As a result of sweeping last year’s event, Graham Rahal entered this weekend’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit looking for his third consecutive win on the Raceway at Belle Isle.
And while Scott Dixon seemed to have the measure of everyone in Saturday’s Race 1, Rahal looked set to at least finish on the podium, as he used an alternative tire strategy to run as high as second behind Dixon.- Rahal was the only driver to start the race on the primary compound black sidewall Firestones before switching to the alternate compounds reds in his second stint.
However, Rahal’s day came to an early end on Lap 47, just after his second pit stop, when his No. 15 United Rentals Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda pounded the outside wall exiting Turn 13.
Rahal’s car broke loose mid-corner, and it shot straight into the outside wall when he tried correcting it.
It was a disappointing end to a day that could have easily seen Rahal on the podium.
“It was about the worst hit you could take around here,” Rahal said of the accident. “I think the car did its job. Obviously, we were going to finish third, at worst, and it looks like a lot of our competitors are struggling today. I’m disappointed in myself. We’ve got to go back and look at what happened. I just lost it before I even really turned in. I don’t really know what happened.”
Rahal will look to rebound in Race 2 on Sunday.