It’s one round down, one to go in Detroit as the Verizon IndyCar Series field returns to action for the second leg of the Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit presented by Lear. The Belle Isle doubleheader, the only event of its kind remaining on the IndyCar schedule, sets us up for the halfway marker of the 2018 season, a return to oval action next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Yesterday, Scott Dixon made open-wheel history by tying Michael Andretti for third on the all-time open-wheel racing wins list at 42. Today, he’ll roll off the grid fifth, with Alexander Rossi leading the field to the green flag after completing a weekend pole sweep for Andretti Autosport. As we prepare for 70 more laps of action, here are the biggest stories to follow:
Does Scott Dixon have what it takes to earn another win today?
Dixon’s first win of the season extended his active podium streak to three races, after placing second at the IndyCar Grand Prix and third in the Indianapolis 500. It also enabled him to jump to second in the standings, just four points back of Rossi. The Chip Ganassi Racing mainstay has only finished outside of the top six once this year, and continues to boast the best average finish of active drivers here with an average of 6.8 in the IndyCar era. He’s a serious threat to replicate Graham Rahal’s 2017 Detroit sweep.
Are we on pace for another 10-winner season in 2018?
Last year’s IndyCar winner list saw plenty of parity: all four Team Penske drivers, two at Andretti Autosport, and one each from Chip Ganassi Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Unlike 2017, we didn’t start this season with seven different winners in seven races, but Dixon was already the fifth driver to take a checkered flag, joining Rossi, Sebastien Bourdais, Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power, and defending champion Josef Newgarden.
What will you miss the most about ABC’s IndyCar coverage?
It’s the end of an era in IndyCar television coverage, as ABC bid farewell to the Indianapolis 500 last weekend and will say goodbye to the series entirely with the conclusion of this race. It marks the end of a 54-year relationship that has seen its ups and downs, but helped to revolutionize the coverage of auto racing in the United States over the past half-century. While many look forward to NBC’s takeover of the full schedule on its family of networks, expect some sentimentality on Sunday night.