IndyCar Detroit: Thunderstorms, Lightning Force 75-Minute Race With Single-File Start

Due to the rain, thunderstorms and lightning, the IndyCar Series Detroit Grant Prix Dual 1 was limited to a 75-minute race with a single-file start Saturday.

The race started about an hour and a half later than planned, notes The Detroit News. Officials decided to cut it down from 70 laps to just 75 minutes. It was scheduled to start at about 3:30, but did not kick off until just after 5 p.m. ET.

The Detroit Grand Prix is raced on a temporary raceway around Belle Isle, and runs 2.3 miles with 13 turns. IndyCars could compete on the track in the rain, but once thunderstorms started Saturday, officials realized a delay was necessary.

Alexander Rossi could make a quick comeback after last weekend's disappointing second-place finish at the Indianapolis 500. Earlier Saturday, he won the pole for the race.

Rossi famously won the Indy 500 as a rookie in 2016. He was leading the 2019 Indy 500 for most off the race, but lost to fellow Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud at the last moment.

"I don't know if people truly understand the level of disappointment. Everything you do all year is to work toward this day and this race. And you only get so many chances in your life," Rossi told ESPN after the Indy 500 loss. "Now, you have to cross one of those chances off the list. It was right there and then it wasn't and I won't get over that. I don't want to get over that."

Rossi's win at the 2016 Indy 500 was surprising, especially as it was the 100th running of the race and some expected more experienced drivers to win. But Rossi took any criticism and just brushed it away.

"There is certainly a part of you that takes that talk and uses it as fuel," he told ESPN. "You don't think I'm worthy of a win? Fine. But if I keep winning, then that fixes that. If you win, you win people over. I think real race fans and real racers recognize it when you are a person that is solely motivated by doing whatever it takes to keep winning."

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As for the Detroit Grant Prix, it is a unique doubleheader event, with races on both days of the weekend right after the Indy 500. The race was first revived in 2007 as part of the IndyCar Series, but went on another hiatus until the 2012 season. Since 2013, it has been a two-race weekend-long event. Last year, Scott Dixon won the first race, with Ryan Hunter-Reay winning the second.

Photo credit: Dave Reginek/Getty Images

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