Chip Ganassi Racing experienced a mixed opening race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit race weekend as reigning series champion Scott Dixon who had a very fast car in the opening half of the race was forced to retire from the event with a mechanical issue with his gearbox and speaking the race, Dixon commented by saying:
It wasn’t a great day for us today. We had a new left front tire on at the start and it was a Firestone red, and I just got really loose at the start and lost positions because it had way more grip than the other three tires. Then we came in on the next stop and the Target car was super-fast. We had a fueling issue and went to the back and raced our way back to the front. The car was still really fast and we were fast with clear track in front of us. We left after our last stop and had a gearbox issue I think which led to not being able to use the clutch or shift at the end of the race.
Max Chilton in the No.8 Gallagher Chip Ganassi Racing Team Chevrolet started the race from 18th place on the grid but on lap 9 of 70 the Englishman hit the wall hard forcing him to retire from the race and speaking following the race he commented by saying:
We started 18th. We knew we had to go forward, so I pushed like mad for the first eight laps. People pitted early and then my pace didn’t drop off, so we thought we might as well keep going. Finally made the stop because we were out of fuel and then my out lap was mega. As soon as I came out of the pits I felt like I had a very strong front end. The steering was heavy but I still had the grip so I thought maybe it was just the black tires. Then, I think it was the third time down the back straight, everything felt normal and then as I went left for the kink, my wheel just went left. I was just a passenger from that point. Something gave way on the column because I couldn’t take the wheel off when I got out.
Charlie Kimball who is back using the No.83 in the Tresiba® Chevrolet ended the race as the highest placed Ganassi car as he ended the race where he started in eighth place and speaking following the event he commented by saying:
What a day. It’s hard to really describe the day because so much went on. We tried a bunch of strategies. The No. 83 guys on the stand were awesome – just trying to do something to get us in the best track position. I was racing guys hard and honestly the No. 83 Tresiba® Chevrolet was better than eighth. It just didn’t quite work out on strategy. Between the rain drops, the way the yellows fell, and who we were racing we got a little bit caught up there. It was a tough day. Anytime you’re racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series with such tight competition it’s not going to be easy, especially at such a physical track like this one. A big thanks to the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team and really all of Chip Ganassi Racing – I know they’ll be here late tonight getting the cars ready.
Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT DATA Chevrolet started the race from seventh place and had a trouble free race coming home in ninth place just ahead of Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi. Speaking following the race he commented by saying:
I’m not thrilled with our race today. I think we had at least a top-five car but we ran into some bad luck throughout the race. We went off strategy and came in just for fuel on our last stop thinking we’d be able to pick off some of the guys ahead of us who were saving fuel, but we weren’t able to get to them. At about 10 to go, I realized I had a broken front wing and then we got a blocking penalty with three to go that caused us to lose a spot. I’m still not sure I 100 percent agree with that call, but we’ll take a look at the replays again tonight and try to see what they were looking at when they made that decision. Regardless we’ll get the car put back together tonight and work through our strategy to have the No. 10 NTT Data Chevrolet ready to go to qualify in the morning and race in the afternoon.