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Graham Rahal wins 1st of 2 Detroit Grand Prix IndyCar races

05 June, 2017, 08:30 | Author: Melody Ballard
  • Graham Rahal takes pole, track record at Detroit Grand Prix

And on Sunday, he became the first driver to double up in 2017, and also became the first driver to win both races of the Detroit doubleheader since the format was introduced in 2013, surviving a late red flag for a pair of mechanicals to do it. Scott Dixon swept Toronto in 2013, the only other doubleheader sweep race victor in the format's history.

However, Rahal will have strong opposition in the form of Brazilian veteran Helio Castroneves, who will start the race from P4 on the second row of the grid.

The driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda ran a sizzling lap of 1 minute, 13.6732 seconds, or 114.831mph, to secure the first starting position for the 70-lap race.

Rahal covered the 2.36-mile, 13-turn temporary road course in 1 minute, 13.9681 seconds at 114.966 miles per hour. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing earned its first pole since 2007.

Rahal went on to say dragsters, with all their nitro power, are like "a bomb waiting to go off".

"A great driver, if he can not win in Formula 1, will look for other races to win".

"It's extremely important to come out of the truck with the vehicle well set up".

"To me, a race is a race - we drove the race if the engine blows up it blows up".

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The victory was Rahal's first of the season and made him the seventh IndyCar driver to reach Victory Lane this season, following Sebastien Bourdais, James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Takuma Sato. Next weekend, the Indy cars will race under the lights in Fort Worth. I think I was favoring a lot of things, but just so proud of the whole Camping World crew.

Scott Dixon has reclaimed the lead in the IndyCar series, putting two tumultuous experiences in Indianapolis behind him. "To be able to get off the (Firestone alternate) reds after the spin in the first turn there played to our advantage". It put us up where we belonged and I think we showed that the No. 5 vehicle had a lot of pace. "To come back from that; the boys were great in the pits and really happy to grab a podium here today".

Qualifying for Race 2 at Belle Isle started at 10:45am today. Indianapolis 500 victor Takuma Sato, who started on the pole, finished fourth.

Takuma Sato leads the field to start the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix auto race on Belle Isle, Sunday, June 4, 2017, in Detroit.

IndyCar will conclude its only doubleheader of races Sunday on Belle Isle.

"My auto was like a rocket out there", Sato told Brad Galli on pit lane shortly after qualifying. "Going through my (fast) lap, I mean, I gave 100 percent everything". It's absolutely team credit.

"I've been around the series long enough to know turn one doesn't have to run your day", he said.

Sato, won last week's 500, finished eighth.

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