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

Graham Rahal topped the opening session in Detroit- Credit Bret Kelley  IndyCar

He won the pole earlier in the day with his Honda-powered vehicle and led a career-high 55 laps of the 70-lap race. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver proved it today with a dominant victory in the first race of the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend doubleheader.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver had limited his laps during practice in order to rest his ankle as much as possible, but came through from sixth on the grid to finish as Graham Rahal's closest challenger, but even he had nothing for the eventual race victor. James Hinchcliffe gave Honda a podium sweep by placing third in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry.

Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato will start on the second row of the grid for Andretti Autosport, alongside four-time champion Scott Dixon, who enters the race weekend fresh from his horrifying accident at The Brickyard after making contact with Jay Howard.

For complete race information check out the IndyCar website.

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Rahal covered the 2.36-mile, 13-turn temporary road course in 1 minute, 13.9681 seconds at 114.966 miles per hour. "We've definitely got to improve the vehicle - it's not ideal right now".

A second race at the Belle Isle Park raceway will take place tomorrow morning (NZ time). Charlie Kimball couldn't avoid a slowing Conor Daly on the backstretch, and the contact that followed broke a piece of Kimball's vehicle.

Because his fastest lap was taken away, Castroneves was forced to settle for the second starting position. Sunday's IndyCar schedule will follow a similar path here at the Belle Isle circuit.

THE DROUGHT: Helio Castroneves trailed only Rahal with 11 laps led, but finished seventh to extend his winless streak to 51 races since winning his third Detroit Grand Prix in 2014.

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.

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