Alexander Rossi led the NTT Data IndyCar Series field to the green flag for the second straight Dual in Detroit dating back to the second race at Belle Isle in 2018, but once again he couldn’t finish the job.
Instead, Josef Newgarden used a timely caution to take the lead under yellow and hold it off, leaving Rossi defeated again in Detroit.
“Yet again we’re on the wrong side of the yellow,” Rossi said in the post-race press conference. “It’s part of the NTT IndyCar Series. [Newgarden] did a good job, didn’t make any mistakes there on the last stint. I think we were definitely kind of on another planet.”
Alexander Rossi defeated again in rainy Detroit Dual 1
Rossi had led the entire race from the pole until Newgarden got by him under the caution flag, and from then on until the checkered flag flew, it was evident that the pair had the fastest cars on the circuit.
It’s now the third time this season that Rossi has had one of the quickest cars and didn’t come home with a victory, looking back at the Circuit of the Americas and last week’s Indianapolis 500.
“It’s annoying,” Rossi said. “I mean, it’s now three times, COTA, Indy and here. It’s part of it. It ebbs and flows. It’s out of our control. I think as a team; we did everything right. We executed. We got on pole. We controlled the race in the wet. Had a great pit stop, huge execution moment for the boys in the pits. They did a good job there to ensure we stayed in front of [Dixon] and [Power].”
It was clear this race would be a funky one at the start, as rain forced the first of back-to-back races to be delayed and shortened to 75 minutes.
As the track started to dry up, only one racing line emerged due to the water that had soaked into the concrete.
“Yeah, I mean, I tried to push him into a mistake,” Rossi said. “We were flat out. But he’s a great driver and isn’t going to make mistakes. Ultimately with a one-groove racetrack like that, couldn’t go offline because it’s wet.”
Early on, Will Power was one of the race’s biggest movers, but after a gun-malfunction saw a tire fall off out of pit road, Power was shuffled to the back of the field, eventually finishing 18th.
Not too long after the race was restarted – with Newgarden out front – another caution took out a big name.
Five-time and defending champion Scott Dixon was running in third before clipping the outside wall with his right rear tire and soaring into the tire barrier.
That ended his day early early as well, and pushed him back to fifth in the points standings after finishing outside of the top 15 for the second straight race.
Points leader Simon Pagenaud falls from the lead to 25 points back, as well, after finishing P6. Rossi goes from 22 points back to 33 away from the lead after the second-place result.
The NTT Data IndyCar Series returns to the track at Belle Isle on Sunday, racing their annual back-to-back duals at Detroit. Their is only a 20% chance of precipitation on Sunday, so the 3:00 p.m. ET race (NBC) should start on schedule this time.
IndyCar Dual 1 in Detroit Results
1. Josef Newgarden
2. Alexander Rossi
3. Takuma Sato
4. Felix Rosenqvist
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay
6. Simon Pagenaud
7. Graham Rahal
8. Zach Veach
9. James Hinchcliffe
10. Spencer Pigot
11. Sebastien Bourdais
12. Colton Herta
13. Marcus Ericsson
14. Pato O’Ward
15. Tony Kanaan
16. Marco Andretti
17. Max Chilton
18. Will Power
19. Santino Ferrucci
20. Ed Jones
21. Matheus Leist
22. Scott Dixon
|NTT Data IndyCar Series Standings|