 2014.

Hélio Castroneves qualified third and this will be Castroneves' sixth consecutive Belle Isle race starting from the first two rows. He finished fifth yesterday after stretching his fuel mileage on the final stint. Scott Dixon ended up second during group two and will start fourth. Dixon has failed to finish the last two Belle Isle races. Last year, Dixon retired because of contact with his teammate Charlie Kimball and yesterday because of a mechanical failure.

Mikhail Aleshin will start a season best fifth. This will be Aleshin's second career start from within the top five. He started second and finished second at Houston 2 in 2014. In Aleshin's four other top ten starts he has finished outside the top twenty three times. Tony Kanaan will start sixth and this is Kanaan's best start at Belle Isle since he started fourth in 2007 and went on to win the race after Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon made contact in the closing laps.

Graham Rahal qualified seventh and will be join by Will Power on row four. Rahal has finished on the podium each of the last two years at Belle Isle and finished fourth yesterday from tenth on the grid. Power had ran the fastest lap in the session but his fastest two laps were nullified after Power was guilty of interfering with Marco Andretti during the session. Power started eighth and finished second in the 2014 Sunday Belle Isle race.

Jack Hawksworth will start ninth, his best starting position at Belle Isle since he started third for race one in 2014. Hawksworth failed to start yesterday's race with a fuel pump issue. Juan Pablo Montoya rounds out the top ten. Prior to his third place finish yesterday, Montoya's best finish at Belle Isle was tenth. Montoya has led in his last two Belle Isle starts. Charlie Kimball qualified 11th, his second best starting position at Belle Isle. His best was yesterday when he started eighth. Yesterday's winner Sébastien Bourdais won from 13th on the grid. Today, Bourdais will start one position better in 12th.

Carlos Muñoz and James Hinchcliffe will start on row seven. Muñoz had started fifth in the last two races; marking the first time the Colombian started successive IndyCar races in the top five. Muñoz has four top ten finishes in five Belle Isle starts. Hinchcliffe's 18th place finish yesterday was his third finish outside the top fifteen in six Belle Isle starts. Gabby Chaves starts 15th with Takuma Sato on the outside of row eight. Yesterday, Chaves finished 12th after starting 20th and Sato started and finished 11th. Sato finished second in race two last year.

Josef Newgarden will start 17th after having an off late in the qualifying session, forcing him to park his car in the runoff area and preventing him from starting further up the grid. Alexander Rossi was on pace to start eighth but he lost his fastest lap after it was deemed he failed to slow down for a local yellow late during group two. Max Chilton and Spencer Pigot will both make there second Belle Isle starts from row ten. Chilton's Belle Isle debut lasted all of eight laps after a suspension failure sent him into the barrier. Conor Daly will start 21st after losing his fastest lap for causing a local yellow. Daly was set to start fifth on the grid had he not lost his fastest lap. Marco Andretti caused a local yellow during group two and he also lost his fastest lap, relegating him to 22nd.

ABC's coverage of the second race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit begins at 3:30 p.m. ET. The race is scheduled for 70 laps.