Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen – Watkins Glen
Verizon IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, September 3, 2017
RAHAL FINISHED FIFTH IN THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX AT THE GLEN
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a good day. There was a lot of passing because a lot of us expected rain and with the downforce levels being all over the board, there were some guys that were really draggy and some guys a little more trimmed. I was right in the middle. There was a lot of passing going on all over the place. We’re going to fight on here. I didn’t have anything to lose (in the championship fight) coming here but as we saw today with (Josef) Newgarden, things can happen so fast. We’re out of winning the championship but we’re certainly not out of finishing in the top three or four. We’re seventh in the points and the way I look at it is, we didn’t score points in the first four races of the year but we were the hottest team through the middle of the season and it got us back in contention. We didn’t score as many points as we would have like but we have a lot to be proud of. We’re going to be in attack mode for sure. It’s a shame the last two races didn’t go our way when they should have because we would have been right in the middle of the title fight but that’s the way it goes. That’s racing. ”
- FAST FACTS: The race was declared a wet start due to rain before the event. Rahal started 10th and moved up to seventh when fourth place starter Sato had a problem and he also passed Bourdais and Power before the field pit on Lap 1 for racing slicks. On Lap 2 he was passed by Pagenaud and Munoz for ninth, which he held until he took over eighth from Pagenaud on Lap 9. Rahal made his second stop at the end of Lap 14 from eighth during a full course caution due to Hinchcliffe stopping on track. He returned to the track in 12th place behind the top five who were on a different strategy. He passed Kimball one lap after the Lap 17 restart for 11th and cycled up as high as sixth by Lap 25 before a full course caution for Sato, who spun. He restarted 10th, passed Newgarden for 9th, Andretti for 8th and cycled to 5th when the off-sequence drivers pit. He then moved to fourth when leader Rossi pit before he made his fourth and final stop by Lap 44. The full course caution came out for points leader Newgarden and Bourdais, and once the race restarted he was in fifth and maintained position until the checkered flag…The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen marked Graham Rahal’s fourth race here. In 2016, he started 20th after a qualifying penalty on Saturday. He had set the sixth fastest time in Group 2 of Round 1 when Takuma Sato brought out the red flag and would have advanced to Round 2 to set the top-12 positions but INDYCAR withdrew Rahal’s two fastest laps because they ruled he impeded Jack Hawksworth’s lap time. Rahal’s third fastest lap put him P10 in his group and he did not advance. He started the race on primary Firestone tires and most utilized the softer, alternate Firestones. He passed a car on the opening lap and after a multi-car incident, he was up to 15th. He passed Hunter-Reay for 14th on Lap 3 and steadily moved up to eighth place as the pit cycle was in progress. He had been saving fuel to extend the stint as long as possible and gain positions but Aleshin crashed and brought out the first caution on Lap 14. Once the pits opened, Rahal pitted from eighth place on Lap 16. He returned to the track in 18th place with the top 11 having made their first stops on Lap 14 or before. On the restart, he was passing Charlie Kimball and contact between the two forced him head-on into the tire barrier on Lap 19 and he retired in 20st place after one of the hardest impact’s he had taken in Indy car. In 2008, he qualified 18th with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) after a Saturday practice crash and finished eighth… In 2009, he qualified fifth with NHLR but lost 10 starting positions when his car was ruled to be too light in a tech inspection and he started 15th. He ran as high as second but the wrong fuel strategy contributed to a 13th place finish… He did not compete in the 2010 race… His top finishes this season are wins in Dual 1 and Dual 2 in Detroit and top start is pole for Detroit Dual 1… Rahal dropped from sixth to seventh in series point standings with a total of 466. He is 94 points behind leader Josef Newgarden (560), 91 behind second place Scott Dixon (557), 72 behind third place Helio Castroneves (538), 60 behind fourth place Simon Pagenaud (526), 26 behind fifth place Will Power (492) and 10 behind sixth place Alexander Rossi (476), who gained the position with his win.
NEXT UP: The series will take next weekend off before reconvening in California for the IndyCar Series season-finale, double points GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma on September 17. Graham Rahal finished second last year.
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