PHOTO_B&G

Pocono INDYCAR 500 Preview

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Pocono INDYCAR 500 – Pocono Raceway

Pre-Race Notes

Round 11 of 18 in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series

 

NEWS & NOTES:

DATE:

July 5 – 6, 2014

QUALIFYING BROADCAST:

Broad­cast on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, July 5 and live on www.indycar.com (timing & scoring with audio commen­tary from IMS Radio Network).

RACE BROADCAST:

Live on Sunday, July 6 at 12 noon ET on NBCSN

RADIO BROADCAST:

The race will air on IMS Radio Network, XM 209 & Sirius 213

TRACK LAYOUT:

2.5-mile tri oval

RACE LENGTH:

200 laps / 500 miles

 

2013 WINNER:

Scott Dixon

2013 POLESITTER:

Marco Andretti

 

RAHAL’S BEST OVAL START/FINISH:

Pole (Kansas 2009) / 2nd (Texas 2012 and Milwaukee 2011)

RAHAL’S BEST POCONO START/FINISH:               

17th (started 16th) / 18th – both in 2013 (one start)

 

RLL’S BEST POCONO START/FINISH:

14th (started 13) / 12th – both by James Jakes in 2013

 

RLL’S BEST 500-MILE START/FINISH:

1st / 1st – both by Buddy Rice in 2004 at the Indy 500

 

BOBBY RAHAL’S BEST START/FINISH AT POCONO:

2nd in 1984 (started from first two rows in 6 of 8 events) / 1st in 1988

 

 

NOTES & QUOTES: 

RLL RETURNS TO POCONO RACEWAY

The Pocono INDYCAR 500 will mark the second open-wheel race at Pocono Raceway since 1989. The 2.5-mile oval hosted Indy car races from 1971 to 1989 and team co-owner Bobby Rahal competed in eight races there from 1982 – 1989. Last year Rahal qual­i­fied 17th, started 16th due to a grid penalty for someone ahead of him and finished 18th. James Jakes qual­i­fied 14th, started 13th after a car ahead received a grid penalty and finished 12th. The team will field the No. 15 National Guard entry driven by Graham Rahal for this event.

 

RAHAL ON POCONO

It’s tricky because it’s three corners that are totally different. To get a car that’s well balanced in all corners is impos­sible, but you certainly work your hardest to be close on the rest of them. The team and I are looking forward to the chal­lenge of the track and 500 miles. We attempted to test here in June but didn’t due to the weather and weepers. I think we will be fine. We certainly have to work hard and effi­ciently, but our team has improved a lot in that aspect and I think we can be very competitive.”

 

RAHAL ON LAST YEAR

Last year was diffi­cult because we never got a good balance out of the car. We were never very close and strug­gled throughout the race. We are hoping to be much better this year.”

 

RAHAL ON THE APPROACH TO A 500-MILE RACE VS. A REGULAR DISTANCE RACE

Last year Indy car racing returned to the “Tricky Triangle” for the first time since 1989 and the distance was 400 miles. This year the race will be extended 40 laps for a total of 500 miles. In the previous 500-mile race this year – the 2014 Indy 500 — Rahal suffered an engine elec­trical issue that repeat­edly shut the engine off. He completed 44 of 200 laps and retired in 33rd place.

I think you do approach the race a little different than non-500-mile races because it’s all about patience and being solid throughout the whole race, not just a couple hundred miles. It’s key to stay calm and relaxed throughout the race to have a good finish.”

 

SPECIAL FOURTH OF JULY LIVERY

Rahal’s No. 15 National Guard entry will feature a special livery at the Pocono INDYCAR 500 to commem­o­rate the Fourth of July weekend and honor the more than 350,000 Army National Guard Soldiers who serve in over 3,200 commu­ni­ties across 54 US states and terri­to­ries. The unique one-race design features a patri­otic mix of red, white and blue with iconic brand elements for the National Guard, including high­lights of ‘urban camou­flage’ used on the team’s crew apparel this season.

I love the current red, white and blue livery but it’s great to have a special one for the Fourth of July weekend,” said Rahal.  “The camou­flage is really a cool touch and I hope it connects with the men and women of the National Guard that we are honored to repre­sent.  As an Amer­ican, racing on this partic­ular weekend is very special and I think the car will look great on track!”

- RLL -