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Mike Conway Out-Duals Field At Belle Isle

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 1 2013

Mike Conway is congratulated by Dale Coyne Racing teammate Justin Wilson after Saturday's IZOD IndyCar Series race at Belle Isle. (Photo courtesy of the IZOD IndyCar Series)

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Mike Conway on Sunday earned his second IZOD IndyCar Series victory and is poised to receive a $50,000 bonus if he can sweep the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit.

Conway, who started second in the Honda-powered No. 18 Sonny’s car for Dale Coyne Racing, overtook Ryan Hunter-Reay for the lead on Lap 44 of 70 on the 2.35-mile, 13-turn street circuit, built a 20-second gap leading into the final round of pit stops and went on to a commanding victory.

“The car has been great all weekend and as the track was rubbering in it was getting better and better,” said Conway, who claimed his other series at Long Beach in 2011. “It was keep pushing and get a gap, and the strategy worked out perfectly at the end. I wanted to stay out and do more laps.”

Hunter-Reay, the reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion, was 12.9707 seconds back and Conway’s teammate, Justin Wilson, claimed his second consecutive top-five finish by holding off 2012 race winner Scott Dixon by .0984 of a second for third.

“We were impressed this morning,” team-owner Dale Coyne said. “We’ve never had a driver qualify on the pole, let alone win, set the fastest lap, lead the most laps, everything he did. It’s pretty amazing on his part and for the entire team to put both cars in the top-three. Our engineering side is working hard and we’re pretty pleased.

Should Conway sweep the doubleheaders this season will receive the $50,000 SONAX Perfect Finish Award, which will be up for grabs at Toronto and Houston’s twin bills. If Conway can’t complete the task at Belle Isle, the prize fund carries over to Toronto in mid-July ($100,000). If no one wins both of those races, the Houston doubleheader in early October will be worth $150,000.

Conway also claimed the Verizon P1 Award for Race 2 on June 2 with the quickest lap in the two-group qualification session six hours before Race 1. It was the first earned IZOD IndyCar Series pole for the driver from England and Dale Coyne Racing.

The Verizon P1 Award was awarded to the best overall lap time in the two sessions. The remainder of the cars in the pole sitter’s group will occupy the odd-numbered starting grid positions, starting with third. Cars from Group 1 will occupy the even-numbered starting grid positions.

James Jakes posted the quickest lap in Group 1 (1:18.1704) in the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. He’ll also start on the front row – an IZOD IndyCar Series career high through 37 races. In 1992, team co-owner Bobby Rahal started second and went on to win the race at Belle Isle.

Results Saturday of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit #1 IZOD IndyCar Series event on the 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (2) Mike Conway, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

2. (4) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

3. (16) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

4. (15) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

5. (12) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

6. (11) Dario Franchitti, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

7. (24) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

8. (9) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

9. (23) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

10. (3) James Jakes, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

11. (6) Tristan Vautier, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

12. (8) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

13. (19) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

14. (25) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Honda, 70, Running

15. (20) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

16. (17) Simona De Silvestro, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

17. (1) EJ Viso, Dallara-Chevy, 70, Running

18. (22) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 69, Running

19. (7) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 68, Running

20. (18) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Chevy, 67, Running

21. (21) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 66, Contact

22. (10) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 32, Contact

23. (5) Alex Tagliani, Dallara-Honda, 28, Contact

24. (14) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 19, Mechanical

25. (13) AJ Allmendinger, Dallara-Chevy, 0, Contact

Race Statistics

Winners average speed: 90.753

Time of Race: 01:48:45.4309

Margin of victory: 12.9707

Cautions: 3 for 14 laps

Lead changes: 4 among 3 drivers

Lap Leaders:Conway 1-23, Hunter-Reay 24-43, Conway 44-52, Wilson 53-55, Conway 56-70.

Point Standings: Castroneves 182, Hunter-Reay 179, Andretti 178, Sato 168, Wilson 161, Dixon 154, Hinchcliffe 143, Kanaan 141, Pagenaud 126, Kimball 122.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, June 1 2013
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