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What to watch for: IndyCar at Detroit, Race 2

Jun 1, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT

Raceway On Belle Isle - Day 1 Getty Images

WILL POWER VS. SIMON PAGENAUD

Yesterday’s on-track skirmish between Dual 1 winner Will Power and Simon Pagenaud was the second such incident they’ve had this Verizon IndyCar Series season. While Pagenaud suffered terminal suspension damage, Power also says he sustained a sore left wrist.

No penalties came of the incident but for today’s race, they’ll be starting together in Row 4. Will we see more fireworks between the Australian and the Frenchman? Considering the tight confines of Belle Isle, it could happen.

DAMAGE CONTROL FOR RHR

After being on top of the world with his Indianapolis 500 victory, Ryan Hunter-Reay has endured a hard weekend in Detroit. Yesterday, he tagged the wall in qualifying and then finished 16th after a final-lap crash. Then this morning, he once again found the wall and will have to start today’s race on the final row alongside Scott Dixon.

Hunter-Reay’s championship lead is down to three points over Power – and that lead could be gone by the end of today unless he has a stellar drive from the back.

ANOTHER STRATEGY RACE?

You needed a white board to keep track of all the different strategies that played out during yesterday’s 70-lap race, and we may see more of the same in today’s race.

A note to keep in mind: All but one driver – fourth-place starter Mike Conway – will start today on the Firestone alternate “red” tires (faster than the primary ‘blacks’, but not quite as durable). That should mean early stops for the majority of the field.

GOTTA KEEP FOCUS

One full race around Belle Isle is tough enough, but now the IndyCar guys have to do it all over again today. Doubleheader weekends are a physical and mental drain on everyone, from the drivers to the crews. But one mistake from either the cockpit or the pit box can lead to a wasted afternoon.

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