Published: Sun, June 04, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

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

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

Graham Rahal has won the first of two Detroit Grand Prix races, easily holding off New Zealander Scott Dixon while Australian IndyCar driver Will Power finished 18th. It is Rahal's first triumph on a temporary street course since his maiden Verizon IndyCar Series victory at St. Petersburg in 2008, when he became the youngest victor in Indy auto annals at 19 years, 3 months, 2 days.

Rahal started Saturday's race strong and by the 28th lap had already beaten his personal best in laps led.

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. Indy 500 victor Takuma Sato was also undone by strategy, finishing eighth, while recent Indy Lights champions Ed Jones and Spencer Pigot rounded out the top 10.

The second Dual in Detroit race is set for Belle Isle Sunday afternoon, with the green flag expected to unfurl at 3:30pm.

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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 vehicle sailed through the air and landed cockpit-first atop the inside safety fence.

It had looked like Castroneves topped the field for the second straight day, winning the pole position with a track-record time of 1:13.890 on the 13-turn, 2.3-mile street course on Belle Isle.

Dixon takes a two-point lead in the championship standings over rival Helio Castroneves, who finished seventh in the race. The pole is his first since 2009 and the team's first since 2007.

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.

IndyCar will conclude its only doubleheader of races Sunday on Belle Isle.

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