IndyCar - Dixon Wins Shortened Belle Isle
DETROIT, Jun. 3, 2012: A rainbow greeted the podium finishers of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix -- an appropriate sign of (hopefully) brighter races on the challenging street circuit in upcoming years to complement the fan-friendly event.
Race winner Scott Dixon, who held on to finish 1.9628 seconds ahead of Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti, also was joined on the stage by Simon Pagenaud as Honda swept the top three in Chevy's home race.A week earlier, it was Franchitti leading Dixon across the start-finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to win his third Indianapolis 500.
Dixon, the pole sitter, led all 60 laps in the race shortened from 90 laps because of a two-hour red flag for crews to repair three sections of patched asphalt on the 14-turn course. Dixon earned his 28th Indy car victory, passing Johnny Rutherford for 11th on the all-time list. Rick Mears (29) is next up.
IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Will Power finished fourth and Oriol Servia advanced 12 positions relative to his starting spot to finish fifth. Dixon supplanted Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe in second in the championship standings, closing to 26 of Power with the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway on tap on June 9 (NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET).
The red flag was displayed at 4:53 p.m. (ET) -- about 68 minutes after the start of the race -- as INDYCAR Race Director Beaux Barfield called the cars onto pit lane following the first full-course yellow flag of the race on Lap 40 when James Hinchcliffe's No. 27 GoDaddy.com car struck a slice of asphalt that sent him into the tire barrier in Turn 7. Almost simultaneously, the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car of Takuma Sato slid into the Turn 12 wall.
"In Turn 12, I clipped a very high curb and that made a huge kickback in the steering wheel and it slipped from my grip and that was the end of the race," Sato said. "It’s not the way we wanted to finish. It was a difficult weekend but hopefully we come back strong at Texas.”