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Rahal Completed His First Oval Test of 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway; Windy Conditions Provided Extra Challenges

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 16, 2014) – Graham Rahal, 25, completed his first test day on an oval for the 2014 season at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) today.  He ran a total of 84 laps around the 1.5-mile high-banked oval in the No. 15 National Guard Honda in sunny but gusty condi­tions.  The Verizon IndyCar Series will compete in the Fire­stone 600 here on June 7.

Overall it was a good day even though we were fighting high winds,” said Rahal, who came close to winning at Texas Motor Speedway in 2012 before a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place.  “We made some good progress with basic chassis items and I feel like we are really getting some­where. I am excited and eager to get to Indi­anapolis with Bill and the team to continue to work on our oval setup. And then come back to Texas Motor Speedway for the Fire­stone 600.”

It was a sunny day with temper­a­tures in the mid-60’s but wind gusts provided addi­tional chal­lenges. Lap times were not compa­rable as the series wanted to explore various down­force levels through the field in an attempt to deter­mine the best down­force level for the upcoming race at TMS.

The condi­tions were pretty bad in the morning when it was windy and then in the after­noon it became very gusty – between 25 and 30 mph wind gusts,” added race engi­neer Bill Pappas. “It would catch the car differ­ently each lap so trying to detect where you wanted to place the car each lap made it very, very diffi­cult. It was the first test on an oval for Graham and I together so, like the first road course test we did, I was just trying to get in sync with commu­ni­ca­tion and under­standing his lingo for ovals which was a big part of the day. We went through a handful of changes in light of the condi­tions to see if it affected the balance favor­ably for what he was looking for from the car.  At the end of the test, he was a lot more confi­dent in the car and himself compared to last season.”

The next race for the Verizon IndyCar Series will be the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on April 27 at Barber Motor­sports Park.  RLL will enter two cars for Graham Rahal, whose best finish there is fourth in 2012, and Oriol Servia whose best finish at Barber is fifth in 2011.

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

- RLL -