Honda goes 1-2-3 in Detroit's Chevy-sponsored race

Associated Press
From left, Dario Franchitti, of Scotland, Scott Dixon, of New Zealand, and Simon Pagenaud, of France, stand on the podium after IndyCar's Detroit Grand Prix auto race on Belle Isle in Detroit, Sunday, June 3, 2012. Dixon won the race, while Franchitti came in second and Pagenaud finished third. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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DETROIT (AP) — Honda went 1-2-3 in the Chevrolet-sponsored Detroit Grand Prix in the shadow of General Motors world headquarters.

Scott Dixon won Sunday's race that was shortened because poor track conditions stopped the races for 2 hours and was followed by Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dario Franchitti and rookie Simon Pagenaud.

IndyCar points leader Will Power finished fourth, the best finish by a Chevy-powered car.

"It's a testament to everybody that works at Honda on the racing," Pagenaud said. "The first (four) races were all Chevy wins. Honda stayed in the game.

"They found what we needed and I think we can attest here that we really enjoy driving the engine. The engine is behaving really nicely, and it's performing really well."

Penske Racing started the season with a four-race winning streak with Helio Castroneves earning the first and Power getting the next three victories.

Teams with Honda engines have had improved performance after IndyCar allowed them to make turbocharger changes, much to Roger Penske's dismay, to catch up to Chevy's power.

Dixon's first victory of the year followed Franchitti winning the Indianapolis 500 the previous week.

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ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The Detroit Grand Prix was back in the Motor City for the first time since 2008 and it has two more years left on a contract with Chevrolet to sponsor the race and IndyCar to keep the event on its schedule.

Roger Penske's Michigan-based company invested a lot of money into sprucing up Belle Isle after four years of neglect tarnished the gem, but patching up the road course didn't go very well. There were numerous holes in the asphalt and concrete. Pot holes and grooves that were recently filled with synthetic rubber became exposed. Crews filled the gaps with epoxy that settled enough for the race to resume after a 2-hour delay.

Detroit Grand Prix event chairman Bud Denker vowed that track conditions wouldn't be a problem again next year.

"We have more paving than patching to do that's for sure," Denker said.

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