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2017 Detroit (Race 1): IndyCar Race Results - Rahal, Honda Win!
Posted by: ASkyler on Jun 03, 2017 - 05:25 PM
IndyCar News
2017 Detroit (Race 1): IndyCar Race Results - Rahal, Honda Win!

Graham Rahal has won the first race of the weekend on Belle Isle!

Graham Rahal has won the first race of the weekend on Belle Isle!
Credit: PaddockTalk / Paul Hurley

By Mike Sulka

Graham Rahal and his No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda has dominated the first Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan. For Rahal, it is his first win of the 2017 IndyCar season, and fifth of his IndyCar career. It was also his first win at Belle Isle.

Rahal is the seventh different winner in seven IndyCar races this season.

Scott Dixon and his No. 9 Ganassi Honda finished second after getting past Alexander Rossi during the final pitstops. For Dixon, it is his fourth podium of the year, and 90th of his IndyCar career. He also has 93 podiums in his major open-wheel career. Dixon leads the IndyCar drivers championship by two points over Helio Castroneves.

James Hinchcliffe and his No. 5 survived a first lap mistake, re-joined the field and picked up his second podium of the year, and 13th of his IndyCar career.

Josef Newgarden would finish fourth, and Alexander Rossi and his No. 98 Andretti Autosport Honda was fifth.


The first race of the weekend started as many other Detroit Grand Prix races have started.... With a caution. This time, it was James Hinchcliffe and his No. 5 who spun entering Turn Two. Hinchcliffe started fifth, and just got loose in Turn One, and his rear swung around. He was able to get restarted, and join at the rear of the field without losing a lap.

On the restart, Graham Rahal and his No. 15 would retain his lead followed by Helio Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon. Yes, that Scott Dixon who injured his left foot at the Indianapolis 500 and spent the early part of the week on crutches.

Castroneves would peel off on Lap 15 from second, as would Takuma Sato. Each about 10 laps early for a two stop strategy. The move would drop Helio back to 8th, but put him in the lead of the alternative strategies.

Rahal, Rossi and Dixon would pit on laps 23-25. Rahal would return to the track in third behind the alternate strategies of Castroneves and Josef Newgarden.

On Lap 26, there would be contact between Conor Daly and Charlie Kimball in Turn Three. Kimball would get restarted, but Daly would be pushed to the side. The second caution would fly.

It would appear that those on the alternate strategy would need two more stops, while the primary strategy IndyCars would be good with just one more stop. Advantage Rahal.

On Lap 29, Castroneves would lead the field back to the green with Rahal right behind. The Brazilian would pit from the lead on Lap 37. Rahal to the front. Castroneves back to 12th.

Graham Rahal would pit from the lead on Lap 48 with an 11 second advantage over Rossi. Rossi would pit on the same lap. They would return to the track in fourth and fifth respectively with no further pitstops needed. After the final pitstops were complete on Lap 51, Rahal would lead.

But somehow, both Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe would get past Rossi during the pitstop exchanges.

That would be all the advantage Rahal would lead, and with green flag running to the end, the fastest driver and car combination drove a to truly dominating win.

Next up, the second race of the Belle Isle weekend on Sunday.


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