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Detroit Grand Prix Returns to the Streets of the Motor City

After years of racing on Belle Isle, the Indy Racing League returned to the streets of Detroit. Alex Palou, driving the #10 Honda, took the checkered flag at the 2023 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear.


Alex Palou, driving the No. 10 Honda, started on the pole for the 2023 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear and held the lead position for most of the race. Will Power finished a little more than a second behind Palou, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet. Felix Rosenqvist finished a season-best third in the No. 6 onsemi Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.

Palou Dominated the Entire Race

“The No. 10 Ridgeline Lubricants car was on point today,” Palou said. “Super proud of the job we did. It was tricky there at the end, man, with those (worn) tires couldn’t really get to temperature (on restarts).”

“I did everything I could to get Palou,” Power said. “He was just too quick, man. Too good today.”

Palou led 74 of the 100 laps on the 1.7 mile street circuit. Driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, it was Palou’s sixth career victory for 2021 season champion Palou and his second in the last three races this season, as he also won the GMR Grand Prix on May 13 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Difficult Race on the New Detroit Street Course

It's the first race on the streets of downtown Detroit since the CART Series' Valvoline Grand Prix in 1991. In 1992, the race moved from downtown Detroit to Belle Isle, an island on Detroit’s east side. Will Power won the last race on Belle Isle for Team Penske, last year.

Yesterday, several of the drivers complained about the roughness of the temporary Detroit street course. Today Marcus Ericsson told a television interviewer that the course was “Bumpy, rough and the walls are hard.” Several of the drivers ended their competition today after making contact with the concrete barriers on either side of the track. This weekend, Helio Castroneves had major damage to his car during practice and had to replace an engine after going over a bump in the track. Several of the drivers complained that there were very few places to safely pass. There were a number of cautions and two restarts.

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible once again served as the pace car. The new Detroit street course uses many of the streets right around the General Motors World Head Quarters located in the Renaissance Center.

The next NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR on Sunday, June 18 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Screenshot of Detroit Grand Prix

Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.

Follow Mary Conway at @maryconwaymedia and send her car news tips for future stories.