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Saturday, April 20
The Indiana Daily Student

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NTT IndyCar Series set for challenging weekend in Detroit

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With a thrilling 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 in the past, the NTT IndyCar Series returns to action this weekend in Detroit, Michigan, for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix on Sunday.

IndyCar returns to Detroit just as they have each year since 2007, but the Detroit Grand Prix is now being held on a different course. The streets of downtown Detroit will now hold the lone IndyCar race in Michigan. The past 20 runnings of the Detroit Grand Prix were held on Belle Isle.

As drivers take to the new circuit this weekend, they will face difficult conditions in the Motor City. Bumps are prevalent on the downtown circuit as drivers will have to find a way to combat the bumpy straightaways. Not only are there bumps, but drivers will be tasked with a pit lane different from other tracks.

The solid blue line in the center of the pit lane is what is known as the “divider.” Prior to on-track activity beginning Friday, each driver was assigned a pit box for the weekend. 

Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Pit assignments.

For those whose pit box is on the right side, the driver is to stay to the right of the divider and vice versa for those whose pit box is on the left side. 

Personal thoughts 

Although Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden is coming off the biggest win of his career in the Indianapolis 500, I have my eye on a few other drivers this weekend. 

Andretti Autosport 

With a driver lineup of Colton Herta, Kyle Kirkwood, Romain Grosjean and Devlin DeFrancesco, Andretti Autosport has a good shot to take home a victory this weekend. Although I don’t particularly have any faith in DeFrancesco, I think the other three drivers will be in contention Sunday. 

Kirkwood was victorious the last time IndyCar visited a street circuit in Long Beach in mid-April, but I think the seasoned veteran Grosjean has a strong opportunity to take home his first IndyCar win.  

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon 

It feels like I have talked about six-time champion Scott Dixon as a favorite for almost every race this season, but I like Dixon once more this weekend. 

One of IndyCar’s best drivers of all-time has more experience than much of the field. When you combine that with the strong cars that Chip Ganassi Racing brings to the track, Dixon will be one to watch Sunday. 

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin 

In the season-opening race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, Scott McLaughlin collided with Romain Grosjean, ending both of their chances at a victory. Fast forward to the season’s seventh race and I think the two will be going at it for the victory. 

With Long Beach being the only other street course race so far this season after St. Pete, McLaughlin finished tenth. McLaughlin could be challenging for another win after he was victorious at Barber Motorsports Park in the season’s fourth race.  

My pick to win: Kyle Kirkwood 

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will begin at 3 p.m. EST Sunday on NBC. Coming off an exciting Indianapolis 500, the NTT IndyCar Series looks for yet another entertaining race.  

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