Honda defeats Chevy in Chevy’s backyard

With big Chevy banners strung up around Belle Isle, Honda put it to their arch rival on Saturday
With big Chevy banners strung up around Belle Isle, Honda put it to their arch rival on Saturday

The tide has definitely turned in IndyCar as Honda put it to Chevy in the Chevy sponsored Detroit GP Race 1 on Saturday. And it was right in Chevy's backyard with Chevy brass in attendance.

Starting from the pole, Graham Rahal dominated Saturday's opening Verizon IndyCar Series race of a double header weekend in Detroit, leading virtually from flag-to-flag and spearheading a 1-2-3 Honda sweep at the Belle Isle Park temporary street circuit.

Rahal drove a flawless race – leading 55 of 70 laps, making his Rahal Letterman Lanigan team's two-stop pit strategy work perfectly and beating fellow Honda driver Scott Dixon to the checkered flag by six seconds in the first of the annual doubleheader at Belle Isle.

With the win, Rahal scored his first IndyCar victory since Texas, in August of last season, and joined his father, team co-owner Bobby Rahal, as a Detroit winner. The senior Rahal won here in 1992.

Dixon, less than a week removed from his massive crash during the Indianapolis 500, overcame pain from a left ankle injury sustained in the accident to finish second. Dixon started sixth and, like Rahal, matched a two-stop strategy and superior pace to take over the drivers' championship points lead heading into Sunday's second race of the weekend.

Despite an opening-lap spin, James Hinchcliffe also had the pace to make a three-stop strategy work well, recovering from that early drama to finish third for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and completing the podium sweep for Honda.

Behind the lead trio, Alexander Rossi took the checkers in fifth for Andretti Autosports, with Mikhail Aleshin completing a positive day for Schmidt Peterson with a sixth-place result. Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato completed today's 70-lap race in eighth, just ahead of top rookie finisher, Ed Jones, in ninth with his Dale Coyne Racing Honda.

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