Much like the changeover from road course chassis configuration for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis to oval specification for the Indianapolis 500, Verizon IndyCar Series teams had a tight turnaround to prepare their cars for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans this weekend.
A transporter parade in Detroit at 11 a.m. May 28 – starting at Cadillac Square, south on Woodward Avenue and east on Jefferson Avenue to Belle Isle – kicks off activities for the doubleheader race weekend (3:30 p.m. ET May 31 and June 1 on ABC).
Later in the day, Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Juan Pablo Montoya, newly-crowned Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and 2013 Race 2 winner Simon Pagenaud will greet fans at the Quicken Loans Grand Prix Street Fest powered by Chevrolet (4:30-7:30 p.m.) in Campus Martius Park. The event is free to the public.
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Personnel from most teams worked on Memorial Day at their Indianapolis Motor Speedway garages to convert or prepare chassis, move the Chevrolet and Honda engines from the oval to the road/street course car(s) and freshen up the paint schemes after 200 grueling laps on the 2.5-mile oval May 25.
“The car that we ran with Mike Conway at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis is our Detroit race car as well, which was also our Indy 500 backup car for both (Ed Carpenter and JR Hildebrand),” said team manager Tim Broyles of Indianapolis-based Ed Carpenter Racing. “We kept that car (at the Speedway), converted it into oval configuration in case we needed it and now convert it to the Detroit race car.
“From start to finish it takes about a day. We built the front suspension, rear suspension and prepped the gearbox, so we had to switch the (Chevrolet) engine from the No. 20 oval car to this one.”
The No. 20 oval car that Carpenter drove to the Verizon P1 Award for the Indianapolis 500 will be prepped at the race shop about six miles from the Speedway for Carpenter to drive in the Firestone 600 on June 7. The No. 21 car, driven to a 10th-place finish in the Indy 500 by Hildebrand, will be the backup for the remaining five ovals and eight road/street races.
“It’s a busy time,” said Broyles as he excused himself to return to work.