Today’s question: Who will win the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear this Sunday?
Curt Cavin: How’s this for coincidence: Last year in Detroit, Marcus Ericsson and Pato O’Ward, in that order, won races. Last weekend, they finished 1-2, in that order, in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Are they the favorites heading into this weekend’s single event at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park? I think O’Ward is. He was on the podium for both the 2021 races, and I expect he will be driving with a bit more spirit than usual given how the “500” played out. Ericsson has raced well in Detroit, as well, finishing second to Scott Dixon in the 2019 race, but the emotional and physical drain from being so frequently honored this week likely will take its toll. Arie Luyendyk (1997) is the last “500” winner to win the series’ next race, and he had a weekend off in between Indy and Texas. Before that it was Al Unser Jr. in 1994. He won Indy and Milwaukee in consecutive weekends.
Zach Horrall: I think Will Power wants, and is due for, some redemption. Remember, it was Race 1 of the Detroit weekend last year when the late red flag brought the field to a halt, and his car would not refire. It allowed Marcus Ericsson to get his first career NTT INDYCAR SERIES win. Power has been a fringe contender in basically every single race this season. When you look specifically at his street course performance, he finished third at St. Petersburg and fourth at Long Beach. This guy is due for a win.
Paul Kelly: Pride is a massive motivating factor for any elite athlete, and no NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver arguably heads to Detroit this weekend with more wounded pride than Scott Dixon. Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Dixon had a second Indianapolis 500 win in his grasp with a dominant car when he was caught speeding entering pit road for his final stop of the race on Lap 175. Dixon, as always, was classy after the race and admitted the error was all his. While he lived up to his “Iceman” nickname with that cool demeanor after the “500,” his mind must sear with rage over his costly mistake. A win this weekend in Detroit won’t exorcise that demon, but it will end a victory drought dating back to early May 2021. Dixon will deliver at Detroit.