After beating Helio Castroneves to the finish line by only 0.060 seconds, Hunter-Reay collected $2.49 million for his victory in the Indy 500. He also took over the lead in the championship point standings. Hunter-Reay holds a 40-point advantage over Will Power. Castroneves trails by 54.
"It's been surreal, but there's a real sense of getting back to work this week and turning the page because there's a lot at stake this week," Hunter-Reay said. "With two races, there are as many points up for grabs in Detroit as there was at Indy."
The first 70-race on the 2.36-mile, 13-turn Belle Isle Park street circuit is scheduled for Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET, and the second event is slated for Sunday at the same time. Each race is on a sliding scale from 50-10 points. There are bonus points of one for the pole winner for each race as well as one point for leading a lap and two for leading the most in each event.
Hunter-Reay posted the quickest lap in Friday morning's practice session at Belle Isle Park. His best lap was clocked in 1 minute, 18.8595 mph. Justin Wilson was second on the charts, followed Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Tony Kanaan.
The first doubleheader in series history took place in Detroit one year ago. Mike Conway won race 1, driving an entry for Dale Coyne Racing. He started on the pole and finished third in race 2. Conway is driving the No. 20 car for Ed Carpenter Racing in all road/street course races this season, while Carpenter is behind the wheel for the oval events.
"The Detroit races really brought me back into the IndyCar Series last year," Conway said. "It was exciting to return in grand style and win at a big event like Belle Isle. I'm looking forward to return to Detroit and defending my title."
In April, Conway claimed his third career IndyCar win by taking the checkered flag in Long Beach, California.
Pagenaud scored his maiden IndyCar victory in the second race in Detroit last year. He survived a crash-filled event that featured six cautions in the first half, including a big pileup involving 10 drivers.
Earlier this month, Pagenaud won the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He is in his third season with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports.
"Detroit was huge for us last year," Pagenaud said. "It was definitely a lift and what started it all. It was like a swirl. For us as a team, that's when everybody started to believe we could win every race. That's when everybody raised their game. It was more focus on us, and I believe everybody at this time thought they were winners."
Pagenaud is presently fourth in the standings. He is 63 points behind Hunter- Reay.
Twenty-two teams are on the entry list for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit.
Series: Verizon IndyCar. Date: Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 Race: Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit (doubleheader). Site: The Raceway at Belle Isle Park. Track: 2.36-mile temporary street circuit. Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday and Sunday). Laps: 70 (each race). Miles: 164.22 (each race). 2013 Winner: Mike Conway (race 1), Simon Pagenaud (race 2). Television: ABC. Radio: IMS Radio Network/SIRIUS XM Satellite.