Graham Rahal to Start 20th in the INDYCAR Grand Prix

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

INDYCAR Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Verizon IndyCar Series

QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – May 12, 2017

 

RAHAL TO START 20TH IN THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

1)         Will Power                 1:07.7044 / 129.687 mph       (Group 2, Round 3)

20)       Graham Rahal           1:09.0985 / 127.071 mph       (Group 2, Round 1)  

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsforTroops.com Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We struggled in qualifying for sure.  This morning we were pretty confident because the car was good. And as the track temp has come up like this – which we saw with the car in Alabama too – for some reason we lose a significant amount of front grip.  I saw that on the primary tires at the start of qualifying but I was hoping it was kind of an oddball thing.  And when we went to the reds, we just didn’t have the pace. Unfortunately in the two practice sessions before, we couldn’t build fuel pressure so we weren’t getting full power so our guys have been chasing that.  And we hadn’t made many chassis adjustments because the car was pretty close but nowadays when advancing (the next round in qualifying) or not is a couple of tenths (of a second), we didn’t advance.  It’s a frustrating day. (On starting in the back the past two years and finishing high:) Yes, we can do it again but I hate making our lives this difficult.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth Indy car race on the road course at IMS. In 2016, Graham Rahal qualified third but was disqualified for being underweight and started 24th in the 25-car field but charged back to finish fourth. In 2015, he finished second after starting 17th. He moved to sixth on the opening lap after avoiding a multi-car accident and passed Filippi for fifth place on Lap 10. As others made their first pit stops he moved into the lead for laps 22-23 and gained valuable track position before he pitted at the end of Lap 23. He returned to the track in fifth place and moved into second a few laps later when three out-of-pit-sequence cars made their stops. Leader Will Power pitted and Rahal returned to the lead on Laps 40-43 after being able to stretch his stint due to maintaining good fuel mileage compared to others. The team opted to stay on track one lap longer than previously determined before his second stop but at the pit exit Rahal closed on the car of Scott Dixon, who was returning to the track with cold tires and a heavy fuel load and slightly held up Rahal, who had a light fuel load and hot tires. Rahal pitted the next time by, at the end of Lap 43, and returned to the race in fifth place but again reclaimed second place a few laps later. While navigating lapped traffic earlier, most notably the 23rd place car of Josef Newgarden, who ran between he and Power, the gap to Power grew at times but he finally passed him after he returned to the track from his third and final stop. On Lap 63 of 82 he was -4.4 seconds behind Power but closed to -1.4 by Lap 70. He ultimately took the checkered flag 1.5 seconds behind the reigning series champion… In the inaugural Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2014, Rahal started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21st.

RLL AT INDY ROAD COURSE…. The INDYCAR Grand Prix will mark the fourth Verizon IndyCar Series race on the 2.439-mile road course. The team’s best finish here is second in 2015 by Rahal and best start is 12th in 2014, also by Rahal.

NEXT UP: The pre-race warm-up will take place tomorrow from 11:00-11:30 a.m. ET and ABC will begin their broadcast of the INDYCAR Grand Prix beginning at 3:30 PM ET.

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