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RACE REPORT: Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear

DETROIT (June 4, 2023) -- The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix delivered on its promise to bring the high energy of the NTT INDYCAR Series to downtown Detroit. The unique double-wide pit lane was a success; there were no incidents as pitstops went off smoothly.

Unfortunately, that was not the case for the AJ Foyt Racing team, which had entered the weekend with terrific momentum from the Indianapolis 500.

The team experimented with a setup choice on Friday which didn't pan out but the team worked to get the cars "in the window" by race day. With Benjamin Pedersen starting 19th and Santino Ferrucci starting 22nd, both drivers knew they had their work cut out for them.

The race began with an incident which eliminated Calum Ilott by Turn 3 after the initial start on the backstretch. By lap 7 the race was back to green. Pedersen pitted first to shed the alternate compound tires after just 15 laps and two laps later Ferrucci was in to do the same. About a third of the way through the race, Ferrucci made the first of a couple excursions into run-off areas which were later attributed to a problem with the brake bias adjuster.

Pedersen's race took a turn for the worse on lap 51 when he made contact with Graham Rahal who had hit the barrier in Turn 1. While Rahal's car was out, Pedersen's car was able to restart; he pitted to replace the nose and front wing.

The incident put Pedersen a couple laps down and there were no opportunities to gain back those laps so Pedersen finished 20th in the No. 55 Sexton Properties Chevrolet.

“Pretty eventful day," said the 24-year-old rookie. "Honestly, it was looking really good. We were on

track to likely get into the top-10. Unfortunately, got caught up in a collision with other cars with some tricky circumstances that happened on the track that were out of my control, and ultimately led up to a bit of collisions. We’ll look into why that happened, but we were able to get the car restarted and going right away. The team did a great job recovering, and making changes right away in pit lane. P20 in the end, ahead of quite a few guys who are around me in the championship, so we’ll move up a little more. It’s a little bittersweet today, because we had very good pace. We’re coming forward with the set up, we just need a little luck to come our way. On to Road America testing and the next event.”

Ferrucci's brake problems eventually got worse and he came together with Stingray Robb in Turn 3 bringing out the seventh caution of the race on lap 92 of the 100-lap event. Both drivers were able to continue but had lost laps before the safety team got them restarted and on their way. Ferrucci finished 21st in the No. 14 Sexton Properties Chevrolet.

“Very uneventful day for us in the 14 Chevy," Ferrucci summed up. "Brake bias adjuster broke probably the first or second stint. Just got locked out at 63 percent. Nothing I could do, just lost all front grip, calipers got hot, pedal got really long. So, it just made it for a difficult day. Just need to regroup after this weekend and figure out where our car is at and move on to Road America.”

Alex Palou swept the card, winning the pole and the race but only after a dogfight with Will Power who finished second. Rounding out the top five were Felix Rosenqvist, Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi.


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