Rahal and Jakes Logged Miles in Their Primary Cars for the First Time at Indy; Jourdain Jr. Optimistic About Progress Today

Indi­anapolis 500 – Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway
IZOD IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Wednesday, May 15, 2013

RAHAL AND JAKES LOG MILES IN THEIR PRIMARY CARS AT INDY FOR THE FIRST TIME; JOURDAIN JR. OPTIMISTIC ABOUT PROGRESS TODAY

1)         Dario Fran­chitti          224.236 mph / 40.1363          68 laps
16)       James Jakes              221.241 mph / 40.6797          42 laps
30)       Graham Rahal            219.123 mph / 41.0728          49 laps
32)       Michel Jour­dain Jr.   218.037 mph / 41.2774          93 laps

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We didn’t get as much done as we wanted too but I think we found some great things that will help us going forward. The Midas / Big O Tires guys worked hard and we found a little bit of speed there at the end. We just have to keep working on it. We’re not where we want to be but we have to find every little thing and keep moving forward.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth Indy 500.  He ran in the top-five in four of his five previous races here.  In 2008, with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he was the highest Indy 500 starter of the Champ Car tran­si­tioning teams with his 13th place qual­i­fying effort but made contact on L36 after driving high to avoid the slower car of Lloyd and retired in 33rd place.  He qual­i­fied fourth for NHLR in the 2009 Indy 500 but made contact on L56 while fifth and retired in 31st. In 2010, he competed for his father’s team – RLL – for the first time in an Indy car. He qual­i­fied seventh and ran as high as second but a blocking penalty on L188/200 dropped him from third to a 12th place finish. He qual­i­fied 29th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and earned his best finish at Indy to date of third place after he led six laps. In 2012, he qual­i­fied 12th, ran as high as third and finished 13th for SCCGR… This is Rahal’s first full season at RLL, sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seventh in a top open wheel racing series (CCWS 2007)… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th — also in Long Beach… He is 14th in the series point stand­ings with 74.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We shook down the Acorn Stair­lifts race car and I think we made some progress with the race setup so that area looks good.  Hope­fully we will get a few more days of running before qual­i­fying but I know the weather looks a bit dodgy. The guys worked hard last night to switch every­thing over and it looks pretty posi­tive. We still need to find a few pieces of the puzzle here and there so hope­fully we won’t lose the next two days to weather.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here. He qual­i­fied 17th and finished 15th in 2012. In 2011, he attempted to qualify but the car was not fast enough. Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing… Jakes is competing in 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 11th at Barber and best finish is 12th at Long Beach although he had the poten­tial to finish higher in each race… Is ranked 22nd in series stand­ings with 53 points.

MICHEL JOURDAIN JR, No. 17 Office Depot Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was a very long day. We were completely lost and we made some big changes.  Although we aren’t as fast as we want to be, I think we found the direc­tion we need to go in for the Office Depot car. I can feel the car now and have more confi­dence in it which is better but we still have a ways to go.”

  • FAST FACTS: Jour­dain is making his third attempt at the Indy 500 and second with RLL… His No. 17 Honda-Dallara-Firestone entry is spon­sored by Office Depot Mexico with asso­ciate spon­sor­ship from Grupo Indi and Grupo Multi… He started 22nd in his second Indi­anapolis 500 race in 2012 and finished 19th with RLL. He was called into a closed pit then penal­ized with a drive-through which put him one lap down after he ran in the top half of the field mid-race.  He qual­i­fied eighth and finished 13th in 1996.  When he partic­i­pated in the 2012 Indy 500, Indi­anapolis Motor Speedway was the site of his first laps behind the wheel of an Indy car since 2004… He made 152 starts in the CART/Champ Car World Series and three in the IRL/IndyCar Series (1996/97 season) between 1996 – 2004… His highest finish in the IRL/IndyCar Series is second place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 1996 and he earned two wins in CART/CCWS in 2003 at Montreal and Milwaukee while driving for Team Rahal… With support from Ford Motor Company, he moved to NASCAR’s Nation­wide Series from 2005 – 2008 and also competed in the Camping World Truck Series in 2006. Since then, he competed in various rally and sports car series.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT INDY The team’s highest start and finish in the event came in 2004 when Buddy Rice won from pole. In addi­tion, the team has earned a total of four podiums (2nd – Meira 2005; 3rd – Rahal 1994, 1995). The team was in contention to win the race as recent as 2011 when Bertrand Baguette led laps 139 – 140 and laps 189 – 197 of the 200 lap race. Had a caution come our before Baguette was forced to pit for a splash of fuel, he might have been the victor. The race ulti­mately ended under caution when JR Hilde­brand crashed on the front straight while in the lead on the final lap… The 2013 race will mark the 16th year for the team in the event.  Prior to 2013, the team prepared a total of 28 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992 – 1995), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Jimmy Vasser (2002 – 2003), Kenny Brack (2003, 2005), Buddy Rice (2004, 2006; DNC 2005 due to prac­tice crash), Vitor Meira (2004, 2005), Roger Yasukawa (2004), Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Jeff Simmons (2006, 2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Oriol Servia (2009), Graham Rahal (2010), Bertrand Baguette (2011), Jay Howard (2011), Takuma Sato (2012) and Michel Jour­dain (2012).  The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts entry for James Jakes and No. 17 Office Depot entry for Michel Jour­dain will bring that total to 31 in 2013.

NEXT UP: Prac­tice will resume tomorrow from 12 – 6 PM ET.  The 97th Indi­anapolis 500 race will be May 26 and will be tele­vised by ABC at 12 p.m. (ET) and broad­cast by the IMS Radio Network on Sirius XM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). Timing and Scoring infor­ma­tion is avail­able for all sessions from www.indycar.com.

PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photog­raphy as well as video. Register for access to photos at: http://www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess