DETROIT —The stars of Sunday’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix were the ABC Supply crews that worked hard and fast to put the No. 14 back together after an unfortunate crash in qualifying this morning.
“The ABC Supply crew did a great job to get the car repaired and race ready. It was a full team effort. Both crews were helping to get that car done in time,” said Larry Foyt, team president.
Carlos Munoz started last in the 22-car field and climbed through the field to finish 11th. The team gave him solid pit stops throughout the 70-lap race around the 2.35-mile temporary circuit on Belle Isle.
“First off I want to say thank you to our ABC Supply crew,” Munoz said. “I think they did a really good job to fix the car from qualifying to the race. They had to change the engine and rebuild almost half the car so a big thanks to them. It would have been nice to be in the top-10 but I think from where we started 22nd to finish 11th wasn’t bad. To get a good strategy today was really tough because there were no yellows at all so we couldn’t do any strategy. But I think we were more competitive this weekend so that’s positive.”
Conor Daly posted his best qualifying effort of the year to start 10th, which matches his best career start at Detroit. Daly spent most of the race in the top-10, running as high as seventh. He too had no issues with pit stops during this race—an important factor since all the stops were under green flag conditions.
The race was green until lap 67 when James Hinchcliffe stopped on track and then Spencer Pigot blew his engine, spewing liquid on the track. Officials stopped the race while the track was cleaned up and the decision set up a three-lap shootout.
On the restart, Daly, who restarted 9th, was pushed wide in Turn 4 as Helio Castroneves moved past him. Daly was not happy with the move by Castroneves which the team reported to officials but no action was taken to penalize him. The 12th place finish is the best for Daly this season which has been plagued by gremlins.
“It was a good race for us the whole way through,” said Daly. “Felt like we had decent pace enough to stay in the top 10. Just our luck the yellow comes at the end. We didn’t need that. It was a shame because as soon as we went green, I had no front grip. Not sure what happened but I just couldn’t hold my position. It was a shame to end it like we did because this team deserved to be in the top 10.”
Although it was reported earlier in the day that something broke on the 14 car, analysis of the car and data proved that everything was intact prior to the accident which happened at one the fastest parts of the track.
Foyt said afterwards, “It’s not where we want to finish but it was still a good day because we were able to improve our position quite a bit from where we started. The boys gave Carlos a good car and he did a good job to bounce back. Conor was in the top-10 for most of the day. It was a shame what happened right at the end and that he couldn’t get the top-10 he deserved. Both drivers raced hard and brought their cars home today. We’ll try for better at Texas.”
Graham Rahal swept the doubleheader with a second victory today. Finishing second through fifth were Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Takuma Sato (who won the pole for today’s race) and Simon Pagenaud.
The teams head to Texas Motor Speedway this week. The race will be broadcast Saturday night on NBC Sports Network starting at 8 p.m. EDT.