Rahal Wins First Dual in Detroit Race

Taylor Ballantyne

The Belle Isle qualifying session has set the starting grid for the seventh race of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

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.

It marks the third pole position in Rahal's 11-year Indy vehicle career and first since he was the top qualifier at Kansas Speedway in April 2009.

Leading 55 of 70 laps, Rahal dominated the race in the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda. "If everything went well, I knew we were going to be hard to beat". I think I was favoring a lot of things, but just so proud of the whole Camping World crew.

There hasn't been a repeat victor in the first seven races of the season. Hinchcliffe finished third, completing a Honda sweep of the top three finishing positions. Other notable finishers were three-time Detroit champion Helio Castroneves, who finished in seventh place, and this year's Indianapolis 500 victor Takuma Sato in eighth.

Americans Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top-five at fourth and fifth respectively.

After being caught up in crashes at St. Pete and Phoenix, Rahal had another disappointing result last weekend at Indianapolis when he charged from 18th to third only to have a right rear tire go flat.

For Dixon, he will now be resting the ankle and preparing himself for more of the same on Sunday for race two, although he hopes to improve the performance of his vehicle to be in with a better shot of victory.

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. Sunday's IndyCar schedule will follow a similar path here at the Belle Isle circuit.

"If you give Graham the auto, he's going to be tough to beat". Following that race, the series will shift to Texas Motor Speedway for a race under the lights on June 10.

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