Graham Rahal feels ‘really good’ about Detroit Dual

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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.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.