IndyCar: Munoz Wins Shortened Race 1

After being given a two-hour time limit (or full 70 laps; whichever came first), Race 1 of the Dual in Detroit got underway just after 3:30 pm on Detroit's Belle Isle. Polesitter Will Power led the field cleanly through the first lap, but the most impressive driver in the opening laps was Takuma Sato in the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises car; he moved quickly into the lead of the race and began the streak of laps-led by Honda-powered cars.

Green flag racing did not last very long, though, with the very wet track and tightly-packed field; On just the third lap, Rodolfo Gonzalez spun and made contact with the wall on the exit of Turn 2, bringing out the first caution of the race.

The green flag came back out for the restart on Lap 6 - but it was short-lived as a multi-car accident in the middle of the pack saw an immediate return to a full-course yellow. The accident began with contact between James Jakes and Tony Kanaan; Graham Rahal then made contact with Kanaan's motionless car.

"When (Tony) Kanaan hit the tires, he flew out right in front of me and there was nowhere I could go," said a frustrated Rahal. "There was literally no hope. Unfortunately, it was just a little bit of bad luck."

During this second full-course yellow, it was Sato, Power, Castroneves, Montoya, and Bourdais at the front of the field.

The race was once again restarted on Lap 12; Sato led the field to the green flag, through Turns 1 and 2, and down the straight to Turn 3 once again - but green flag racing was once again cut off by a yellow flag. This time, Charlie Kimball made heavy contact with the wall on the exit of Turn 2.

Cautions returned on Laps 21, 26, and 31 for debris on the track. During the caution at Lap 31, Scott Dixon came in and went back to wet tires; at that point, the incoming rain was expected to be eight or so minutes away. At Lap 36, Marco Andretti inherited the lead when Will Power stopped for four wet tires and fuel. On Lap 40, Andretti came into pit lane for four wet tires and fuel with Simon Pagenaud, surrendering the lead of the race to Colombian Carlos Munoz.

Munoz came in for four tires and fuel on Lap 42, but a large lead allowed him to maintain the lead of the race. On Lap 44, his lead over Marco Andretti was 26.2241 seconds.

Following this period of green flag racing that was prefaced by yellows due to contact then yellows due to debris, lightning in the area prompted INDYCAR's decision to bring out the yellow. Minutes later, after the cars returned to pit lane and were covered with tarps, INDYCAR chose to red flag the race and soon after simply called the race altogether.

Carlos Munoz won his first career Verizon IndyCar Series race with his almost half-minute lead over eventual second-place finisher Marco Andretti. Rounding out the podium for Race 1 is Simon Pagenaud, earning his first career podium as a Penske driver.

Race 2 is set to begin at 3:30 pm ET tomorrow here on Belle Isle. Follow @VAVELIndyCar for live tweets and photos from the race track tomorrow for the third and final day of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.


Aaron Durant is the editor of the VAVEL USA Racing section. Follow him on Twitter at @DoubleA291.

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