Published: Sun, June 04, 2017
Sports | By Angel Morales

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

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

It was the younger Rahal's first win in Detroit on the IndyCar circuit after having finished second and third in previous Detroit races.

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: Rahal's wife, drag racer Courtney Force, had her vehicle engulfed in flames Friday night. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver earned the fifth win of his 11-year Indy vehicle career and first since his thrilling victory last August at Texas Motor Speedway.

Graham Rahal exits his vehicle after winning the first race of the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix double- header.

Rahal won for the first time since August, when he captured the rain-delayed race at Texas Motor Speedway. Four of those wins have come in the past three seasons.

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The damage was so severe to the catchfence that it required an 18 minute red flag to correct and fix . It started to turn down, but I'd already picked that way to go. "We had a great shot [of victory]".

PLAYING HURT: Dixon moved into the points lead, quite a feat less than a week after getting knocked out of the Indianapolis 500 in a terrifying crash in which his auto sailed through the air and landed cockpit-first atop the inside safety fence.

It was a satisfying result for Dixon after his spectacular crash in the Indy 500 in Indianapolis last week. Helio Castroneves, who finished seventh in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, is second with 273 points and Indianapolis 500 victor Takuma Sato, who finished eighth today in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda, is third in points with 258. Mexican driver Esteban Gutierrez finished 19th in his first IndyCar race. Hinchcliffe spun around, hitting only the right-side barrier with light contact. "We've definitely got to improve the vehicle - it's not ideal right now".

The first true incident occurred after the first round of pit stops.

Because his fastest lap was taken away, Castroneves was forced to settle for the second starting position.

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Kerber was defeated in the first round by unseeded Kiki Bertens 12 months ago and has yet to get past the quarter-finals. I felt like the tennis was taken away from me, and it wasn't my decision. "I think I know I played good here before".

Unlike the other road and street courses throughout the year, qualifying around the streets of Detroit is rather unique, with the field split into two segments and the overall fastest driver securing pole position, with that driver's group forming the grid in the odd-numbered positions. The pole is his first since 2009 and the team's first since 2007.

Driving the No. 15 Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Graham Rahal set a Belle Isle record en route to winning the pole for this afternoon's first race in Detroit.

IndyCar will conclude its only doubleheader of the season Sunday.

Mikhail Aleshin, of Russian Federation, drives through the second turn during the first race of the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix auto racing doubleheader, Saturday, June 3, 2017, in Detroit.

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