After a two-year absence, the NTT IndyCar Series will return to Belle Isle Raceway in Detroit this weekend for a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader schedule of start times.
There are 25 entries for each race as Santino Ferrucci was added this week in a third car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing after his sixth place in the Indy 500. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing) and Romain Grosjean (No. 51 for Dale Coyne Racing) will return in Detroit after missing the Indianapolis 500.
After becoming the fourth driver to win his fourth Indy 500, Helio Castroneves won’t be racing at Detroit (but will be appearing in five more IndyCar races for Meyer Shank Racing this year and in the SRX this weekend). It’s the first time the Indy 500 winner isn’t entered in the following IndyCar race since the late Dan Wheldon in 2011.
The 2021 IndyCar season has opened with six winners in six races. There have been seven winners in the first seven races three times — 1958, 2000, and ’17 (when the streak was broken by Graham Rahal sweeping Detroit). If there is no repeat winner in Saturday’s race, the record for most IndyCar winners to start a season will be tied.
Among those still seeking victories are former Detroit winners Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power of Team Penske.
Here are the details and IndyCar start times for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Raceway in Detroit (all times are ET):
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader at Belle Isle Raceway in Detroit
TV: Both races are on NBC (and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBC with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Saturday’s broadcast begins at 2 p.m.; Sunday’s broadcast starts at noon.
COMMANDS TO START ENGINES: 1:58 p.m. Saturday; 12:43 p.m. Sunday
GREEN FLAG SATURDAY: 2:05 p.m.
GREEN FLAG SUNDAY: 12:50 p.m.
DISTANCE: Both races are 70 laps (164.5 miles) on a 14-turn, 2.35-mile street course at Belle Isle Raceway in Detroit.
TIRE ALLOTMENT: Eight sets primary, five sets alternate (weekend). Teams must use one set of primary and alternate tires in each race. One additional set available to teams fielding a rookie driver is available for the first session of the weekend.
PUSH TO PASS: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation (for each race). The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower
FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 85 degrees with a 24% chance of rain at the green flag Saturday. Sunday is predicted to be 81 degrees with a 9% chance of rain at the green.
PRACTICE: Friday, 5 p.m. (Peacock Premium)
WARMUP: None scheduled this weekend
QUALIFYING: Race 1, 11 a.m. Saturday; Race 2, 9 a.m. Sunday
IndyCar weekend schedule for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix
Detroit Grand Prix Friday schedule
9:50-10:30 a.m.: Indy Lights practice
8:55-9:25 a.m.: Indy LIghts qualifying, Race 1
5-6:15 p.m.: IndyCar practice (Peacock Premium)
Detroit Grand Prix Saturday schedule
9:30-9:50 a.m.: Indy Lights qualifying, Race 2
11 a.m.-noon: IndyCar qualifying, Race 1 (NBCSN, Peacock Premium)
Noon-1 p.m.: Indy Lights, Race 1 (Peacock Premium)
2-4 p.m.: IndyCar, Race 1 (NBC)
Detroit Grand Prix Sunday schedule
9-10 a.m.: IndyCar qualifying, Race 2 (NBCSN, Peacock Premium)
10:20-11:45 a.m.: Indy LIghts, Race 2 (Peacock Premium)
Noon-3 p.m.: IndyCar, Race 2 (NBC)
COVERAGE ON NBCSPORTS.COM:
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 1: A 19th at Barber Motorsports Park
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 2: Tough day for the No. 48
JIMMIE INDYCAR WATCH, RACE 3: Making progress in a 24th-place finish