RaceDayScore IndyCar: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit

RaceDayScore IndyCar: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit

This article is part of our RaceDayScore IndyCar series.

Chevrolet Dual in Detroit

Location: Detroit, Mich.
Course: The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
Format: 2.34-mile Street Circuit
Laps: 70

Race Preview

Alexander Rossi became just the second driver in 2016 to win from a team other than Penske Racing. He did it on IndyCar's biggest stage in a fuel-mileage thriller that vaults him to prominence after joining the series full time this season. Simon Pagenaud retains the championship lead despite losing some ground by finishing 19th at Indianapolis. More importantly for fantasy players was the resurgence of Honda, however. The engine was much more competitive last week than in the early races on the calendar, and the top two Indy finishers were both Honda powered. No Honda had won yet this season, but leaving Indy it appears as though more victories could be coming. That means Penske and Ganassi Racing will be working hard to retain their road course dominance this week in Detroit. The weekend on Belle Isle offers two 70-lap races across two days on a tight and unforgiving circuit. While Penske and Chevrolet have been the cars to beat, this week could offer more opportunity for others to shine.

Key Stats at Belle Isle (since 2007)

Number of previous races: 9
Winners from pole: 1
Winners from top-5 starters: 5
Winners from top-10 starters: 7
Lowest starting position to win: 20
Fastest race: 93.211 mph

Previous Belle Isle Winners

2015 race 2 - Sebastien Bourdais
2015 race 1 - Carlos Munoz
2014 race 2 - Helio Castroneves
2014 race 1 - Will Power
2013 race 2 - Simon Pagenaud
2013 race 1 - Mike Conway
2012 - Scott Dixon
2008 - Justin Wilson
2007 - Tony Kanaan

The Raceway at Belle Isle was a staple on the calendar until 2001 when the widely criticized venue fell off of the schedule. Visits to the track were revived in 2007, but didn't have staying power until the current dual-race format was rolled out in 2013. The weekend is now a double-header where some unexpected winners have been able to make their marks. The track is relatively narrow due to it being a street circuit, which makes overtaking difficult. Out-braking other cars into the tighter turns is how to get it done, but contact is common if drivers close the door. The tight and twisting layout is an entirely different challenge than what drivers experienced at Indianapolis one week ago, but two opportunities to score valuable championship points are on offer at the classic course. Teams will need to find a balance that carries speed through tight turns and onto the long straightaways in order to stay ahead of the competition.

RACE DAY SCORE VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

Tier 1 Values

Simon Pagenaud - $11,300
Scott Dixon - $11,200
Helio Castroneves - $10,700

Tier 2 Values

Will Power - $10,400
Tony Kanaan - $10,300
Graham Rahal - $10,300

Tier 3 Values

Sebastien Bourdais - $9,600
James Hinchcliffe - $9,500
Takuma Sato - $9,300

Long-Shot Values

Alexander Rossi - $9,100
Mikhail Aleshin - $8,400
Conor Daly - $8,300
Max Chilton - $8,200

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Scott Dixon - $11,200
Will Power - $10,400
Tony Kanaan - $10,300
Charlie Kimball - $10,100
Gabby Chaves - $7,300

The lower-risk lineup for Detroit offers players a Penske Racing car as well as three Chip Ganassi Racing veterans who have an improved Honda powerplant. Dixon is the only non-Penske driver to win on a road course so far this season and he is also a former Detroit winner. Power has been consistently among the best on road courses, and started from pole in the first Detroit race last season. He also won the first of the two 2014 rounds at the circuit. Though his solid Indy 500 finish was a disappointment for him, Kanaan can still attack the road courses. He won the 2007 race here and scored a top-five and a top-10 in the 2014 editions. Kimball is another great addition to lineups for Detroit. In his seven starts, he has only failed to finish in the top 10 twice. In the second of the 2015 Detroit races Chaves moved to ninth from the 18th starting position. He was a rookie last season, so a top five and more confidence should be in store for him this year.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Simon Pagenaud - $11,300
Helio Castroneves - $10,800
Sebastien Bourdais - $9,600
Takuma Sato - $9,300
Mikhail Aleshin - $8,400

A higher-risk lineup for the Detroit races would put more faith in the Penske Chevrolets retaining their advantage over the Honda-powered teams. Pagenaud clearly leads that list of favorites given his dominance so far in 2016. Castroneves, while shut out so far this season, has one of the better records at Detroit with just one result outside of the top eight since 2013. Bourdais won the second of the two Detroit races last season and finished ninth at Long Beach earlier this season. Sato pulled off an impressive fifth-place run at Long Beach earlier this year and was runner-up to Bourdais here in 2015. Both drivers make excellent fantasy options for the tight Detroit circuit. With just two Detroit starts to his credit, Aleshin comes with some risk. He missed these races last season, but was able to score a top-10 in 2014. His confidence-boosting qualifying effort in Indianapolis could inspire a repeat of his fifth-place finish in the season opener on a similar track this week.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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