Jakes Qualified Sixth for the MAVTV 500 IndyCar Finale; Rahal Qualified 18th But Will Serve a 10-Grid Penalty

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

MAVTV 500 – Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.

IZOD IndyCar Series – Season Finale

QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, October 18, 2013


POLE: Will Power         2-lap avg. speed of 220.775 mph           (L1: 221.057, L2: 220.494)

6th:       James Jakes     2-lap avg. speed of 217.979 mph           (L1: 218.190, L2: 217.769)

18th:     Graham Rahal   2-lap avg. speed of 216.106 mph           (L1: 216.260, L2: 215.951)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We’re struggling with the balance here. Both ends of the car are doing totally different things. The challenge is ‘How do we get it on the same page.’ We can’t get it to turn in one end of the track and its swapping ends in the other. We have really struggled with this on the high banked ovals all year. We’ll start at the back but its 500 miles so it doesn’t really matter. It’s a long race.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here.  He will serve a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change. He qualified 11th in 2012 for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR), started 18th after a penalty for an unapproved engine change and finished sixth… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 6th at Iowa… Rahal is ranked 17th in the point standings with 304 points.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The Acorn Stairlifts car has been good here since the test really and we just really concentrated on the race setup because it’s a long, long race and the best handling car out there is going to win.  The guys have done a great job and Honda as well. Things look good but we try to not get carried away; the race is tomorrow and it’s going to be a long night. We just have to stay patient which is kind of the key. We need to make sure we stay on the lead lap and have a good car on the final 50 laps or so.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here.  Last year he qualified 24th, started 12th after grid penalties were assessed and finished 12th with Dale Coyne Racing… 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 … Jakes is ranked 19th in the point standings with 285 points.

1 WIN, 4 PODIUMS & 406 LAPS LED FOR RLL RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY: The MAVTV 500 will mark the 12th IndyCar race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here.  The team was entered in seven CART/Champ Car races from 1997-2003 but the 2003 event was cancelled due to wildfires. In total, the team competed in six CART/Champ Car races (all scheduled as 500-mile races; five run as such) and four Indy Racing League events (2002-2005).  The team won ONE RACE (Jimmy Vasser 2002; the previous 500-mile race run here), made TWO front row starts (2nd: Max Papis 1999, Kenny Brack 2003), earned FOUR podiums (2nd – Papis 1999 & 2001; 3rd – Vitor Meira 2005), and led 406 laps (chart available).  The team entered cars for Bobby Rahal (1997-1998), Bryan Herta (1997-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001, 2003), Jimmy Vasser (2002 – both CCWS & IRL), Michel Jourdain (2002-2003), Buddy Rice (2004-2005), Vitor Meira (2004-2005), Danica Patrick (2005) and Takuma Sato (2012).  Last year, Sato climbed through the field from his 21st place start and into the lead for Laps 38-39, 150-152 and  228 and ran in the top five the majority of the race but lost control of his race car on the final lap in Turn 2 while fourth and finished seventh.  The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal and the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts entry for James Jakes will bring the total to 22 Indy car entries in this race.

NEXT UP: The 250-lap MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 19.