Rahal hails 'spectacular' Detroit double
5 June 2017 – Graham Rahal described a "spectacular" weekend after winning both races at the 'Dual in Detroit' to vault from 16th to sixth in the IndyCar standings.
Rahal inherited pole position for Race 1 after Hélio Castroneves was stripped of his best time for failing to slow for yellow flags, and dominated from the front.
In Race 2, he started passed Ryan Hunter-Reay on track and Takuma Sato in the stops to move from third to the lead, before fending off a charging Josef Newgarden.
As a result, Rahal became the first driver to sweep an IndyCar doubleheader weekend since Scott Dixon won both races on the streets of Toronto back in 2013.
"Buckeyes like to win in this state," said Rahal, referring to the football rivalry between Michigan (of which Detroit is the largest city) and Ohio (his home state).
"Thanks to the crowd, thanks to Roger Penske, Bud Denker and everybody for putting this on. And thanks Mother Nature – we've never had this kind of luck around here.
"It's a special day for us. We're the first one to win the double and it means a lot; it feels great, trust me. [And] any day you can beat a Penske driver it means a lot."
Rahal added that the last few laps of the second race were "ugly", as Newgarden closed in, following the red flag for Spencer Pigot's stoppage, and marbles played a role.
"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," he commented of the late drama.
"I didn't think he [Newgarden] 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.
"The marbles were bad so those [last two] laps were ugly, they were ugly!
"But we won – all around it was just a spectacular weekend for us."
IndyCar will move on to Texas this weekend, where Rahal won last year.