FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, Race 1

First Impressions, IndyCar — By on June 1, 2013 6:56 pm
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Race 1 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans is in the books, and the More Front Wing crew offer our first impressions of the outcome below.

STEPH’S IMPRESSIONS:

File this under Things I Never Thought I’d Say: looking at that photo of Mike Conway attached to this post generated about as much excitement as I’ve felt all day. There are a few things wrong with that statement!

Let’s be fair. Detroit is never a place where we expect to come away raving. It’s a race that we all know needs to exist due to business interests. That’s fair enough, and those will never go away. That said, the changes made in turn 3 made this event a lot less processional than it has been in the past. It wasn’t at the same level as the rest of the season thus far, but a) no one expected it to be, and b) it was better than it could have been.

But sitting back and looking at this race objectively from my couch, my sense is that we should have come away feeling like this one was about a 6 or a 7, but it really came across as more like a 4 because of the dismal TV coverage. I said on Twitter right from the start that I felt like I’d tuned in to a golf tournament, and it appeared to be a sentiment shared by many. In other words, ABC’s coverage has begun for the year, and the calls for reform (and debates about whether the network’s coverage is hurting or helping IndyCar’s cause) have begun as usual right along with it.

Expect them to continue through Pocono. Expect them to be ignored as usual. And expect much of the same tomorrow.

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ZACHARY’S IMPRESSIONS:

Obviously, today pretty much cemented Mike Conway’s status as a street course ace. If I’m someone like Ed Carpenter, I’m thinking long and hard about adding someone like Conway when I’m ready to be a part-time driver and still full-time owner.

On the points front, it’s obviously a great day for guys like Ryan Hunter-Reay (obviously still very much alive in terms of a title defense), Helio Castroneves, and Conway’s teammate Justin Wilson. Let’s see who finishes the week as strongly as it began.

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BASH’S IMPRESSIONS:

Short but sweet to save some words for tomorrow!

This wasn’t the most exciting race I’ve seen — definitely doesn’t hold a candle to anything we’ve witnessed yet this season. But holy cow, did Mike Conway put on a show! Hop a flight, jump in a car with a new team, grab the pole for race #2 and then win the first race. Easy peasy, nothin’ to it. Teammate Justin Wilson taking third on the podium gave Dale Coyne Racing a terrific day, further illustrating the parity of the IndyCar Series. I’m mightily impressed with the team and with Conway, and I can’t wait for tomorrow’s race.

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JOHN’S IMPRESSIONS:

Today’s race had a little bit of everything, and I enjoyed the Formula One vibe at the end with tire strategy playing out. This is the way that the reds and blacks should balance out every race!

Mike Conway definitely has that little something extra in the tank when it comes to road and street courses. Hopefully this opens the door for Mike to get a few more opportunities this year. What a day for Dale with a win and a podium at the same event. Maybe Dale Coyne’s 2nd car isn’t quite the pig we’ve long assumed it to be?

I’m really looking forward to his teams adopt their strategy for the second duel.

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CHAD’S IMPRESSIONS:

Chalk another one up to the little guy. The theme continued today in Detroit, where Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi came up short yet again. Not only have none of their drivers won a race this year, but none of them have even scored a podium finish in the last four races (not since Barber on April 7).

It wasn’t one of the best races this season, but it wasn’t a snooze fest, either. There were some good moves, big story lines, and who could forget the double birds? Great for Coyne, great for Conway, and great for the IndyCar version of Kevin Harvick, Mr. Where Did He Come From, Justin Wilson. He is quietly having an incredible season, and if those cars perform tomorrow like they did today it could get even better.

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