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

Rahal secures Race 1 pole amid confusion at Detroit

Graham Rahal will start Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix from pole position around the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, after a confusing conclusion to the qualifying session.

Rahal's wife, Courtney Force, escaped without injury in a qualifying run Friday in Epping, N.H. Her vehicle, owned by her father, John Force, had a fuel line burst to create the spectacular visual. Her vehicle, owned by her father, John Force, had a fuel line burst to create the spectacular visual.

American Rahal won the pole earlier in the day with his Honda-powered auto and became the seventh IndyCar driver to win the first seven races of the year.

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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.

Rahal logged a 114.374mph lap in 1:13.9681 to earn the P1 Award and better Simon Pagenaud's mark from previous year by 0.0698 seconds. The Hondas of Indianapolis 500 victor Takuma Sato and Alexander Rossi will start in the second row, followed by the Hondas of James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon.

Americans Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi rounded out the top-five at fourth and fifth respectively.

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The first true incident occurred after the first round of pit stops. As was the case in Hinchcliffe's situation, Kimball's spin came with only a bump of the wall.

Although Castroneves had his fastest lap deleted for failing to slow during the local yellow flag, the Brazilian's other lap time was still enough to secure him P2 on the grid alongside Rahal.

It is also the first street-course victory by the Rahal team since co-owner Bobby Rahal won the inaugural Belle Isle race 25 years ago. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver proved it today with a dominant victory in the first race of the Verizon IndyCar Series weekend doubleheader. Morning qualifying (10:45 a.m.) will set the field for the 70-lap race. Sunday's IndyCar schedule will follow a similar path here at the Belle Isle circuit.

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