DETROIT -- Four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais held of Takuma Sato over the closing laps of Race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans to collect his 33rd Indy car victory.
The red flag was displayed on Lap 65 of the scheduled 70-lap race as the Holmatro Safety Team cleaned up debris from an incident involving Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves, who made contact in Turn 2 of the 14-turn. 2.35-mile street circuit on a restart. INDYCAR called for a timed race, and Bourdais -- whose No. 11 Team Mistic E-Cigs-KVSH Racing Chevrolet was low on fuel -- had 2 minutes, 50 seconds left to defend.
Bourdais, who started ninth on entrant points after a downpour cancelled the late-morning qualifications, finished 1.7644 seconds ahead of Sato in the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda after 68 laps completed. He is the seventh different winner in eight races.
Graham Rahal finished third in the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for his third podium in four races in May. Tristan Vautier gave Dale Coyne Racing its best finish this season in fourth and Marco Andretti, runner-up in Race 1 on May 30, finished fifth in the No. 27 Snapple Honda for Andretti Autosport. Conor Daly, substituting for the injured James Hinchcliffe in the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda in the doubleheader, led 12 laps early and finished sixth.
Pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya, who led a field-high 35 laps, slipped to 10th on the final lap as the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet ran out of fuel. The recently-crowned Indianapolis 500 winner still maintained the championship points lead (315-294 over Power) at the halfway point of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. Rahal moved into third in the standings.
Bourdais inherited the lead when Daly pitted under caution for fuel and a change from rain tires to Firestone alternates, and was aided in fuel conservation by four yellow flags over the next 20 laps. Sato overtook Montoya on a Lap 65 restart before the yellow flag flew for the Castroneves-Power contact, which was instigated by Power's No. 1 Verizon Team Penske car being clipped from behind.
“It was just about as nerve-racking as it gets," Bourdais said. "When we elected to stay out (instead of pitting late for fuel) I was like, ‘Oh, man, it’s all or nothing.’ All I could hope for was the same scenario as NOLA (with) complicated conditions and one yellow after another. It was the right call again today. The difference is we obviously deserved it because the boys worked really hard and we were on the pace, we passed a bunch of cars and made the moves when it mattered. We made it stick all the way to the end."
Sato earned his first podium finish since Sao Paulo in 2013.
“It was a long race, but it was a fantastic show," he said. "It was difficult to overtake today with the greasy conditions, but after we made a good call and the boys did a fantastic job with the pit stops. Every restart was very exciting, especially the last few. We needed a little bit more (for the win) but it was a great day for AJ Foyt Racing."
In Race 1, Carlos Munoz earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory. Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti was second and Simon Pagenaud clinched his first podium finish as a Team Penske driver