Jakes Earned a Career-Best Start of Fourth for Detroit Dual 1; Rahal Qualified 14th But Will Serve a 10-Grid Penalty for an Unapproved Engine Change

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit – Raceway at Belle Isle Park
IZOD IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES for DUAL 1 – Friday, May 31, 2013


POLE:    Dario Franchitti    1:19.3331 / 106.642 mph   (set in Round 3; will serve a 10-grid penalty for unapproved engine change)
4th:         James Jakes        1:19.9897 / 105.764 mph  (set in Round 3)
14th:       Graham Rahal     1:30.5258 / 93.454 mph     (set in Round 1, Group 2 on a drying track; will serve 10-grid penalty from Indy)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I was pretty happy with the Midas / Big O Tires car; I thought it wasn’t too far off.  I just got caught up in traffic with Helio and Briscoe and Ed. And finally I came out of traffic behind Helio and Dixon and still in it but I tried to push a little harder and the rear tires were gone. On the last lap, when Dixon spun we were up more than two-tenths (of a second on his best lap time) and we would have made it to the top six to progress but hey, what can you do? That’s part of it. With our engine change penalty we will start towards the back so we have some work to do in the first Duel. I really like the rain. The one race I won in the series was in the rain most of the time. Every time we race in the rain I seem to do better so I’m totally fine if it rains in the race Saturday. I’d be happy.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third Indy car race here.  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:  “Obviously it was tough on everyone with the weather conditions, and I think the biggest thing was just staying patient, really. I was out with the first group of the first 12 and it was quite a bit wetter. You just had to make sure you had a clean lap at the end of the session with a couple of minutes to go to maximize the potential of the car. I think we did that. I’ve been pretty happy with the pace all weekend, especially in practice this morning. The balance with the reds changed quite a bit, so we still have quite a bit of work to do. Obviously with the weather coming in, and the forecast tomorrow, starting as high up as you can is going to be key, and we got a great position. The Acorn Stairlifts car has been pretty quick this year, we’ve just not been able to capitalize on it. Starting from now with these next races coming up, hopefully we can show everybody what we’re made of.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here.  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:  Qualifying for Duel 2 will take place tomorrow morning from 9:15-9:45 a.m. ET.  The 70-lap Chevrolet Duel 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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