Rahal and Jakes Complete Troublefree Test at Pocono Raceway

LONG POND, PA (June 25, 2013) – Graham Rahal and James Jakes each completed a trouble-free day of testing at the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” oval at Pocono Raceway today.  Rahal ran 163 laps in his No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Honda-Dallara-Firestone race car while Jakes completed 133 in his No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts car.  It was the first time for both drivers on the course and each was suit­ably impressed. 

It’s a hairy son of a gun, I’ll tell you that,” said Rahal, 24, whose best lap time was a 217.4 mph average. “I’m pretty happy; I thought the Midas / Big O Tires car was really good. I think we found some really good things with the setup. I’m pleased. There is always more to be gained but by no means can I complain. Overall we tried a hell of a lot today, ran a lot and did one full-stint, long run and the car is solid, there aren’t a lot of complaints there. I ran in traffic just a little bit, not a ton. But at that time I wasn’t as happy with my car as I was at the end.  At the end we trimmed out a little bit — not a lot, just a hair – just to see how it was and unfor­tu­nately I got stuck in traffic on the low down­force run but the good thing was that the car felt good at that level.  I think Honda made some good gains with some things we were working on so that was good.”

This place is a bit nuts, that’s for sure,” added Jakes, 25, whose best lap time was a 216.2 mph average.  “Obvi­ously I have never been here so it was an inter­esting day. It was good to get as much in as we did today. The weather fore­cast didn’t look good a few days ago but it was great all day. We learned a lot and ran a lot of laps. I think it was good to come here over Mid-Ohio espe­cially consid­ering how unique Pocono is. All three corners are different and it’s quite diffi­cult to get the car dialed in but I think we did a great job as a team.  We tried to run in traffic but had an issue at the end. We have another test day here before the race weekend offi­cially starts so that should be good.”

When asked what he thought of his father’s 500-mile win in 1988 at such a “tricky course,” Graham said “To be honest, I wish our race was going to be a 500-mile race now because this place is so much fun! And the reason its fun is that every corner is different, every corner is modeled after a different track and every corner has its different chal­lenges. You come through Turn 1, you have a lot of grip, its good fun, flat out and you are pulling 5 G’s (G-forces) – which is absolutely insane! And then you go through Turn 2 which is a 90-degree quick kink. And then you go into Turn 3 which has really no banking at all, a long dura­tion corner and you are sliding around. Overall, every corner is so different that I think it makes it really enjoyable.”

The 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season resumes with the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco at Pocono Raceway July 6 – 7.  The race will be the middle leg of the Fuzzy’s Triple Crown, which carries a $1 million bonus if Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan can sweep the races at Indi­anapolis, Pocono and Auto Club Speedway. A driver who wins two of the three will receive a $250,000 bonus.  The race will be tele­vised live on ABC at 12 p.m. ET July 7.  The IMS Radio Network will also carry the race live on Sirius and XM chan­nels 211.

For more infor­ma­tion, log on to www.rahal.com, www.grahamrahal.com www.jamesjakes.com or www.indycar.com.