LIVE BLOG: 2014 Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

IndyCar, IndyCar commentary — By on June 1, 2014 7:00 am


4:58 PM ET — A quiet Friday here at the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit has come to a close for the Verizon IndyCar Series. A full rundown of the results from the day’s on-track activities can be found in our Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Event Summary.

We’re capping off the day here with a Speed Energy Formula Off-Road race (originally known as Stadium Super Trucks). Looks like EJ Viso is in this one in addition to the usual suspects. My gut tells me that EJ is a good fit for this style of racing. It’s always fun, so I’ll keep an eye on it while finishing things up here in the media center.

The tweet-up this afternoon was a nice gathering but was hampered by timing (being on a Friday, plus it started while the IndyCars were on track) and by the fact that a Detroit television station was running a competing tweet-up at the same time. Still, it was nice to spend time with some of the best people in the paddock, and no matter the turnout it’s always very important to recognize and appreciate the great work that Pippa Mann and Amy of IndyCar Mom do to put the tweet-ups together.

This will put a bow on the live blog for today, but please check back in tomorrow for race day number one from the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit!


1:34 PM ET — Well, I came back to the media center to grab a bite to eat and then head out to finish gathering info for the Spectator Seating Guide, but after looking over a map again it turns out I’ve seen just about everything there is to see. If I’m being perfectly honest then I have to admit I’m a bit taken aback by how small this event is, not in physical size but in scope. One grandstand has reportedly been dropped since last year as well, so the seating options are remarkably condensed. (But we all know spectators aren’t really what this race weekend is about, don’t we? There are about as many chalets and hospitality areas as grandstands, and that says it all.)

That said, there are some cool things about the way the track is set up here. You can offer up a gigantic “duh” for the statement I’m about to make, but I’ll say it anyway: this really is a racetrack set up in a park in the middle of an island. As such, there are very few pre-existing facilities here, so everything from concession stands to restrooms must be brought in. (I’m willing to bet those never-ending banks of port-o-potties are going to be pretty ripe by Sunday night.)

Hang on — I was supposed to be telling you the good things about racing in an island park. Well, the grounds are lush and beautiful — for example, the Scott Fountain isn’t nearly as iconic as the fountain at Long Beach but is much more ornate, and it’s a shame it’s not more integrated into the festivities here — and the open air and greenery are nice. (They’re also a bit of a nightmare for allergy sufferers, though, and the pine chips laid down everywhere to make pathways don’t help.)

Wait, good things. Right.

The midway is very central and easy to navigate, and Chevrolet has some very large displays set up among it. There’s also a massive banner on the Renaissance Center, the GM world headquarters complex in downtown Detroit that dominates the skyline from just about every point at the track, so it’s eminently clear that they are pouring a great deal of effort and pride into this event. The stage setup in the midway is pretty boss, too. There are some big concerts happening there this weekend, including Lifehouse at 6:15 PM tomorrow and Shaggy with Rayvon at 12:30 PM on Sunday.

Apart from the details that are going into the Spectator Seating Guide, which will be published later tonight, I can’t imagine I’ll find much more to say about the amenities on the grounds here. I’ll be watching the crowd and the local reception to the event with interest as the weekend continues.


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