Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING – DAY 1 NOTES/QUOTES – May 17, 2014
RAHAL AND SERVIA PROVISIONALLY QUALIFIED 20TH AND 29TH FOR THE INDIANAPOLIS 500; THE STARTING FIELD WILL BE SET ON SUNDAY
1st: Ed Carpenter 4-lap avg. speed of 230.661 mph (L1: 39.0283, L2: 38.9841, L3: 39.0207, L4: 39.0404)
20th: Graham Rahal 4-lap avg. speed of 228.664 mph (L1: 39.3145, L2: 39.3696, L3: 39.3594, L4: 39.3929)
29th: Oriol Servia 4-lap avg. speed of 228.034 mph (L1: 39.4640, L2: 39.4613, L3: 39.4666, L4: 39.4794)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “From a fan’s perspective the system works because a lot of people ran a lot today so I thought that worked fairly well. Obviously we have a lot of speed to find. We’ve got to keep working hard and try to get the car better and improve for tomorrow to get ourselves as far up the grid as possible. The goal right now is to focus. We made big changes for each qualifying attempt. I went from pretty good handling, to hanging on, to pretty good handling but went slower each time.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his seventh Indy 500… His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps… He ran in the top-five in four of his six 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… In 2013, he qualified 26th and pitted from ninth place for his second to last stop and his outside rear tire changer had a mechanical problem and Rahal returned to the track in 21st place. He was in 17th with eight laps to go and lost control of his car in Turn 2 and made contact with the wall… His Indy car highlights include a win (2008) and pole (2009) in St. Petersburg.
ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s no secret that all month we have been a little slower than we wanted. Then yesterday and today we made good improvements with the car and I honestly thought we were looking at being in the top-12 and we are not there. We were hoping to be faster than that though. Realistically we have been improving step-by-step and I think we still have more steps to go I think the new system makes qualifying interesting.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth Indy 500 race here and second with RLL at this track… His best finish is fifth in 2011 and best start is third the same season with Newman/Haas Racing… In 2013 he drove for Panther/DRR where he started 13th, ran as high as fifth and finished 11th… In 2012, he drove for DRR where he qualified 27th and finished fourth… In 2011 he started on the front row (third) with Newman/Haas Racing. He was on pole until the final two qualifiers made their attempts. In the race, he led 18 laps and stayed in the lead pack the entire race to contend for the win in the last 50 laps but the fuel strategy of others limited his finish to a disappointing sixth place… Was running 10th in the 2009 race with Rahal Letterman Racing when a fuel pressure problem forced him to retire after 98/200 laps. He qualified 25th and retired in 26th… Ran as high as eighth and finished 11th in 2008 with KV Racing after he qualified 25th… His Indy car highlights include one win (Montreal 2005) and one pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005).
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 2014 race will mark the 17th year for the team in the event. Prior to 2014, the team prepared a total of 30 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 and 2013), Bertrand Baguette (2011), Jay Howard (2011), Takuma Sato (2012), Michel Jourdain (2012) and James Jakes (2013).
NEXT UP: Final qualifying will take place tomorrow to lock-in the field. ABC will begin coverage tomorrow at 1 p.m. EDT. Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commentary by the IMS Radio Network.
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