10212017Headline:

Rahal, Honda Dominate in Detroit

Jun 5, 2017 - (Newswire)

- Despite a late-race red flag, Graham Rahal and Honda completed a dominant performance Sunday in Detroit, as Rahal became the first driver to win both races of the Verizon IndyCar Series double header weekend on the Motor City's Belle Isle Park temporary street circuit.

After leading a 1-2-3 victory podium sweep for Honda in Saturday's opening 70-lap contest, Rahal scored his second win of the weekend today in an entirely different manner. Starting third in his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, Rahal first had to get past fellow Honda driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, making an outside pass in Turn One to move into second.

Rahal then jumped ahead of early race leader Takuma Sato during the first round of pit stops, taking over the lead on Lap 23. Rahal, running the race on two scheduled pit stops, then traded the lead with Josef Newgarden, quickest of the three-stoppers, throughout the middle stages of the 70-lap contest.

After all stops were completed on Lap 55, Rahal held a commanding, 15-second lead over Newgarden. However, a mechanical failure for Spencer Pigot on Lap 66 resulted in a major fluid spill in Turn 3, and race officials halted the race with a Red Flag. The race restarted after a 20-minute cleanup, with two laps to go, and Rahal immediately pulled out a two-second advantage over Newgarden at the checkers to score his sixth career Indy car victory.

Although unable to contend for the victory, last weekend's Indianapolis 500 winner Sato went on to finish fourth as his impressive first season at Andretti Autosport continues. After being delayed by a malfunctioning fuel probe during his first pit stop, Scott Dixon recovered to finish sixth and maintain an eight-point lead in the Drivers' Championship over Helio Castroneves.

Video recaps from this weekend's Honda racing activities in Detroit, including this weekend's pair of Honda Indy car victories and Saturday's Acura NSX GT3 IMSA sports car race win, are available on the "Honda Racing/HPD" YouTube channel. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, the video packages can be found at: www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.

Indy car's five-week run of consecutive May-June event weekends concludes next week, as the series heads south to Dallas-Fort Worth for Round Nine, the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, June 10.

Graham Rahal (#15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) started 1st, finished 1st, completed a weekend sweep of both IndyCar Series races for Honda: "Once again, we got a win for Honda and there are a lot of happy people right now. I didn't think [Josef] Newgarden had anything for us as long as we had a clean track. The marbles were really bad, so those last two laps were ugly. But we won. It was a spectacular weekend for us and a great weekend for our family."

Scott Dixon (#9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) started 8th, finished 6th, leads Drivers' Championship standings after 8 of 17 races: "The problem on the [first] pit stop really hurt us today. I think there was a problem with the fuel probe, and normally we're really good in that area. That issue cost us some crucial time and we tried to play 'catch-up' after that. I think Newgarden finished second, and we were ahead of him [on the track] before that [issue in the pits]. It was unfortunate how it played out, but all-in-all, it was a decent [championship] points day today."

Art St. Cyr (President, Honda Performance Development) on today's race and weekend victory sweep: "This series is so competitive, it is extremely rare when a driver and team combine to dominate a weekend as Graham [Rahal] did here in Detroit. Combined with our win at last week's Indianapolis 500, yesterday's historic first victory for the Acura NSX GT3 in sports car racing, and our 1-2-3 IndyCar sweep on Saturday, it's been a very memorable eight days for everyone at Honda Performance Development. Congratulations to Graham, to Scott [Dixon] for a gritty effort in both races, and to Takuma for coming off a hectic Indy 500 'Champion's Tour' to perform very well this weekend."

Verizon IndyCar Series Detroit Grand Prix

Circuit:

Belle Isle Park (2.35-mile temporary street circuit) Detroit, Mich.

2016 Winners:

Sebastien Bourdais (KV Racing) 97.857 mph average, Race 1, Saturday


Will Power (Team Penske) 96.414 mph average, Race 2, Sunday

Weather:

Sunny, hot, 85 degrees F

View Table Fullscreen

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn.

St.

Driver

Team

Manufacturer

Laps

Notes

1.

3.

Graham Rahal

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

70

105.442 mph average speed

2.

13.

Josef Newgarden

Team Penske

Chevrolet

70

+1.1772 seconds

3.

7.

Will Power

Team Penske

Chevrolet

70


4.

1.

Takuma Sato

Andretti Autosport

Honda

70


5.

11.

Simon Pagenaud

Team Penske

Chevrolet

70


6.

8.

Scott Dixon

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

70


7.

14.

Alexander Rossi

Andretti Autosport

Honda

70


8.

12.

Charlie Kimball

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

70


9.

4.

Helio Castroneves

Team Penske

Chevrolet

70


10.

15.

Tony Kanaan

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

70


Other Honda Results

13.

9.

Marco Andretti

Andretti Autosport

Honda

70

Running

14.

19.

Esteban Gutierrez-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

70

Running

15.

16.

Max Chilton

Chip Ganassi Racing

Honda

69

Running

16.

6.

Mikhail Aleshin

Schmidt Peterson Mtspts

Honda

69

Running

17.

2.

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Andretti Autosport

Honda

69

Running

19.

20.

Oriol Servia

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

Honda

69

Running

20.

5.

James Hinchcliffe

Schmidt Peterson Mtspts

Honda

65

Did not finish - mechanical

22.

17.

Ed Jones-R

Dale Coyne Racing

Honda

60

Did not finish - off course


SOURCE Honda Racing

Original Source: https://www.newswire.com/news/rahal-honda-dominate-in-detroit

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