The start of the 2022 seaosn continues to swing in the favor of Will Power, who not only knotted his league-leading sixth top-five finish in Sunday’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix from the 18th-starting position — but won in a thrilling to-the-wire battle over Alexander Rossi.
With a deep starting position in the final race on the 2.35-mile Belle Isle street circuit in the Detroit River, Power started on the primary tire compound, while the top 14 starters chose the much slower tire on a longer run, the alternates — also known as Firestone Reds. The tire degradation around the street circuit for the alternates were excessive on the course of a run, however, Power and his Verizon Team Penske No. 12 team played their hand perfectly, striking for the win, managing just a one-second gap over Rossi at the checkered flag.
Power, being forced to take his alternate set of tires for the final stint of the race, had a massive lead but realistically a disadvantage with the tire falloff. The lead gap massively shrunk in the final four laps from a buffer of six seconds, and just ten laps prior that, an eleven second margin.
The win is Power’s first win in the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season, but his third podium in the seven-race season. In fact, the No. 12 has been in the top-five in every race outside last Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, where he finished in 15th. Despite missing out on much needed points there, the 2014 series champion takes over the championship advantage for the first time in this 17-race campaign.
The victory also felt like redemption for the Australian driver, who had been in the lead within the final five laps in last year’s opening Detroit doubleheader event. A caution was displayed late, and to ensure a green flag finish, IndyCar red flagged the event, and when the caution was put back out, Power was unable to refire his engine. Marcus Ericsson assumed the lead and held on for his first IndyCar victory at the time.
Scott Dixon rounded out on the podium with polesitter Josef Newgarden finishing fourth. Pato O’Ward off a runner-up finish at Indy scored a fifth-place finish as the reigning champion of the Belle Isle race.
Sunday’s 70-lap Grand Prix had gone caution-free up until Rinus VeeKay knocked into a barrier turning into early, and then shooting across the track into a tire bundle from the tenth position on the final lap of the race. With the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevy unable to finish, he was scored 16th.
Indianapolis 500 winner, Marcus Ericsson, drove his race-winning tub to another top-10 finish for his fifth on the season. The driver of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 8 Honda is just three points behind Power.
Next June, the Indy cars return to downtown Detroit after thirty years on the Island.
2022 Detroit Grand Prix Results
1: Will Power (12) – 41st Career IndyCar Victory
2: Alexander Rossi (27) – 1st Podium this Season
3: Scott Dixon (9) – 1st Podium this Season
4: Josef Newgarden (2)
5: Pato O’Ward (5)
6: Alex Palou (10)
7: Marcus Ericsson (8)
8: Colton Herta (26)
9: Simon Pagenaud (60)
10: Felix Rosenqvist (7)
11: David Malukas (18) – R
12: Conor Daly (20)
13: Takuma Sato (51)
14: Christian Lundgaard (30) – R
15: Jack Harvey (45)
16: Rinus VeeKay (21) – DNF
17: Romain Grosjean (28)
18: Devlin DeFrancesco (29)
19: Scott McLaughlin (3)
20: Dalton Kellett (4)
21: Santino Ferrucci (77)
22: Jimmie Johnson (48)
23: Tatiana Calderon (11) – R
24: Kyle Kirkwood (14) – R – DNF
25: Helio Castroneves (06) – DNF
26: Graham Rahal (15) – DNF