Monthly Archives: April 2013

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We just began to get busier. The number of tables went up from five to seven, then 10. And soon we were running out of place. Cohen turned limitations into strengths and wrote words and melodies so sturdy that they could withstand even his own misguided efforts to present them. His albums brimmed with puzzling production choices. One of his best songs, “Hallelujah,” sounds adrift amid the synth accents and female vocals on the 1984 “Various Positions” album.

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The NBA and the NHL have similar “Come on, give ’em a break” rules that allow teams that have suffered the loss of five or more players to hold an emergency draft. Unaffected teams are allowed to call dibs on five (for the NBA) and 11 (for the NHL) players that they don’t want to lose, giving the maligned team their pick of all the rest. MLB, meanwhile, has a plan that activates if a team loses five or more players to “accident, epidemic or illness, or other common event.” Depending on the particulars, the team can then either cancel their season or initiate further drafting, with the option to draw players from its farm teams..

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Conway, Jakes & Rahal Second, Sixth and 14th Fastest in Practice at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach, Calif.
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, April 19, 2013
FASTEST:        Ryan Hunter-Reay       1:09.4224 / 102.054 mph            (set in Practice 2)
2nd:                  Mike Conway               1:09.4603 / 101.998 mph            (set in Practice 2)
6th:                   James Jakes                1:09.7664 / 101.550 mph            (set in Practice 2)
14th:                 Graham Rahal              1:10.1906 / 100.937 mph            (set in Practice 1; 8th in that session)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I think the Midas / Big O Tires car is competitive. Clearly with Mike (Conway) and James (Jakes), the team has done a great job here. We are starting off awfully quick. I simply just didn’t get a lap in the second session but I feel confident that with the things we are trying, we are going to find some good speed and tomorrow we will be right there.  If we can make a couple of minor improvements, I think it will be a good day for our team tomorrow.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his seventh Champ/Indy car race here, eighth overall, and first for his father’s team.  His best start/finish here came in 2007 when he started fifth but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place.  In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth. He was in podium contention several times but various challenges took him out of that possibility… This is Rahal’s first full season at RLL, sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seventh in a top open wheel racing series (CCWS 2007)… The Ohio native recorded 92 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series (2007-2012) capturing one win, two poles, 19 top-five and 44-top 10 finishes. He led a total of 28 laps in 2012 – 27 at Texas Motor Speedway where he nearly claimed his second series victory but brushed the wall and finished second — had an average start of 12.4 and average finish of 11.2, earned three podium finishes and completed 87.2 percent of the laps run (1,841 of 2,111).

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “In the first session, we just struggled a little bit with the balance and then we made some small adjustments for the second session and they seemed to help for sure. It was pretty difficult because we didn’t get to try anything that we planned to try because the session was so disrupted with red flags but I think we have a good baseline. The Acorn Stairlifts car seems to be pretty good straight out of the box so we will just try to make improvements over night and go from there. Hopefully we are in a strong position from qualifying.  I’m excited to get out there tomorrow.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his third race here and first with RLL after having driven for Dale Coyne Racing in the previous two. He qualified 22nd in 2012 but started 14th after grid penalties to Chevy-powered teams but made a mistake while running up front and finished 11th.  In 2011, he qualified 23rd and finished 15th… Jakes is competing in his third season in the IndyCar Series and first with RLL. In 31 Indy car starts with Dale Coyne Racing from 2011-2012, his best finish was eighth at Toronto and series-best start of eighth was at Motegi.
MIKE CONWAY, No. 17 blu eCigs Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The blu eCigs car was great. From the outset we had a good balance in the car. In the end, we ended up top-two in both sessions so that was nice and encouraging for the rest of the weekend.  It was a good start; a good job from all of the guys. I am looking forward to tomorrow. I got just one clear lap and I was lucky to get that. Some people didn’t even get that so it is kind of hard to know where we line up really in terms of pace but it felt good. We have a few areas to work on to be quicker tomorrow. If we can improve some areas, we will be good. ”
FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth race in Long Beach and first IndyCar Series race of 2013.  In 2012, he qualified 14th, started seventh after series penalties to Chevy-powered teams and retired in 22nd due to mechanical issues while driving for AJ Foyt Racing.  In 2011, he qualified third, led 14 laps and earned his first series victory with Andretti Autosport.  In 2010, he qualified 16th and finished 10th with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. In 2009, he qualified 16th and retired in 21st after contact… RLL expanded to three entries for Long Beach with primary sponsorship from blu eCigs for the event. Blu eCigs is also an associate sponsor for the team for the full season.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT LONG BEACH… 2013 marks the 22nd consecutive season of competition for the team and 14th Indy car race in Long Beach… It is the second time for RLL to compete in the Indy car race at Long Beach since 2003 when Michel Jourdain, Jr. won pole, led a race high 48 laps and was in the lead when his car stuck in gear on his final stop with seven laps to go and ultimately retired in 15th place.  In total, the team won three poles (Bryan Herta 1998, Jimmy Vasser 2002, Michel Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Kenny Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place three times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002) and earned five podiums (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999). The team was in contention for a podium finish last year with Takuma Sato who led two times for a total of 16 laps and was third on the final lap but was the victim of “avoidable contact” by Hunter-Reay in Turn 8 and was ultimately scored with an eight place finish due to a multi-car pileup that blocked the track leading to the front straight.
NEXT UP:  Practice will take place tomorrow morning from 10:40 – 11:25 a.m. PDT. Qualifying will take place from 2:00-3:10 PM on Saturday and will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. ET.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from  The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 21.
PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photography and video. Register for access at:

Featured musicians include a pianist Lori Zupan

When Old Nick reappeared to exact vengeance 10 years later, Stingy Jack once again tricked him by making him climb an apple tree that had a cross carved into its bark (the Devil was either drunk again or an eight year old boy). Again, the same deal was struck, but this time Jack died before the 10 years were up. When he arrived in Heaven, God told him in no uncertain terms that a man who spent his life deceiving everyone, up to and including the Father of Lies, was not welcome in paradise.

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Klipsch Joins RLL as the “Official Audio & Headphone Partner” and Associate Sponsor of No. 15 Indy Car Program

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 17, 2013) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Klipsch, a leading global speaker manufacturer, has entered into a multi-year strategic partnership with the IndyCar Series team. Klipsch will serve as the “Official Audio & Headphone Partner” of RLL and become an associate sponsor of the No. 15 Indy car driven by Graham Rahal in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

“I’m really thrilled to welcome Klipsch to our team,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  “Klipsch is a name I first became familiar with many years ago when I was in college and they were clearly the crème de la crème in the industry. For them to join with us now is particularly satisfying for me. We like to associate ourselves with winners and Klipsch is certainly that.”

As a partner to RLL, Klipsch will be highly visible among the team’s drivers, crew and at-track hospitality areas. Klipsch will supply the race team with its latest headphones on an on-going basis, enabling RLL guests to experience the brand's award-winning comfort and high-performance sound signature during each race weekend. In addition, Klipsch and RLL will collaborate on the technical development of the team’s race communications platform leveraging the industry expert’s significant expertise.
“It’s a thrill to join an organization like Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, embodying the same family legacy and commitment to performance that we value in our end brand,” said Steve Klipsch, Senior Vice President Operations Development for Klipsch Group, Inc. “As we get set to hit the track with Graham, we look forward to having him represent the Klipsch brand and creating a long-term relationship with RLL in the IZOD IndyCar Series.”
About Klipsch Premium Speakers
For over 65 years, Klipsch has designed premium speakers for those who are passionate about great sound. Company founder Paul W. Klipsch started this legacy in 1946, and it continues today with sheer commitment to innovation and delivering the world’s most powerful, detailed and emotional sound reproduction. Today, the brand’s diverse product portfolio encompasses home theater, professional cinema, installed whole-house contracting, commercial, computer speakers, iPod® docks and headphones. As one of the first U.S. loudspeaker companies, Klipsch continues to be the high-performance brand of choice for audiophiles and home theater aficionados around the world. Klipsch Group, Inc. is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of VOXX International (NASDAQ: VOXX).
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2013 the team will begin their 22nd year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles and 1992 series championship. The team also competes in the American Le Mans Series as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship.

– RLL –

RLL Expands to Three Indy Car Entries for Their 14th Toyota GP of Long Beach Event; And Five Total

Pre-Race Notes
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach, Calif.
Round 3 of 16 in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series 
DATE:                                                Friday – Sunday, April 19-21, 2013
QUALIFYING BROADCAST:           NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. ET Saturday, April 20; live on the IMS Radio
                                                          Network and (timing & scoring)
RACE BROADCAST:                       Live on NBC Sports Network, Sunday, April 21 at 4 p.m. ET
RADIO BROADCAST:                     The race will air on IMS Radio Network, XM 211 & Sirius 211
TRACK LAYOUT:                            1.968-mile, 11-turn street course
RACE LENGTH:                               80 laps / 157.4 miles 
2012 WINNER:                                 Will Power
2012 POLESITTER:                         Ryan Briscoe (1:08.6089 / 103.264 mph)
FINISH AT LONG BEACH:              3 poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003) / 2nd – three times (Rahal 1992-1993,
                                                          Vasser 2002)
FINISH AT LONG BEACH:              5th / 8th  – both in 2007; will be his seventh Indy car race here and eighth overall
START/FINISH:                                Pole at St. Pete 2009 & Kansas 2009 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008
FINISH AT LONG BEACH:              22nd / 11th – both in 2012; will be his third race here
START/FINISH:                                8th at Motegi (road) in 2011 / 8th at Toronto (street) in 2012
FINISH AT LONG BEACH:             3rd / 1st – both in 2011; will be his fifth race here
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing began their 22nd consecutive season of competition in 2013.  The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (TGPLB) marks the team’s 14th time to compete in the event and their second since 2003 when Michel Jourdain, Jr. won pole, led a race high 48 laps and was in the lead when his car stuck in gear on his final stop with seven laps to go and ultimately retired in 15th place.  Although the team didn’t compete in Indy car races here from 2004-2011 while they fielded a fulltime entry in the Indy Racing League (2004-2008), they did compete in the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic races with Danica Patrick and in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race. In 2009, the team returned to the streets of Long Beach in the ALMS with BMW Team RLL and finished on the podium each year since then including a win in 2011 with Joey Hand and Dirk Müller. 
In their 13 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 22 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Jourdain (2002-2003) and Takuma Sato (2012).  In total, the team won three poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place three times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002) and earned five podiums (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999).  In 2012, Sato ran in the top-three most of the race and led two times for a total of 16 laps. He was en route to a then career-best series finish of third place on the final lap when he was the victim of “avoidable contact” by Hunter-Reay in Turn 8 and ultimately was scored with an eight place finish due to a multi-car pileup that blocked the track leading to the front straight.
The team has prepared five cars for the Long Beach weekend – three of which are entered in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach IZOD IndyCar Series race on Sunday including the No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal,  the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts entry for James Jakes and has added another entry for 2011 event winner Mike Conway – the No. 17 blu eCigs car. The team also prepares two entries under the name BMW Team RLL that will compete in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series race on Saturday.
“Having an ALMS race on Saturday and an Indy car race on Sunday is like having the best of both worlds.  There is great competition on all three days so if you are a fan going to the event, there is something for everybody. I really like the ALMS/IndyCar weekends we have had in the past at Baltimore and Mid-Ohio. For us particularly — having a foot in both series — it’s going to be extremely busy. I will be involved in both so for me personally it is going to be one of the busiest race weekends I can remember in a while.  Not just with the BMW cars running but also expanding to three Indy cars. It’s going to be a little crazy for sure but having Mike Conway join the team and blu eCigs as a sponsor is obviously a big deal for us. We expect to have three very competitive Indy cars.”
The 2013 event will mark the seventh Champ or Indy car race here for Graham Rahal and first with his father’s team.  In 2012, he qualified 15th for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR), started eighth due to penalties to Chevrolet-powered teams and ran as high as fourth but contact with Marco Andretti limited him to a 24th place finish. In 2011, he qualified 16th for SCCGR and finished 13th.  In 2010 he started and finished 22nd for Sarah Fisher Racing after contact.  He started seventh and finished 12th for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing in 2009. In 2008 he started ninth and had a podium in sight when he was alongside third place but contact during this pass led to a 13th place finish.  He started fifth in 2007 but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place.
                “My race last year was cut short because Marco and I got together but we ran very competitively and I’ve been competitive there almost every year in the race but I never quite get to the finish so this year I hope we make it happen for the Midas / Big O Tires team.”
The 2013 race will be the third for James Jakes at this track.  He qualified 22nd, started 14th after grid penalties to Chevy-powered teams but made a mistake while running up front and finished 11th in 2012. In 2011, he qualified 23rd and finished 15th – both with Dale Coyne Racing.  After competitive runs this season and also at Long Beach last year, Jakes hopes to show the potential of the Acorn Stairlifts team.
                “The first year I raced in Long Beach, it was obviously my first time to see the place so it was tough. Then last year, practices were rained out on Friday. Some teams didn’t practice in the first one and the second one was cancelled so it was tough just jumping in for the third practice. We had a good race, we were running sixth and I made a mistake at Turn 1 and had to spin around and join the field again so that was disappointing. Generally we have been quick there; we just haven’t been able to show it. I think we can do that this year. I’m looking forward to going back.”
The 2013 event will mark the fifth for Mike Conway, 29, in Long Beach as well as his first IndyCar Series race in 2013.  In 2012 he qualified 14th, started seventh after series penalties to Chevy-powered teams and retired in 22nd due to mechanical issues while driving for AJ Foyt Racing.  In 2011, he qualified third, led 14 laps and won with Andretti Autosport.  In 2010, he qualified 16th and finished 10th with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. And in his first event on the streets of Long Beach in 2009, he qualified 16th and retired in 21st after contact.  Conway confesses that once he won, the memories of the other events faded in comparison to his 2011 victory.
                “Last year, we burned down unfortunately. We had an engine issue and that kind of burned everything which stopped us so it was a shame.  But we didn’t really have the car that dialed in anyway. The years before were up and down really.  I can’t really remember the other races; they kind of all faded away after I won. It’s been a tough, tricky track; easy to make a mistake on.  I suppose I really felt like I got to know what the car needs more than anything the last few years; what the tires are after. I think I really dialed myself into a lot of circuits, just getting the setups right. Long Beach has got its own unique corners to it so it’s not the same setup you would run at St. Pete. Even though it looks similar, the corners are quite different. You have different surfaces there as well. It’s quite a unique place but similar characteristics in terms of other street courses with big curbs, bumps and walls everywhere.”
“Long Beach is special just because of the history of the event; it’s been around for so long,” said Rahal.  “It means a lot to be a winner at that track. To have any sort of success there is tough; it’s not an easy track to win at. It would feel good for us to get one under our belt there.”
                “It’s a great event,” added Jakes. “So many fans turn out. There is a real buzz about the race. It’s always fun to get there three or four days before the race and be a part of it. The layout always produces a great event. I am excited to get back out there especially after a disappointing weekend in Barber considering we were pretty quick. Hopefully we can have a good result there.”
                “Long Beach is one of the stand-out events of the IndyCar season like the Indy 500,” added Conway.  “Its one of the biggest street races the series goes to because a huge crowd turns up and there are a lot of parties going on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. It’s a cool event and there are different categories racing and a lot of things for the fans to do to keep them occupied. There is a lot of history at that place but I didn’t know how much history there was until I was up on the podium there. I was really able to appreciate it when I saw all of the faces of the winners embedded in the floor; it was cool.  Its one of the ones I look forward to.”
“It’s tough because it’s like every other street course in that it is bumpy,” said Rahal. “It’s got some pretty high speed corners where it’s pretty easy to make mistakes. It’s probably one of the less forgiving of the street courses, particularly the fountain section. If you get in a little too deep there is just not enough time to react so that’s what makes it so tough.”
                “Obviously it’s a long race so it’s going to be physically tough,” added Jakes. “The biggest challenges are making sure you have a good balance in the low speed corners and good traction, especially for the race with full fuel on board. It goes without saying that the easier the car is to drive, the easier the race is going to be for you. I’m sure we will have a good car there and be in great shape.”
                “Its always different each time we go out because the grip level is changing due to the different categories racing on the track with different tires,” said Conway. “It can change things up. There are the usual bumpy corners but there are lots of corners where you are braking turning in and lots of medium speed corners and low-speed corners.  It’s a tricky course, especially in qualifying. It’s really a rewarding lap because you run so close to the walls everywhere from turn in to exit, using as much curb as possible in places. It’s pretty cool. That’s the reason why the hardest corners are the flowing complex in the last section, the last three corners. Even though you have a tight, square hairpin, it’s quite an art to get through the corners before that to really get the thing stopped for the hairpin. So that last section can be a lot of time — gained or lost.”
Rahal was in ninth place in the season-opener in St. Pete when the team discovered an electrical issue on Lap 22 under caution that shut the engine off intermittently and dropped him to 21st place. He soldiered on to finish 13th. At Round 2 in Barber, he set a lap time that was fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 at Barber if he had been in Group 2 but was in Group 1 and qualified 21st.  He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Servia but he was 12th on the final lap until the last two turns when he ran out of fuel and finished 21st.  Once the team returned to the shop, a malfunction was discovered that prevented the car from taking the full amount of fuel expected on the final stop.
                 “Obviously we are focused on improving as much as we can and we think that there is good speed in the car in race trim,” said Rahal. “We have to make it better in all of the practice sessions and throughout the day but I feel good about it. We will start to get some of the results that we deserve. It’s a matter of time but hopefully Long Beach will be a good turn for us.”
Jakes ran as high as sixth in the St. Pete season-opener and finished 15th after fueling issues. He qualified 11th at Barber but had to pit early in the race when the camber shims fell out of the left rear upright which put him two laps down to the leader. He soldiered on, set the fastest lap of the race and finished 23rd.
                 “I think we just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” said Jakes. “The guys have been working hard at the shop and I have got faith in them.  They will do all they can outside of the car and I will do my job inside the car. We have been pretty strong in certain areas but haven’t been able to show it. We’ll just keep working away and hopefully this weekend we will be able to do that.”
“There will obviously be people who are race ready having competed in the first two events, but I have been thinking about Long Beach since the start of the year. I don’t feel like I am rusty. When I jumped in the car at Barber it was all good during the one-day test.  I felt at home straight away in the car and that was the main thing. I felt comfortable. I have been doing laps of Long Beach in my head for the last few months so I feel like I am in tune that way. Getting used to the new tires Firestone is using this year and getting myself up to speed as soon as possible shouldn’t take long. With all the little things you miss with setups here and there and key areas – I just have to quickly make changes and hopefully have Graham help me get up to speed as quick as possible but I feel ready. I can’t wait to get in the car really. Racing at the six hour event at Silverstone (April 14) helped get me ready for race conditions.”
“Mike is a past winner so he is obviously quick there and had a great understanding of the course and what it takes to be fast,” said Rahal. “While he hasn’t raced an Indy car this year, Mike is always quick. There is no doubt about that. I’m sure he will step in and go right to the front. So hopefully we can learn from him.”
“Mike is going to be very quick around there,” added Jakes. “He won the race in 2011 and he’s going to be a great member to have on the team from a setup point of view and just extracting data from our car. All three of us will be very competitive so that should drive us forward on the grid. Everyone is looking forward to having him on board.”
                “I got a little taste of working with Graham and James at the one-day Barber test we had,” added Conway. “It seemed pretty good with what we were all feeling with the car. We all had similar comments so I think that is good. It will be good to know that if I make a change (to the car) and like it or if Graham makes a change and he likes it then we will be able to transfer that to the other cars and it will make us all quicker. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in. I’m sure we will be more competitive as the weekend goes on and all want to beat each other but at the same time we are there all working as a team and trying to get everybody up to the front. We all want a good result at the end of the day. We want to come away with a good finish and put on a good show for the fans and obviously the blu eCigs guys and show them a good time for their first Indy car race.”
“I will be keeping pretty busy in California when I’m not on track,” said Rahal.  “I shoot a TV show on Monday, play some golf on Tuesday and go to the Columbus Blue Jackets versus the Ducks on Wednesday night with Honda and people from our sponsor Norm Reeves Honda. I am going to see my friends at (golf apparel), there is a (Graham Rahal) Foundation event and the RRDC event with (sponsor) TranSystems.  It will be kind of fun to be in California early and keep busy.”
                “I will arrive early in the week to California and will play some golf and may go surfing depending on the surf conditions,” added Jakes. “I have a little bit of work to do with TravisMathew; crash some golf carts with Graham in a little photo shoot so that should be fun.  Then I will just get ready for the weekend. I can’t wait.”