Rahal takes pole, track record at Detroit GP

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Starting from the pole, Rahal drove a flawless race - leading 55 of 70 laps, making his two-stop pit strategy work perfectly and beating Scott Dixon to the checkered flag by six seconds in the first of the annual doubleheader at Belle Isle.

Newgarden continued to gain almost a second a lap on Rahal before in the final laps before a blown turbo on Spencer Pigot's auto brought out a red flag on Lap 67 of 70. Castroneves' lap of 1 minute, 15.1511 seconds (112.573 mph) in the second practice put the driver of the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet atop the combined speed chart for the day.

Sato covered the 2.36-mile road course on Belle Isle in 1 minute, 13.6732 seconds at 115.434 miles per hour in his Andretti Autosport Honda.

Rahal said the sheer competitiveness of the Verizon IndyCar Series validated its importance within the racing world.

It marks Newgarden's first podium in Detroit and caps off a weekend where he was the top finishing Chevrolet, and top finishing Team Penske driver, in both the manufacturer and team owner Roger Penske's home race.

"It's extremely important to come out of the truck with the vehicle well set up". James Hinchcliffe, a native of Oakville, Ont., overcame a spinout on the first lap of the race and finished third.

Rahal became the seventh Verizon IndyCar Series driver to win in the first seven races.

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Rahal was thankful to his team for giving him a great vehicle this weekend around the Belle Isle circuit, and he rewarded them in the best possible way by putting it into victory lane. "I just didn't want to mess up". It put us up where we belonged and I think we showed that the No. 5 Arrow auto had a lot of pace.

Scott Dixon finished second, taking the series points lead by two over Helio Castroneves, who finished seventh. The Hondas of Indianapolis 500 victor Takuma Sato and Alexander Rossi will start in the second row, followed by the Hondas of James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon.

Qualifying for Race 2 at Belle Isle started at 10:45am today.

Graham Rahal called his shot at the start of the weekend, saying he could dominate if he got the pole ahead of this weekend's Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear.

The season's only doubleheader will conclude Sunday on Belle Isle. There was nothing left on the inches.

"I think it's awesome", Barber victor James Hinchcliffe said about the recent run of parity.

Sato, won last week's 500, finished eighth.


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