Castroneves takes pole for Detroit GP Race 1 then loses it

Rahal takes pole for Detroit Race 1
Rahal takes pole for Detroit Race 1

Helio Castroneves lost his fastest lap for not slowing down for a yellow flag, and will now start on the outside of the front row beside polesitter Graham Rahal. They were the only two drivers to break into the 1m13sec bracket. Castroneves' 2nd fastest lap was good enough to still give him the 2nd quickest time. Indy 500 winners Takuma Sato and Alexander Rossi will start 3rd and 4th with James Hinchcliffe rounding out the top-5.

Rahal, driving the No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsforTroops.com Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, scorched around the 14-turn, 2.35-mile circuit in 1 minute, 13.9681 seconds (114.374 mph). It bettered the record of 1:14.0379 set last year by Simon Pagenaud.

It marks the third pole position in Rahal’s 11-year Indy car career and first since he was the top qualifier at Kansas Speedway in April 2009.

Castroneves was fastest, then he wasn't
Castroneves was fastest, then he wasn't

Honda powered cars took 5 of the top-6 positions, something you would never see in recent years but the Honda engines have more power this year, enough to compensate for the extra drag produced by their closed Butt Bumpers.

"It's a little uncharted territory for me the last handful of years," Rahal said. "We're used to having to charge from the back. This is a pretty welcomed sight."

Qualifying consisted of two groups receiving 12 minutes of track time each instead of the typical three rounds of knockout qualifying seen at Verizon IndyCar Series street- and road-course events. Rahal established the standard in Group 1.

Helio Castroneves clocked a lap of 1:13.8901 (114.494 mph) in the second group that would have won the pole, but was penalized by INDYCAR for not reducing his speed in the area of a local yellow and had his fast lap negated. Mikhail Aleshin (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) brought out the local caution in the Turn 7 area of the 14-turn, 2.35-mile temporary street course. Per Rule 7.1.3.2 of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series Rule Book, other drivers must decrease their speed by at least 15 percent when traveling through a local yellow area. INDYCAR stewards ruled that Castroneves did not obey the rule.

Castroneves' next-best lap in the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet of 1:14.0414 was still good enough to be fastest in his group, so he will start outside Rahal on Row 1 in this afternoon's race. Rahal and Castroneves each earned a championship point for being fastest in their groups.

The odd-numbered starting positions for today's race will be filled by the other cars in Rahal's group, based on their qualifying times. The even-numbered positions in the 22-car field will be filled by those in Castroneves' group, also based on qualifying times.

Coverage of this afternoon's 70-lap race begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC, WatchESPN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. The second race of the weekend doubleheader airs on the same outlets at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday.

Race 1 Starting Lineup

Rank Car Driver Name Make Time Speed Session
1 15 Rahal, Graham HONDA 01:13.9681 114.374 Qualifications / Group 1
2 3 Castroneves, Helio CHEVY 01:14.0414 114.260 Qualifications / Group 2
3 26 Sato, Takuma HONDA 01:14.0428 114.258 Qualifications / Group 1
4 98 Rossi, Alexander HONDA 01:14.0875 114.189 Qualifications / Group 2
5 5 Hinchcliffe, James HONDA 01:14.1801 114.047 Qualifications / Group 1
6 9 Dixon, Scott HONDA 01:14.2855 113.885 Qualifications / Group 2
7 1 Pagenaud, Simon CHEVY 01:14.3150 113.840 Qualifications / Group 1
8 8 Chilton, Max HONDA 01:14.9991 112.801 Qualifications / Group 2
9 2 Newgarden, Josef CHEVY 01:14.3805 113.739 Qualifications / Group 1
10 83 Kimball, Charlie HONDA 01:15.0664 112.700 Qualifications / Group 2
11 12 Power, Will CHEVY 01:14.6312 113.357 Qualifications / Group 1
12 28 Hunter-Reay, Ryan HONDA 01:15.0991 112.651 Qualifications / Group 2
13 27 Andretti, Marco HONDA 01:14.6719 113.296 Qualifications / Group 1
14 14 Munoz, Carlos CHEVY 01:15.2060 112.491 Qualifications / Group 2
15 10 Kanaan, Tony HONDA 01:15.2668 112.400 Qualifications / Group 1
16 4 Daly, Conor CHEVY 01:15.2228 112.466 Qualifications / Group 2
17 20 Pigot, Spencer CHEVY 01:15.6261 111.866 Qualifications / Group 1
18 21 Hildebrand, JR CHEVY 01:15.2334 112.450 Qualifications / Group 2
19 18 Gutierrez, Esteban (R) HONDA 01:15.6276 111.864 Qualifications / Group 1
20 7 Aleshin, Mikhail HONDA 01:15.2430 112.436 Qualifications / Group 2
21 19 Jones, Ed (R) HONDA 01:15.8343 111.559 Qualifications / Group 1
22 16 Servia, Oriol HONDA 01:15.2758 112.387 Qualifications / Group 2

(R) Rookie

Group 1 Results

Pos No Name FTime Diff Gap FL Laps FSpeed Engine
1 15 Graham Rahal 1:13.968 –.—- –.—- 8 8 114.374 Honda
2 26 Takuma Sato 1:14.043 0.0747 0.0747 7 8 114.258 Honda
3 5 James Hinchcliffe 1:14.180 0.2120 0.1373 8 8 114.047 Honda
4 1 Simon Pagenaud 1:14.315 0.3469 0.1349 3 8 113.840 Chevy
5 2 Josef Newgarden 1:14.380 0.4124 0.0655 7 7 113.739 Chevy
6 12 Will Power 1:14.631 0.6631 0.2507 3 7 113.357 Chevy
7 27 Marco Andretti 1:14.672 0.7038 0.0407 7 7 113.296 Honda
8 10 Tony Kanaan 1:15.267 1.2987 0.5949 5 7 112.400 Honda
9 20 Spencer Pigot 1:15.626 1.6580 0.3593 6 6 111.866 Chevy
10 18 Esteban Gutierrez 1:15.628 1.6595 0.0015 7 7 111.864 Honda
11 19 Ed Jones 1:15.834 1.8662 0.2067 7 7 111.559 Honda

Group 2 Results

Pos No Name FTime Diff Gap FL Laps FSpeed Engine
1 3 Helio Castroneves 1:14.041 –.—- –.—- 6 7 114.260 Chevy
2 98 Alexander Rossi 1:14.088 0.0461 0.0461 6 7 114.189 Honda
3 9 Scott Dixon 1:14.285 0.2441 0.1980 5 8 113.885 Honda
4 8 Max Chilton 1:14.999 0.9577 0.7136 6 7 112.801 Honda
5 83 Charlie Kimball 1:15.066 1.0250 0.0673 8 8 112.700 Honda
6 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:15.099 1.0577 0.0327 4 7 112.651 Honda
7 14 Carlos Munoz 1:15.206 1.1646 0.1069 7 8 112.491 Chevy
8 4 Conor Daly 1:15.223 1.1814 0.0168 7 8 112.466 Chevy
9 21 JR Hildebrand 1:15.233 1.1920 0.0106 6 8 112.450 Chevy
10 7 Mikhail Aleshin 1:15.243 1.2016 0.0096 3 8 112.436 Honda
11 16 Oriol Servia 1:15.276 1.2344 0.0328 6 7 112.387 Honda

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