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Graham Rahal wins Detroit Grand Prix pole by default

04 June 2017

Graham Rahal swept to his first win of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a dominant display in Saturday's opening race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix weekend, controlling proceedings from pole position.

The 28-year-old Rahal, son of racing legend Bobby Rahal, led 55 out of 70 laps to win the first Dual in Detroit at the Grand Prix on Belle Isle Saturday afternoon.

Rahal made a last-lap pass of James Hinchcliffe for his previous win a year ago, when he beat Hinchcliffe by eight-thousandths of a second in the closest finish for an IndyCar race at Texas.

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.

Newgarden and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top five. Other notable finishers were three-time Detroit champion Helio Castroneves, who finished in seventh place, and this year's Indianapolis 500 victor Takuma Sato in eighth.

Scott Dixon finished second in Detroit to regain the IndyCars series lead.

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Rahal beat Dixon by 6.14 seconds.

For Dixon, he will now be resting the ankle and preparing himself for more of the same on Sunday for race two, although he hopes to improve the performance of his auto to be in with a better shot of victory.

"Then we got that yellow at the right time right after our (Lap 25 pit) stop".

It had looked like Castroneves topped the field for the second straight day, winning the pole position with a track-record time of 1:13.890 on the 13-turn, 2.3-mile street course on Belle Isle.

Reigning champion Simon Pagenaud will line-up only P7 for Race 1, after a frustrating qualifying session for the Penske racer.

Dixon takes a two-point lead in the championship standings over rival Helio Castroneves, who finished seventh in the race.

IndyCar will conclude its only doubleheader of the season Sunday.

Graham Rahal wins Detroit Grand Prix pole by default