It could be argued that, nine years into it, Graham Rahal is coming off the best three-race stretch of his career.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver posted consecutive podium finishes for just the third time with runner-up performances at the Grand Prix of Alabama and the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Then he continued his one-man Honda renaissance with a his second career top-five finish in the Indianapolis 500.
Rahal has put himself fifth in the driver’s points through six races, and is 68 points behind leader and Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya.
Now Rahal takes his No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda to Belle Isle Park for the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit.
“I feel really good about Detroit. I felt that if we could continue to stay close in points after Indy, we would have a pretty good opportunity ahead of us with as strong as we were in Detroit last year,” Rahal said in a release.
In 2014, Rahal led 10 laps around the 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course and earned his only podium of the season in race one. In 2013, he finished ninth in both races. In six career races at Belle Isle, Rahal has an average finish of 12.2 and one DNF (2014, race two).
Rahal also enters the Dual with an average finishing position of 6.5 through six races.
“Detroit is a very similar place to St. Pete and obviously with it being a doubleheader, it’s a huge weekend for the championship,” Rahal said.
“This race is a one of attrition a lot of times because it’s a pretty bumpy track. I heard Roger (Penske, whose group promotes the event) has done a lot of great work up there to make the track conditions a little bit better. You have to be smart, patient and let it come to you. I think we did that pretty well last year and this year we’re going to have to do even better.”