Home Teams Struggle at Detroit Grand Prix

Detroit-based Team Penske and Chevrolet hoped for a good showing in the Indycar races at the Grand Prix on Belle Isle. But it was Honda that made the biggest splash.

Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

It was a tough outing for the hometown teams at this weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle.

Detroit businessman and racing legend Roger Penske arrived at Belle Isle on the heels of his team having won a record 17th Indianapolis 500.

But neither Penske nor hometown sponsor Chevrolet could match the rival Honda cars in Detroit.

Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

They took the top six positions in the first Indycar race on Saturday.

Team Ganassi driver Scott Dixon finished in first, a victory that tied him for third in all-time wins in Indycar.

Dixon says it was especially satisfying for both him and Honda following a frustrating finish in the race leading up to Bell Isle. the famed Indy 500.

“It’s always tough leaving Indianapolis unless you’ve won,” Dixon said after the Belle Isle race. “But it’s always nice to rebound strong in Detroit. Honda have done a superb job, I think, here in Motor City. It’s a pretty big deal.”

Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

Driver Ryan Hunter Reay earned the win in the Sunday edition of the Indycar doubleheader.

He says the twisty, bumpy temporary street track on Belle Isle took a toll on drivers.

“It’s just really physical because you end up counter-steering so much and constantly catching the car. It’s just violent out there,” Hunter Reay says.

The Sunday race was rough for Chevrolet as well, which had problems on Sunday even before the Indycar contest began.

The Corvette pace car, driven by a GM executive, crashed during the parade lap, causing a 30 minute delay.


  • Quinn Klinefelter
    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.