`Photo Credit: @INDYCAR
With the Indianapolis 500 behind us, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES enters the dog days of summer with a final trip to the small island of Belle Isle right outside the Motor City. Marcus Ericsson enters this race as your point leader in the series as a first time Indianapolis 500 winner. Drivers like Pato O'Ward, Scott Dixon and, Colton Herta will try and close the points gap as the hunt for the 2022 Astor Cup starts to heat up.
Event History: In 1992 CART made its first visit to Belle Isle and raced there until 2001. INDYCAR and the American Le Mans Series returned to the track in 2007 and then had a brief three-year hiatus until INDYCAR returned in 2012 in the doubleheader format we have known for a while. This is the first race back in a standalone event since 2012 and the last race to be held at the circuit when next year, the series returns to the streets of Detroit for the first time since 1991. Your 2022 Indianapolis 500 Champion Marcus Ericsson is the defending winner of the Detroit Grand Prix.
Track Facts: The Belle Isle Circuit is a temporary street course that measures 2.35 miles long and is one of the narrowest circuits on the schedule. Nine right and five left-hand turns make up the fourteen-turn course. The action spots to watch out for would be the braking points at Turns Three and Seven that are proceeded by long straights. There are eight active drivers who have found success in Detroit. (Ericsson, O'Ward, Power, Newgarden, Rahal, Pagenaud, Dixon, and Castroneves.) The fastest lap in series history is held by Josef Newgarden with a 1:14.2062.
Championship Standings: (Top Five)
1st - Marcus Ericcson: 226
2nd - Pato O'Ward: -13
3rd - Alex Palou: -14
4th - Will Power -24
5th - Joesf Newgarden: -52
2023 Driver Changes: Earlier in the week, Andretti Autosport announced that former Indy Lights Champion Kyle Kirkwood would be piloting the No. 27 Honda for the team replacing former Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi. A few days later, Arrow McLaren SP announced Rossi will be a full-time driver for them next year.
Driver Changes: Due to Callum Illott's broken hand, he has not been cleared back to INDYCAR competition for this weekend's race. Therefore, filling in for him is Santino Ferrucci. Ferrucci will be making his second start in the 2022 season as he finished 10th in the 2022 Indianapolis 500.
Weather: Sunday will not have the picture-perfect weather that the Indy 500 had as temps should be in the high 60s for the Detroit Grand Prix. Rain could be an issue as forecast is calling for a 25% chance of rain.
Weekend Prediction: In INDYCAR after the Indianapolis 500 is when the real season begins as a championship battle has 12 more races to determine a series champion at Laguna Seca and it starts right here. With the 500 being a double-points event. The first chance to make or break your season starts over the course of the next eight races to separate the contender's vs the pretenders. But after a very disappointing Indianapolis 500 and one of the best drivers that I have ever seen on street courses in a long time, my pick to win the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will be Colton Herta.
You can watch the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Sunday, June 6th on the USA Network or Peacock at 3:00 P.M. EST.