Mike Conway wins Detroit Dual Race No. 1, looks for clean sweep in Sunday's race

Kevin C. Cox

Mike Conway scored his second career IndyCar Series victory on Saturday at the Streets of Belle Isle. This weekend features two races on the street course outside of Detroit, and Conway will start from the pole on Sunday.

Mike Conway passed Ryan Hunter-Reay with 26 laps to go, never looking back to win the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Race No. 1 on Saturday afternoon at Belle Isle Park.

This victory is Conway's second in the IndyCar Series after his previous breakthrough in the 2011 Long Beach Grand Prix. Conway is also the pole-sitter for Sunday's Dual in Detroit Race No. 2, making him a real threat to win the $50,000 "Perfect Finish" bonus for sweeping both stages of the doubleheader.

Conway left the Series as a full-time driver late last season, no longer feeling comfortable on high-speed ovals after a pair of terrifying accidents at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But he has accepted a series of one-offs on road and street courses — and hasn't disappointed.

He didn't even know he would compete in this weekend's races until the middle of the week, when he received a phone call from team owner Dale Coyne. The owner was the first to congratulate Conway in victory lane, and asked him, "Do you want to race Toronto now, too?"

After a dominating performance that could still end in a sweep, that doesn't seem so unlikely. Conway had no complaints about his car in victory lane, an ominous sign for the others hoping to catch him on Sunday.

"The car just got better as the weekend progressed," Conway said. "It got better as the track rubbered In and I was just worried about a caution there at the end. I'm going to be sore going into tomorrow's race but I'm on the pole and that certainly helps. "

Conway was worried about a caution due to Ryan Briscoe's accident with three laps to go. But IndyCar, perhaps looking to avoid a repeat of the Indy 500 finish that ended under yellow, completed the race under green — albeit with a local caution where the prone Briscoe car rested.

And now that he's returned to victory lane, would Conway consider a full-time return, starting at the Texas oval next week?

"No," the Brit resoundingly said in victory lane. "As I've said, I have no real feelings to go back to that for sure."

As long as he continues to perform like this, it's likely that he can make these sort of decisions. Conway took the twin checkered flags 12.9 seconds ahead of defending Series champion Hunter-Reay. Conway's Coyne Racing teammate Justin Wilson completed the podium, with Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves rounding out the top five.

  1. Mike Conway
  2. Ryan Hunter-Reay
  3. Justin Wilson
  4. Scott Dixon
  5. Helio Castroneves
  6. Dario Franchitti
  7. Josef Newgarden
  8. Will Power
  9. Graham Rahal
  10. James Jakes
  11. Tristan Vautier
  12. Simon Pagenaud
  13. Tony Kanaan
  14. Charlie Kimball
  15. James Hinchcliffe
  16. Simona De Silvestro
  17. E.J. Viso
  18. Ed Carpenter
  19. Takuma Sato
  20. Marco Andretti
  21. Ryan Briscoe
  22. Sebastian Saavedra
  23. Alex Tagliani
  24. Sebastien Bourdais
  25. AJ Allmendinger

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