By: Spencer Neff
June 11, 2021
After a busy month of May that included four races, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES will take to the Raceway at Belle Isle for a doubleheader weekend. Since 2013, the 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course in Detroit has played host to a doubleheader weekend for IndyCar.
Last year, the event was canceled amidst the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. Now, Belle Isle will once again host IndyCar.
Two weeks removed a thrilling win to earn his record-tying fourth Indianapolis 500 victory, Helio Castroneves will not participate in this weekend’s race. The No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing team will stick to their schedule and return for the August 8 Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the brand new Nashville street circuit.
During that race, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou led 35 laps and finished second, grabbing the points lead from teammate Scott Dixon. This weekend, Palou and the No. 10 team will receive a six-place grid penalty for changing engines prior to the “500”.
Palou, along with Rinus VeeKay, Dalton Kellett, Jack Harvey, Jimmie Johnson, Scott McLaughlin and Romain Grosjean will make their first starts on Belle Isle this weekend. VeeKay was the last winner on a road course during the May 15 GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. Grosjean earned his first career pole in that race.
After setting the race’s fastest lap and finishing seventh, Santino Ferrucci will return to the No. 45 entry for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing this weekend.
“I’m excited to compete in the two races in Detroit after a fantastic run at the Indy 500,” he expressed in a press release .
“It’s a fantastic track, and I’m excited to be returning to Detroit since we didn’t get a chance to race there in 2020.”
Although Scott McLaughlin earned Rookie of the Year honors at the Indianapolis 500 following his 20th-place finish, Team Penske remains winless in 2021. It is the organization’s longest winless drought since 2015 (10 races) and the farthest into a season they have gone without a victory since 2013, when they went the first seven races without a win.
Race weekend: Friday, June 11 – Sunday, June 13
Track: Raceway at Belle Isle Park, a 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course (clockwise)
Race distance: 70 laps / 164.5 miles (both races)
Push-to-pass parameters: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation (for each race)
Firestone tire allotment: Eight sets primary, five sets alternate (weekend). Teams must use one set of primary and alternate tires in each race. One additional set available to teams fielding a rookie driver is available for the first session of the weekend.
Twitter: @DetroitGP @IndyCar, #DetroitGP, #IndyCar
2019 race winners: Race 1: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet); Race 2: Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda)
2019 NTT P1 Award winners: Race 1: Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda) 1:14.1989, 114.018 mph; Race 2: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet) 1:14.8607, 113.010 mph.
Qualifying lap record: Takuma Sato, 1:13.6732, 114.831 mph, June 4, 2017
NBC Sports race telecasts: Race 1 Qualifying, 11 a.m. ET Saturday NBCSN (live);
Race 2 Qualifying, 9 a.m. Sunday, NBCSN (live);
Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 1, 2 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC (live);
Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race 2, noon ET Sunday, NBC (live).
Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.
Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analysts Davey Hamilton and Nick Yeoman. Jake Query and Michael Young are the turn announcers with Ryan Myrehn and Joel Sebastianelli in the pit lane.
The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit doubleheader will air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying are available on SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, June 11
5 – 6:15 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice #1, Peacock Premium
Saturday, June 12
11 – 11:45 a.m. – Race 1 qualifying for NTT P1 Award (Two rounds of knockout qualifying/10 minutes each), NBCSN, Peacock Premium (live)
1:20 p.m. – Driver introductions
1:58 p.m. – Command to start engines
2:05 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #1 (70 laps/164.5 miles), NBC (live)
Sunday, June 13
9:15 – 10 a.m. – Race 2 qualifying for NTT P1 Award (Two rounds of knockout qualifying/10 minutes each), NBCSN, Peacock Premium (live)
Noon – Driver introductions
12:43 p.m. – Command to start engines
12:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #2 (70 laps/164.5 miles), NBC (live)
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