Welcome to More Front Wing’s live blog from the 2014 Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit! MFW Co-editor Steph Wallcraft is at the track tapping out updates all weekend long. Updates are posted with the most recent at the top, so if this is your first visit to the live blog please go to the last page and work your way forward. For Verizon IndyCar Series time sheets and race info, visit the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Event Summary.
7:45 PM ET – Just a very quick wrap-up here. I need to book it and hit the road if I want to get home at that a time that’s still technically today.
The first impressions of the More Front Wing crew on today’s Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit race 2 will go live on the site shortly, and our Event Summary has the box score and the full race results — the rest of the reports and point standings will follow as soon as we’re able. The full race report from IndyCar with quotes from throughout the field should go online sometime later tonight.
A few final thoughts on this event before I sign off. I came onto Belle Isle for the first time this weekend not sure what I was going to think. Then, I went through about a day where I wasn’t sure I was going to feel positive by the end of it.
But now as I’m about to leave I find, much to my surprise, that I’ve actually developed a personal investment in this race. Hinch is right — as a Canadian, it feels a little bit like a home race in an odd kind of way. And the effort and investment and commitment and pride that Roger Penske, General Motors, and the City of Detroit put into making this weekend special comes through in every aspect of it. It’s their gift to the people of this sometimes beleaguered city. I lost count of how many times the locals asked me if Detroit was being good to them. The people here care about what you think of their city and their race a great deal. It’s genuinely inspiring.
I can’t shake the concern, though, that it’s not the strongest follow-up to Indianapolis that’s out there. I know that scheduling is not easy — racing season around here doesn’t really start until about Memorial Day thanks to the climate, and you can’t go any deeper into June and get the IMSA guys here because they’re packing up shortly for Le Mans. But as much as I enjoyed this event and want to see it grow, I’m not sure there’s really the potential here to draw the crowd or the attention needed to carry the momentum of Indianapolis further into June. Then again, I don’t know what track could. Texas Motor Speedway, maybe? Not that attendance there has been stellar lately either, but it feels as though Detroit has an attendance ceiling that Texas doesn’t, and getting another oval in before returning to twisties after Indy would help the cause of the Verizon IndyCar Series at large. It’s a bit of a puzzle.
Anyway, I’m leaving here with a much more positive impression of Belle Isle and Detroit (and Windsor) than I was expecting to have, and that’s a big part of what events like this are all about. I’m already looking forward to a return trip next year.
With that, it’s time to head for home. We’ll be back at you throughout this week to wrap up the weekend’s activities and get you set up for Texas. As always, thank you for following along. We greatly appreciate the support we receive from each and every one of you.
2:26 PM ET – Just took in what it turns out was the third Speed Energy Formula Off-road race of the weekend. (I’ve been informed that what was marked as a practice yesterday was actually a race and the schedule was incorrect — which kind of explains a lot.) I’ll admit that I follow this series very casually, but my off-handed comment on Friday about EJ Viso being suited to this style of racing was apparently apt since he swept the weekend taking all three races. He was so excited about it yesterday that he was doing donuts on his victory lap and managed to flip the thing onto its lid. So, there you go.
Before that, the track had been mostly quiet for a while as Shaggy performed on the Motor City Casino Stage. There was a decent and very enthusiastic crowd over there having a great time when I walked past. I also checked out the food truck and beer garden to see what was on offer. They had pizza, tacos, fresh roasted cinnamon nuts, beer (of course), and a Tim Horton’s truck in another welcoming gesture to the many Canadian visitors on hand.
It may be that I wasn’t out at the right times yesterday, but the vibe today feels a little bit more energetic and more like a race day to me. The mid-day concert and the marching bands going through the paddock and such are probably contributing to that. Given that yesterday was also a race day it’s sort of a shame that I didn’t come away with the same impression. It might be something worth taking a look at when examining the double-header format.
Time to get ready to head out to the pre-race ceremonies. I’ll likely shift mostly to Twitter from this point onward, so please check us out @MoreFrontWing for live updates!
12:15 PM ET – I stuck around in the media center for a few minutes to grab a bite to eat, and all sorts of stuff worth sharing showed up!
First, great news from Firestone Racing, and major kudos to them for being so quick and proactive to fan requests. You can now follow their tire tracking software live in race time at http://www.livetiming.net/firestone/. We’ve added the link to the tire section of our Event Summary page so that it’s easy to find if you lose it.
Next, most of you know that our contributor John Lingle authored a book called Hard Luck Lloyd on the life and career of Texas racer Lloyd Ruby. We’re very happy to let you all know that the book received a favorable review in the New York Times, which you can read by clicking here.
And finally, IndyCar has released a new video that seems to be the start of a social media campaign promoting rivalries in the Series, which will be good news to many. You can watch it using the embedded player below. (Big ups on the tune –perfect choice, in my opinion.)
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