Rahal Earns Pole In Race 1

Posted June 04, 2017

Graham Rahal will start Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix from pole position around the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, after a confusing conclusion to the qualifying session.

Rahal becomes the seventh different victor in as many Verizon IndyCar Series races so far this season.

The 28-year-old Rahal, son of racing legend Bobby Rahal, led 55 out of 70 laps to win the first Dual in Detroit at the Grand Prix on Belle Isle Saturday afternoon.

James Hinchcliffe bounced back from a first lap spin to make a three-stop strategy work perfectly en route to third place, finishing ahead of Josef Newgarden, who was Penske's top finisher on a quiet day for the team.

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Indianapolis 500 victor Takuma Sato was eighth.

Rahal ultimately crossed the line six seconds clear of the field to become IndyCar's seventh different victor in the opening seven races of the season, as well as coming good on his pre-race promise that he could dominate.

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Rahal logged a 114.374mph lap in 1:13.9681 to earn the P1 Award and better Simon Pagenaud's mark from a year ago by 0.0698 seconds.

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The 22nd Indy vehicle race at Belle Isle tied a record for fewest full-course cautions (two) and set a new standard for fewest caution laps (six). "We've definitely got to improve the auto - it's not flawless right now". Charlie Kimball couldn't avoid a slowing Conor Daly on the backstretch, and the contact that followed broke a piece of Kimball's auto.

Although Castroneves had his fastest lap deleted for failing to slow during the local yellow flag, the Brazilian's other lap time was still enough to secure him P2 on the grid alongside Rahal.

Scott Dixon finished second, taking the series points lead by two over Helio Castroneves, who finished seventh. The pole is his first since 2009 and the team's first since 2007.

IndyCar will conclude its only doubleheader of the season Sunday. Hopefully get some good rest tonight and obviously qualifying tomorrow is going to be key for the race.

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