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Old 17 Jun 2017, 09:40 pm
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Default Honda Racing: Rahal, Honda Dominate in Detroit

This release contains: 1 Related Document, 6 Photos

  • Graham Rahal completes sweep of IndyCar Series double header race weekend

  • Follows victory in Saturday's opening race with second win in Sunday finale

  • Scott Dixon combines second and sixth-place results to claim championship lead


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 a 56-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: https://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


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  


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