DETROIT (AP) – Sebastien Bourdais raced to his first IndyCar victory of the season Sunday, outlasting Takuma Sato in a caution-filled ending at Belle Isle.
Bourdais held on in his No. 11 Chevrolet in a race that was shortened from 70 laps to 68 because of a two-hour time limit. The first caution didn’t come until lap 37, but there were eight caution periods in all – as well as a red flag with 5:33 remaining on the clock.
Bourdais led coming out of the final caution and had little trouble staying in front. The French driver’s final lap of 1 minute, 17.9133 seconds was the fastest for anyone on the day.
Graham Rahal finished third. Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was awarded the pole based on entry points when qualifying Sunday morning was halted by bad weather. Montoya finished 10th.
Carlos Munoz, who won Saturday’s rain-shortened race, finished last Sunday.
Bourdais had enough fuel to finish strong after the string of cautions during the second half of the race. The red flag came after Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves crashed. The field came back under a yellow flag, which turned green with about 3:20 left.
Bourdais led Sato by 0.6 seconds after lap 66. By the end, his margin had almost tripled.
It was the 33rd IndyCar win of his career.
Bourdais’ victory for KVSH Racing was a bright spot for Chevrolet on what was otherwise a fine weekend for Honda. Munoz won Saturday in a Honda, and the next eight spots after Bourdais on Sunday were taken up by Hondas.
On a chilly, rainy day in the Detroit area, Montoya led for 35 laps, dominating the first half of the race. He was still second heading into the restart from the sixth caution, but Sato passed him, and Montoya eventually faded.
Munoz, meanwhile, completed only five laps before encountering mechanical trouble. Power, who along with Montoya opened up a decent amount of ground over the rest of the field early own, fell back after having shifting problems on lap 26. He ended up 18th after his crash with Castroneves, who finished 19th.
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