Jakes Bettered His Career Best Start with Second Place for Dual 2 of the Chevy Indy Duels in Detroit; Rahal Qualified 15th

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit – Raceway at Belle Isle Park
IZOD IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES for DUAL 2 – Saturday, June 1, 2013
POLE:    Mike Conway       1:18.0977 / 108.326 mph  (Group 2)
2nd:        James Jakes        1:18.1704 / 108.225 mph  (Group 1)
15th:       Graham Rahal     1:19.5418 / 106.359 mph (Group 2)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The car was really, really loose. Yesterday’s qualifying was harder to tell because it was wet and drying and today it was just dry. Without a doubt the car was extremely loose. Unfortunately we put ourselves in a hole and we’re just going to have to climb out of it.  Obviously James is extremely happy with his car; he likes a car that is a lot more loose than I do. Its challenging with the rear of the car being as loose as it is but we will figure it out.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third (and fourth) Indy car race here.  He qualified 14th yesterday for Dual 1 but will start 23rd due to an unapproved engine change at Indy. This morning, he set the eighth fastest lap time in qualifying for Dual 2 and will start 15th in the race on Sunday… He qualified seventh with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012 but had a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change and started 17.  He was eighth when he made his final stop on Lap 45/60 but during the red flag stop to repair the track, a clutch problem surfaced and he was unable to continue and retired in 19th place. In 2008 he drove for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and progressed to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying for the first time in his series career and qualified sixth.  The team chose the same pit strategy as then race leader Dixon which almost worked but a late race fourth caution botched the plan and he had to stop for a splash of fuel with three laps to go and dropped to 13th… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th also in Long Beach… Is ranked 16th in series standings with 82 points. 

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It (qualifying) was short. It's a shame we didn't get a few more laps, actually. I think we would have had a shot at pole if our session hadn't been cut short. But yeah, the guys worked really hard and overall it was pretty good for the Acorn Stairlifts StemCyte car. It will be a long afternoon today with the race and another one tomorrow but we’re in great shape. It's funny yesterday after qualifying the balance wasn't great so we made some adjustments to that and had a game plan this morning and it worked out well for us. But, like I said it's a shame we got cut short because actually if you look to the laps we only did three flat laps and if you look at the other groups three flat laps we were ahead by a half a second still. In a way it's good but it's still a little disappointing to miss out on pole. Going to have to find which hotel [Mike] Conway is staying so I can high jack his room tonight. He keeps on spoiling the party. But no, congratulations to those guys they've been strong all weekend, as well. Obviously with the weather looking uncertain today and tomorrow it's nice to start up front.”
            [On being a pleasant surprise] “I think you just to be patient right now in the series. This series is that competitive that if you are off your game by a tenth you fall massively backwards. There are 25 guys who can win a race, and I don't think there is any other championship in the world right now where you can say that. It really is unique. IndyCar is a great product right now, and the depth of the drivers is fantastic. Everyone is pushing so hard and like I said if you are off your game you are going to go backwards so you really have to make sure that you are ticking all the boxes going into the weekend and if it doesn't go your way just stay patient and if you're doing everything you can do and it will come. But like I said yesterday, a big thank you to all the Penske organization. The track is really fun to drive. It flows well. It's nice to go down to Turn 3, and hang a right. And then the next two corners, Turn 4 and Turn 5, are fun. And it's a real drivers track, you know. You really have to be on your game.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here. Yesterday he earned his best series qualifying position of fourth for Dual 1 that will take the Green Flag today at 3:50 p.m. ET and bettered that mark today with a front row start of second place. He set the fastest lap time in Group 1 but the session ended 1.5 minutes early due to a red flag for Tagliani. Group 2 ran the full session and Conway was able to set a lap time a mere 0.0727 quicker.  He matched the team’s best start here by Bobby Rahal who qualified second in 1992 and went on to win the event… He qualified 25th at Belle Isle last year with Dale Coyne Racing and had gained seven spots by Lap 14 before a problem surfaced and he retired in 23rd after mechanical failure… It is 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… His best start to date this season is 4th at Detroit and best finish is 12th at Long Beach although he had the potential to finish higher in each race… Is ranked 22nd in series standings with 68 points.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING IN DETROIT … The 2013 event will mark the 14th year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.  The team’s highest start of second place and highest finish of first in the event came in the inaugural running on Belle Isle in 1992 by Bobby Rahal.  In total, the team has earned two podiums (Max Papis 2000 – 2nd), three top-five finishes and nine top-10’s here (chart available). Prior to 2013, the team prepared a total of 21 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08) and Takuma Sato (2012).  Last year Sato qualified 12th and was sixth when he hit a curb that wrenched the steering wheel from his hands and retired in 20th place after he hit the wall.  The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal and the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts entry for James Jakes will bring that total to 23 in 2013.
NEXT UP: The 70-lap Chevrolet Dual 1 in Detroit will take the Green Flag at 3:40 p.m. ET Saturday and be televised live on ABC beginning at 3:30. Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com
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