For the second year in a row, Graham Rahal was the star of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, as the Honda driver charged to the front of the Verizon IndyCar Series field in the closing laps of Sunday’s 90-lap contest, only to suffer front wing damage while lapping Jack Hawksworth and then having to nurse his wounded machine to the checkers as runner-up to race winner Simon Pagenaud.

In the 2015 race at scenic Barber Motorsports Park, Rahal fought his way from fifth to second in the final 20 laps, finishing just two seconds behind winner Josef Newgarden. This year’s race appeared headed for an even better outcome, as Rahal emerged from pit lane after the final round of stops in second place behind Pagenaud on Lap 66. Despite minor front wing damage, Rahal closed the gap to the leader as the pair worked its way through lapped traffic.

On Lap 82, Rahal pulled alongside and, after light contact sent Pagenaud briefly off course, emerged with the lead. However, Rahal’s advantage would only extend for three more laps, as he clipped the left rear of Hawksworth’s Honda while lapping the A.J. Foyt Racing driver. This time, the damage to Rahal’s car was more serious, as parts of the left front wing flew off the car, or folded back against the center section. Rahal was forced to reduce his pace to the finish, as Pagenaud came by to reclaim the lead and his second consecutive Indy car victory, after also winning last weekend in Long Beach, California.


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