IndyCar Series: Graham Rahal sweeps Detroit weekend
Graham Rahal and Honda sweep the IndyCar weekend in the hometown of Chevrolet. The driver of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s #15 Honda scores back-to-back victory in the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle circuit, in the IndyCar Series only double-header event. After dominant Saturday’s win from pole, Rahal had more job to do today to reach his sixth IndyCar win in a career, after starting from the third place on the grid.
Andretti Autosport’s Takuma Sato was the pole-sitter in Detroit’s second race, ahead of teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rahal. Sato was leading until the first round of pit stops. He and Rahal were on the two-stop strategy. Rahal pitted one lap later and took the lead. Later in the race, Sato lost one more place through the pits, dropping behind Team Penske’s Will Power.
Josef Newgarden was the most successful among drivers with three pit stops. That strategy put him to the second place after all pit stops with twenty laps to go. Newgarden was seventeen seconds behind Rahal and the chase started. And then, with three laps to go, the race was red flagged because of two cars stopping on te track. James Hinchcliffe had electric problems, Spencer Pigot’s car lost the turbo.
In the two-lap shootout, Rahal managed to hold off Newgarden and crossed the finish line with a gap of 1.1772 seconds. Will Power completed the podium, ahead of Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud.
Although we saw seven different winners in eight races, on the top of the championship standings there are two drivers who didn’t score wins this season. Scott Dixon is the championship leader with 303 points on his account. Helio Castroneves follows with 295 points, three more than Takuma Sato. Simon Pagenaud (278 points) is fourth, ahead of Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal.
The next race on the 2017 IndyCar Series calendar is the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10.