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DRIVERS

Juan Pablo Montoya

Driving the No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet for Team Penske, he's the hottest driver in the series after winning the Indianapolis 500 last week. Montoya, 39, leads in points and has four top-three finishes in six races, including a victory in the season opener at St. Petersburg. This is his second year back in the series after spending six years in Formula One (2001-06) and seven in NASCAR (2007-13).

Will Power

A threat to reach Victory Lane since joining Team Penske in 2009, winning 22 of 98 races. The defending series champion, he won Race No. 1 and finished second in Race No. 2 on Belle Isle last year. Power, 34, is second in points, with a victory in the Indy Grand Prix and a second place in the Indianapolis 500.

Scott Dixon

The winningest driver in the series with 36 victories in 244 starts, he has competed for Target/Chip Ganassi Racing since midway through 2002 with three series titles (2003, 2008, 2013) and the 2008 Indianapolis 500. Dixon, 34, won on Belle Isle in 2012 and finished fourth in both races in 2013. He's third in points (211), winning at Long Beach.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

He won the series title for Andretti Autosport in 2012. Hunter-Reay, 34, entered the last year's doubleheader having won the Indianapolis 500, but faltered in Detroit (16th, 19th) and the rest of the season. Since winning in Indianapolis, he has three top-5 finishes in 19 races. He's 12th in the standings, wth a season-best fifth place at Alabama.

Josef Newgarden

After winning the Indy Lights championship in 2011, he moved to the big stage, driving for Ed Carpenter/Sarah Fisher Hamilton Racing. Newgarden, 24, has been competitive, winning his first race at Alabama, finishing seventh at Long Beach and sitting sixth in points.

STORYLINES

Dominating Pirelli

Johnny O'Connell has been unstoppable in Detroit in the GT field, sweeping the two races in his Cadillac for the second time in three years. His teammate, Andy Pilgrim, also a top contender.

Up in the sky

Twenty years ago, Robby Gordon won the IndyCar race on Belle Isle. Now, he's the founder of a SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road series where trucks hit various ramps across the 2.3-mile course at 70 mph and then soar 15 feet in the air.

E.J. Viso won both races last season, and is among the contenders, along with Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Brotherly love

Ricky and Jordan Taylor teamed up to win the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race last year, but wll have a challenge from Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the Prototype class.

Welcome to Belle Isle

A number of drivers will be competing in the Dual for the first time, including rookies Sage Karam (Chip Ganassi), Gabby Chaves (Bryan Herta Autosport) and Luca Filippi of (Ed Carpenter/Sarah Fisher Hamilton Racing).

Still tweaking

Race director Bud Denker and Co. continue to improve the course, beginning with resurfacing some areas with concrete instead of asphalt that allows cars a better grip for faster speeds. He also said they took a kink out of the back straightaway to give it a better angle for braking as well as moving a curve in Turn 13 back six feet to allow cars to go side-by-side near the start/finish line.

RACE SCHEDULE

All times subject to change

FRIDAY

7:30 a.m.: Gates open

8-8:30 a.m.: Pirelli World Challenge practice

8:45-10:15 a.m.: TUDOR Championship practice

10:35-11:50 a.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series practice

12:10-12:40 p.m.: Pirelli World Challenge practice

12:50-1:10 p.m.: Corvette Corral track laps

1:15-2:45 p.m.: TUDOR Championship practice

3-3:20 p.m.: SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road

3:40-4:55 p.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying

5:10-5:25 p.m.: TUDOR Championship qualifying

5:30-5:45 p.m.: TUDOR Championship qualifying

5:55-6:10 p.m.: TUDOR Championship qualifying

SATURDAY

7:30 a.m.: Gates open

7:30-8 a.m.: Pirelli World Challenge qualifying

8:55-9:25 a.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series practice

9:30-10:15 a.m.: TUDOR Championship drivers' autograph session

9:50-10:50 a.m.: Cadillac V-Series Challenge

10-10:30 a.m.: TUDOR Championship live auction

11:15-11:45 a.m.: TUDOR Championship open grid fan walk

12:05-1:45 p.m.: Chevrolet Sports Car Classic

2:25-2:45 p.m.: SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road

3:30-6 p.m.: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit

6 p.m.: Concert (3 Doors Down)

6:30-7:30 p.m.: Corvette Corral track laps

SUNDAY

8 a.m.: Gates open

8:05-8:20 a.m.: SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road practice/qualifying

8:35-9:05 a.m.: Pirelli World Challenge warmup

9:15-9:45 a.m.: Cadillac Corral track laps

9:45-10:15 a.m.: Corvette Corral track laps

10:25-11:10 a.m.: IndyCar experience and pace car rides

11:25-11:55 a.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying

12:10-1:10 p.m.: Cadillac V-Series Challenge

1:15-2:15 p.m.: Concert (Smash Mouth)

2:05-2:15 p.m.: SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road

2:15-2:35 p.m.: SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road

3:30-6 p.m.: Chevrolet Dual in Detroit

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