Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal in the No.15 SoldierStrong/TurnsForTroops Honda once again completely dominated the second race of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Lear on Sunday.
Rahal who started the 70 lap race from third place on the grid led 41 of 70 laps in race 2 and 55 of 70 in race one on Saturday.
Rahal has become the first driver to go back to back in Belle Isle and is the first American winner here since Michael Andretti took victory here in 1996. Rahal came home just ahead of Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in the No.2 Hum by Verizon Chevrolet. Rahal have moved up to sixth place in the series points standings and becomes the first repeat winner of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Speaking following the race, Rahal commented by saying:
“Buckeyes like to win in this state. It was just a good weekend – thanks to the crowd, thanks to Roger Penske, Bud Denker and everybody for putting this on. It’s a tremendous event. And thank Mother Nature – we’ve never had this kind of luck around here. It was a great day, I’m really proud to get another win for the United Rentals guys, Turns For Troops, PennGrade, Steak n’ Shake, Hyatt, Fifth Third Bank, Honda – everybody that makes this possible. It’s a special day for us. We’re the first one to win the double (in Detroit) and it means a lot. It feels great, trust me. Any day you can beat a Penske driver it means a lot. After the race and lead we had, it blew up in the last two laps and the red flag comes out. I’m glad we came out on top. I didn’t think he (Josef) had anything for us as long as we could clear traffic. Our lead went down from 18 seconds to six or so just due to traffic but in the clear I could gap them again. I knew it would be tough but I thought we could hold him off. The marbles were bad so those (last two) laps were ugly, they were ugly! But we won and it feels great. All around it was just a spectacular weekend for us.
Oriol Servia in the No.16 Fifth Third Bank Honda started the race from 20th place and finished the race in 19th place and speaking following his third race in a row for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the Spaniard stated:
I’m very happy for the team and Graham and very disappointed in our day. We didn’t get the one lap in qualifying after the red flag and in the race we got a drive through penalty for speeding that we cannot understand. We looked through the data and think there may have been a problem with the cruise control because we never sped so, without a yellow, there was no way to recover from that. It was a tough day at the office but I’m really happy with the team and the work they have done. Graham had a dominating weekend and I’m very happy for him.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing head to Texas Motor Speedway for next weekend’s Rainguard Water Seelers 600 which Graham Rahal won last season.