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Charlie Kimball drove to the first pole position in his IndyCar Series career, winning the Verizon P1 Award in record fashion for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kimball, set to make his 109th career start, set one- and two-lap INDYCAR qualifying records to earn the first starting position for the 248-lap race on Saturday.

Driving the No. 83 Tresiba Honda, Kimball’s two-lap time of 46.5861 seconds (222.556 mph) broke the standard by more than a second held by Will Power since 2013 (47.7960) on the 1.5-mile oval that was repaved and reconfigured in the offseason. The banking in Turns 1 and 2 was decreased 4 degrees to 20 degrees and the track surface widened 20 feet to 80 feet in that area.

Kimball led all four Chip Ganassi Racing drivers qualifying in the top six. Current points leader Scott Dixon was second in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda, Tony Kanaan fourth in the No. 10 NTT Data Honda and Max Chilton sixth in the No. 8 Gallagher Honda.

source: indycar.com

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With his second win in as many days, Graham Rahal completed a near-perfect weekend at the Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. But it was no Sunday afternoon cruise.

After winning the opening race of the IndyCar Series doubleheader weekend front the pole position on Saturday, Rahal started third today in the No. 15, Rahal led 40 laps and beat Josef Newgarden to the checkered flag by 1.1772 seconds to claim his sixth career Indy car victory and the 25th for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

“Buckeyes like to win up in this state,” said Rahal, a proud Ohio native and avid Ohio State University sports fan. “It was just a good weekend. Thanks to the crowd, thanks to (race promoter) Roger Penske, Bud Denker and everybody for putting this on. It’s a tremendous event.

“It’s a special day for us. We’re the first one to win the double (in Detroit), it means a lot. It feels great, trust me. Any day you can beat a Penske driver, it means a lot.”

Driving the No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Newgarden climbed from the 13th starting position to challenge Rahal late and post his best finish in 10 starts at Belle Isle.

“We tried to have the same strategy as (Saturday),” Newgarden said. “Three (pit) stops, running fast and the yellows worked out a lot better for us today. I think that second-to-last stint we lost too much ground when we got stuck behind Simon (Pagenaud) and Will (Power). We couldn’t clear those guys and I think if we could have cleared them we could have had a better shot at Rahal.”

Power (No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet) rounded out the podium in third place, while Pagenaud (No. 1 DXC Technology Chevrolet) came home fifth to give Team Penske three of the top five finishers in the event operated by team owner Roger Penske’s group. Takuma Sato, winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 28, sat on pole in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda with a new track record of 1 minute, 13.6732 seconds and finished fourth for his second top-five finish in nine races on the island’s 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course.

“It was a solid result,” said Sato, who remains third in points behind Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves. “I think the team did a great job. We did everything we could and made no mistakes, but we just didn’t quite have the speed today.”

Rahal first led on Lap 23 when he stayed out a lap longer than Sato on the first round of pit stops. After reclaiming the lead following the stops on Lap 30, Rahal appeared uncatchable until late issues befalling two competitors put the outcome in jeopardy.

The lone full-course caution of the day came out on Lap 66 when James Hinchcliffe (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) and Spencer Pigot (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Ed Carpenter Chevrolet) stopped on track in separate incidents. INDYCAR officials brought out the red flag at the conclusion of Lap 67 to set up a green-flag finish. Following an 18-minute delay, the field re-fired the engines and the race restarted with two laps to go.

Rahal led the field back to the green. Despite the best efforts of Newgarden, Rahal held onto the lead to win his second race in as many days and become the first driver since Dixon (Toronto 2013) to complete a doubleheader sweep. It is the first back-to-back wins for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing since Kenny Brack won on the ovals at Motegi and Milwaukee in 2001. With the weekend sweep, Rahal jumped from 15th to sixth in the IndyCar Series championship standings after eight of 17 races.

Source: IndyCar.com

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The changes made to Texas Motor Speedway since last year’s IndyCar Series race were in full display for opening practice this afternoon for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600.

The session was delayed nearly three hours to dry the 1.5-mile oval from heavy rain overnight and this morning, but the fact that the track was made ready at all is a testament to the new drainage system installed underneath the newly repaved track surface.

Current points leader Scott Dixon set the pace in the one-hour session with a best lap of 223.422 mph in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda. Charlie Kimball, Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing teammate in the No. 83 Tresiba Honda, was second fastest at 221.861 mph but registered the top lap without an aerodynamic tow from a car in front, at 220.623 mph.

“The NTT Data car is pretty fast and I think all the Ganassi cars are quick,” Dixon said. “We’ll just see how qualifying shakes out. But to be honest, it’s Texas; qualifying isn’t going to mean too much. You’ll still have to have a good car over the long run and take care of the tires, especially with the track configuration change.”

This was the only practice scheduled ahead of single-car qualifying at 4:15 p.m. ET, which airs live on the NBC Sports app and NBCsports.com. An encore qualifying telecast airs at 7 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN.

In addition to the repaving and new drainage system at Texas Motor Speedway, Turns 1 and 2 were reconfigured from 24 degrees to 20 degrees and widened from 60 feet to 80 feet in that area.

"They did a great job with the repave and the redevelopment of Turn 1 and 2, but adding drainage as well," Kimball said. "For us to be able to get nearly an hour of running before qualifying this afternoon was fantastic."

Alexander Rossi was third fastest in practice at 221.317 mph in the No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda. Graham Rahal, the defending Texas race winner fresh off a doubleheader win sweep last weekend in the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, was fourth (221.175), ahead of Andretti Autosport teammates Marco Andretti (221.020) and reigning Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato (220.828). It gave Honda the top six positions in practice.

source: indycar.com

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

Rahal, in the No. 15 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.

Rahal 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.

Source: IndyCar.com

 

         

 

 

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