History was made on Belle Isle during the 2022 Detroit Grand Prix. Not only was it the final race on the island before the event moves to the streets of downtown Detroit, but also the place where Chevrolet recorded its 100th Detroit Grand Prix victory thanks to the help of Team Penske’s Will Power who recorded his third Belle Isle victory and finally had a chance to go for a swim in the iconic Scott Fountain.
A Dominating Performance Accented By Riveting Conclusion
The 70-lap race began with Josef Newgarden in the lead before Will Power took the lead on lap 14 and held it for the first half of the race. Power later lost it on lap 25 which began a high-speed game of hot potato for three laps with Scott Dixon and Alex Palou going back and forth for first before Power would regain the top spot on lap 27 and would proceed to hold the lead for the remainder of the race. Power would put on a dominant display from that point onward with the veteran Australian driver maintaining a sizable gap over the rest of the pack.
Power almost ran away with the race as a result, but Alexander Rossi and the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/Autonation Honda nearly upended these plans with a final run for the win. Rossi would ultimately get second place but he managed to be only one second behind Power in a thrilling conclusion to racing on Belle Isle.
“Getting in the fountain was really rewarding,” Power said of celebrating by taking a dive in the island’s historic James Scott Memorial Fountain. “I can’t believe it actually happened because I knew it was the last race, what are the chances. I lost the chance last year (finishing Race No. 2 in sixth). I thought the chance of it happening again is pretty slim, especially after qualifying (16th).
The win comes as a result of a bold strategy by Team Penske which saw them use the alternate red tires for the final leg of the race. These tires offer more grip at first, but they lose it faster than the primary black tires. Rossi chose to run the primary black tires for the final 20 laps which are more consistent but lack the extra grip that defines the alternate red tires.
“I drove it as straight as I could,” Power said about his tire preservation strategy over the last 20 laps. “I never put any slip (angle) into it. I was just driving it really straight and really nice on the brakes and the throttle. I knew if I could keep a reasonable gap until the end, we’d be OK.”
Chevrolet Records 100th Detroit Win
In addition to Will Power’s third victory on the circuit, today’s race also helped Chevrolet get their 100th win on Belle Isle which proved to be a fitting end to an era of racing that began in 1992, especially with the Renaissance Center providing the perfect backdrop for the occasion. The historic milestone served as a motivating tool for many of the drivers on the Chevrolet side of the paddock, and brand vice president Brian Sweeny was on hand to present a special banner highlighting the achievement to Power after his victory.
With the spotlight now turning to downtown Detroit for next year’s race, it will be very interesting to see how teams adapt to the new track layout and how it will change the dynamic that goes into the annual duel between Chevrolet and Honda on GM’s home turf.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.