Jakes Earned His Best Start at Mid-Ohio of 10th for the Honda Indy 200; Rahal to Start 22nd

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Indy 200 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
IZOD IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, August 3, 2013

JAKES EARNED HIS BEST START AT MID-OHIO OF 10TH FOR THE HONDA INDY 200 AT MID-OHIO; RAHAL TO START 22ND

POLE: Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:05.3519 / 124.385 mph (Group 2; Round 3)
10th: James Jakes 1:06.1778 / 122.833 mph (Group 2; Round 2)
22nd: Graham Rahal 1:06.4002 / 122.421 mph (Group 2; Round 1)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Prac­tice was cut short (in the morning prac­tice) and I don’t think we got a ton of work done there. I’m just trying to learn some things and we’re out of time. We tried to use prac­tice this morning as a bit of a test session since we didn’t get to run in the test session on Wednesday. Unfor­tu­nately that really put us back. All the things we are trying to do right now would have been nice to do last Wednesday but we’re doing them now unfor­tu­nately. To win from the back here is near impos­sible. I started in the back last year and fought hard all day to get in the top-11. There is nothing else that we can do but continue to fight hard.”

· FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth Indy car race here but first for his father’s Indy car team. He has competed in many other series at his “home track.” In 2012 he qual­i­fied 22nd, started 21st (engine penalty ahead on grid) and finished 11th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). In 2011 he qual­i­fied sixth, stalled in the pits after his first stop and finished 24th with SCCGR. In 2010, he qual­i­fied 25th with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) and had moved up to 14th when he attempted to pass Wheldon for 13th on Lap 61/85 in T2 and went off course and dropped to 21st. Finished 20th. In 2009, he started fourth with NHLR and looked likely to finish fourth before an off-track excur­sion while fifth late in the race led to an eighth place finish. In 2008, he started 14th with NHLR and ran as high as eighth, but an off track excur­sion on lap 53 limited him to a 16th place finish. At the age of 16 in 2005, he became the youngest to claim the SCCA National Formula Atlantic cham­pi­onship at the SCCA National Cham­pi­onship Runoffs here by a domi­nant 43-seconds. He also competed in the Star Mazda race here in 2005 (S/F 4/9). Tested a Grand Am car here in 2007… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th also in Long Beach… Is ranked 17th in series stand­ings with 221 points.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I knew in the morning session that our lap time was not really where we were competition-wise. I had a bit of confi­dence in the car, I wasn’t sure how quick we could go but I knew it wasn’t where we ended up in that session. We had to be patient and put the lap together in qual­i­fying. The car is still not perfect but the guys have been doing a great job to get us from where we were to where we are now. Hope­fully we can make that jump again and get a real good car for tomorrow. I am happy about our progress. Its days like this — espe­cially those times when you’re in a battle for a cham­pi­onship — that you aren’t compet­i­tive and you’ve really got to pull some things out of a hat and pull it off. It was nice to get in the top-10. Now let’s get even higher.”

· FAST FACTS: His 10th place qual­i­fying posi­tion is his best at Mid-Ohio to date. Will be his third event here and first with RLL. In 2012 he qual­i­fied 21st, started 20th after a competitor ahead was penal­ized for an unap­proved engine change and finished 19th. In 2011 he qual­i­fied 24th and finished 23rd. Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing… His best series start to date is 2nd at Dual 2 in Detroit and best finish is 2nd also at Dual 2 in Detroit… Is ranked 18th in series stand­ings with 215 points.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT MID-OHIO… The Honda Indy 200 will mark the 16th Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here. The team also competed in the Atlantic Series race in 2003 with Danica Patrick and has competed in ALMS races here in 2007 and from 2009 – 2012. The highest IndyCar finish for the team here is two third place finishes (Rahal 1997, 1998) and the highest start is pole (Herta 1997). Another front row start came in 1999 (Herta; 2nd). Prior to the 2013 event, the team prepared a total of 24 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992 – 98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996 – 99), Max Papis (1999 – 2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jour­dain Jr. (2002 – 03) Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007 – 2008) and Takuma Sato (2012). The team has earned TWO podiums (3rd – Rahal 1997, 1998), 9 top-five’s and 13 top-10 finishes at the track. The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal and No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts entry for James Jakes will bring the Indy car total to 26 entries in 2013.

NEXT UP: The morning warm-up will take place from 11 – 11:30 a.m. ET tomorrow and the 90-lap Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will take the Green Flag at 3:40 p.m. ET and will be tele­vised live on NBC Sports Network begin­ning at 3:00. Timing and Scoring infor­ma­tion is avail­able for all sessions from www.indycar.com.

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