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Detroit Update: Helio leads in another race of dueling strategies

Jun 1, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama - Day 2 Getty Images

Helio Castroneves came out ahead of Mike Conway after a cycle of green-flag stops and led at halfway of Race 2 of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park.

Today’s race got off to a rocky start with an aborted rolling start and then two cautions within the first 10 laps. On the opening lap, Will Power went to the inside of Josef Newgarden at Turn 3 and made contact with the American, sending him into the barrier while collecting Graham Rahal and Justin Wilson.

Newgarden, Rahal and Wilson would continue on, while Power decided to pit under the yellow. However, Verizon IndyCar Series Race Control opted to hit him with a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact.

Then on Lap 10, Sebastian Saavedra brought out Caution No. 2 by hitting the barrier coming out of Turn 6. He would come to a stop on the backstretch with major front-end damage.

Race leader and pole sitter Takuma Sato was among several that chose to pit under this particular caution, handing the lead to James Hinchcliffe. With the field once again split into multiple strategies as they did yesterday, the race returned to green conditions at Lap 15.

Conway, who was the only driver to start the race on the primary Firestone “black” tires, proceeded to hound Hinchcliffe for several laps before he finally put the Canadian behind him for P1 at Lap 21.

Hinchcliffe promptly pitted, and Conway then built up a massive gap to his pursuers as he tried to help himself prior to going in for his own first stop.

By the time he made that stop at Lap 25, Conway had pushed his lead to more than 11 seconds, bringing back memories of his Belle Isle beatdown in last year’s Race 1. That gave the lead to, of all people, Power, who held it until his second stop at Lap 27.

Mikhail Aleshin inherited the lead from the Australian briefly before he too pitted and Castroneves moved up to the front. He and Sato pitted together on Lap 32 and Jack Hawksworth did the same on the next lap, which put Castroneves back in control of the proceedings.

  1. ponger8 - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    great race!

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