BELLE ISLE, MI – Pit strategy and when to do so was the story of the day in Saturday’s first dual of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix race weekend. But, one other tidbit in that strategy was tire selection by Graham Rahal and his No. 15 Honda team. See, while 22 of the 23 drivers started on the Firestone alternate tires, Rahal decided to start the 70 Lap race off on the Firestone primaries.
While everyone else would in theory be faster at the start, Rahal would have the duration in his tires to make up some ground. That left them going for a two stop strategy and a lot of others on three.
He would run second for most of the next stint but his car jumped out from under him on Lap 45 and he slammed into the concrete barrier as a result. It was a massive hit for the Ohio native, which caused him to finish 23rd place as a result. That dropped him to seventh in the points standings, 85 points out now.
It was a frustrating end for him after what started off with such promise. By time we reached the 10th lap, Rahal was inside of the top five. He’d remain there the rest of the way until his hard crash.
Last year, Rahal won both races in Detroit. In race No. 1 in 2018, he finishes last.