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

The editor-in-chief's column is in Crain's Detroit Business this week

Rahal won the first of two Detroit Grand Prix races easily, finishing six-plus seconds ahead of Scott Dixon on Saturday.

Rahal's margin of victory was 6.14 seconds.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sato's Andretti Autosport teammate, will start on the outside of Row 1 after setting the fastest lap in a disjointed Group 1.

Rahal's victory was the fifth of his career and the fourth in the past two-plus seasons.

"First of all, I got to say thanks to my boys", said Rahal.

"It's extremely important to come out of the truck with the auto well set up". I probably couldn't get the most out of it but we were kind of there.

James Hinchcliffe was third for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, giving Honda the top three places in the race in the shadows of General Motors' world headquarters.

Rahal became the first Verizon IndyCar Series driver to sweep a doubleheader at Belle Isle.

Hinchcliffe, was similarly dismissive of Hamilton's comments, noting: "It's amusing hearing criticism about the depth of our field from someone who has to race three other cars, when we have seven winners in the first seven races. I just didn't want to mess up".




Despite dealing with an ankle injury after his wild crash in the Indianapolis 500, Scott Dixon battled past the pain barrier to take second place, moving into the lead of the drivers' championship in the process.

"To be able to get off the reds after the spin in the first turn there played to our advantage", Hinchcliffe said. "I've seen those cars up close, and there's a lot to be nervous about". Morning qualifying (10:45 a.m.) will set the field for the 70-lap race.

Indianapolis 500 victor Takuma Sato set a track record to claim the pole for Sunday's second race of the IndyCar doubleheader at the Detroit Grand Prix.

Rahal had set a track record - 1:13.9681 - in qualifying a day earlier.

Former Formula 1 racer Esteban Gutierrez will start P19 for his second IndyCar race, after out-qualifying Oriol Servia and Spencer Pigot.

"My vehicle was like a rocket out there", Sato told Brad Galli on pit lane shortly after qualifying. There was nothing left on the inches. It's absolutely team credit.

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

On May 28, Sato won the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500, becoming the first Japanese driver to win The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

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