Helio Castroneves finished fifth and eighth last year in Detroit. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Detroit — Helio Castroneves enjoyed competing in IndyCar’s first doubleheader on Belle Isle last summer, and was back in town Friday to promote next year’s race.
“The Dual in Detroit was very good and I feel next year will be even better,” Castronves said of the May 31 and June 1 races. “I thought here in Detroit it would be really tough, but it wasn’t that bad, maybe because we had a lot of yellows (caution flags) in the second race, I don’t know, but it was pretty good.”
Castroneves, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, wasn’t as lucky in a doubleheader in Houston earlier this month.
In position to win his first IndyCar series title, Castroneves suffered gearbox problems in both races.
Dixon finished second in the race behind Will Power, giving the Ganassi/Target team its fifth championship in six years.
Dixon’s title run actually started at Belle Isle. He entered the event eighth in points, but had consecutive fourth-place finishes to put him fourth, 20 points behind Castroneves and Marco Andretti.
Castroneves finished fifth in the first race and eighth in the second.
Castroneves also talked about wanting to see see an IndyCar race at Michigan International Speedway, believing another 500-mile race is needed in the series.
“It’s a perfect place to have another 500 mile race, and we need a third,” Castroneves said. “I wish we could go back there. We race mostly on street courses and we need more ovals.
MIS president Roger Curtis agrees.
“I love the idea. I have since we parted ways in 2007,” Curtis said. “Unfortunately, what was just a scheduling issue the first couple of years is now a financial one in trying to find a model that works for both the sanctioning body and the promoter. If we could find one, I’d love to have IndyCar back. We will keep talking to them as we have since we parted ways in 2007.”
“I try to get my voice heard and hopefully now that Derrick Walker has come in (vice president of competition), he will take care of that. I’m not sure if it conflicts with the Detroit race, but they could have it (500-mile race at MIS) in September.”