Rahal drives to dominant win in first of Belle Isle doubleheader

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DETROIT – Graham Rahal completed a dominant drive to win the opening half of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, the first race of the Verizon IndyCar Series doubleheader weekend on the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.

Rahal, in the No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsforTroops.com Honda, led 55 of 70 laps around the 14-turn, 2.35-mile temporary street course on the state park island located in the Detroit River. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver earned the fifth win of his 11-year Indy car career and first since his thrilling victory last August at Texas Motor Speedway.

Ed JonesRahal crossed the finish line 6.1474 seconds ahead of four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon in the No. 9 Camping World Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. James Hinchcliffe gave Honda a podium sweep by placing third in the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry.

With the runner-up finish, Dixon unofficially reclaimed the championship lead after seven of 17 races with 275 points. Helio Castroneves, who finished seventh in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet, is second with 273 points and Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato, who finished eighth today in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda, is third in points with 258.

All 22 cars return for the second race of the weekend on Sunday. Qualifying to determine the starting grid takes place at 10:45 a.m. ET Sunday and streams live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com. Race coverage commences at 3:30 p.m. on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

An updated story with official results and driver reaction will follow.

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