Jakes Earned His Best Start at Texas Motor Speedway of 10th for the Firestone 550; Rahal to Start 19th

Firestone 550 – Texas Motor Speedway
IZOD IndyCar Series


POLE:   Will Power         2-lap avg. speed of 219.182 mph           (L1: 23.8853, L2: 23.9107)
10th:     James Jakes      2-lap avg. speed of 216.487 mph           (L1: 24.1834, L2: 24.2074)
19th:     Graham Rahal   2-lap avg. speed of 213.888 mph            (L1: 24.4822, L2: 24.4968)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The balance in the Midas / Big O Tires car was really good for our qualifying run but we were slow. The guys did a great job because I was pretty happy with the way the car felt in quals. I’m not sure where we find four or five miles an hour from but we’ll go racing. Last year I wasn’t sure I had the best car going into the race and I almost won it.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth event here.  He qualified third in 2012, led 27 laps but a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR).  He qualified 20th for the first of two heat races in 2011 and finished ninth with SCCGR. He drew the fourth starting spot for Race 2 in 2011 and finished 30th.  He did not compete in Texas in 2010 during his partial season of competition.  He qualified 12th with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) in 2009 but retired in 22nd place after contact. In 2008, he qualified 18th and finished 11th with NHLR… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th also in Long Beach… Is ranked 14th in series standings with 126 points.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We have to be reasonably happy with our qualifying performance. We didn’t go too aggressive on the setup and we managed to stay in the top-10.  It looks exciting. We’ll do a lot of work tonight, or as much work as we can do in 30 minutes and get the Acorn Stairlifts car ready for the race. It’s going to be a long race, 228 laps. We will just be patient, make sure we are there at the end and hopefully we will have a good position. Preserving the tires is going to be huge. In the practice session it wasn’t great and we are going to scratch our heads a little bit to try and improve the car so it doesn’t work the tires as hard and we can go longer on the stints and maintain the speed.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be third event here and best start of those three events.  He qualified 21st in 2012 and finished 10th.  In the dual race in 2011 he qualified 30th and finished 25th in heat one and drew the 23rd starting spot in Heat 2 and finished 28th… Last weekend in Detroit was a breakthrough event for Jakes as he earned his highest career start and finish in Dual 2 in Detroit of second place… 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 2nd at Detroit Dual 2 and best finish is also 2nd in Detroit’s Dual 2 … Is ranked 12th in series standings with 130 points.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT TMS … The Firestone 550 will mark the 11th for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval.  The team’s highest start of POLE with Scott Sharp came in 2007 and highest finish of SECOND came in 2005 with Vitor Meira.  The team earned another front row start in 2004 when Buddy Rice qualified second.  Prior to the 2012 event, the team prepared a total of 17 entries for drivers such as Kenny Brack (2003 x2), Buddy Rice (2004 x2; 2005, 2006), Vitor Meira (2004 x2; 2005), Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Jay Howard (2011, Schmidt/RLL) and Takuma Sato (2012).  The team has earned three top-five finishes and six top-10’s at the track.  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 19 in 2013.

NEXT UP:  The 228-lap Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway will take the Green Flag at 7:45 p.m. CT Saturday and be televised live on ABC beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET. Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com.

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