Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone 600 – Texas Motor Speedway
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – June 6, 2014
RAHAL QUALIFIED 21ST FOR THE FIRESTONE 600 AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
POLE: Will Power 2-lap avg. speed of 218.896 mph (L1: 23.8579, L2: 24.0005)
21st: Graham Rahal 2-lap avg. speed of 213.292 mph (L1: 24.4866, L2: 24.6291)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Your starting position here isn’t everything but it’s just frustrating to qualify where we did because I thought we had a pretty good car in practice. Our race car is pretty good but I was pretty nervous about our qualifying car. Frankly the rear just wasn’t underneath us at all so we just need to go back and look at the data and see what we can do to improve the situation. The race is what counts and that’s what we’re working toward. Obviously we showed that we still have a long way to go. I think we will race better than we ran in qualifying but we’ve got to find some speed.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth event here. He qualified 19th in 2013 and started 17th after two cars ahead served 10-grid penalties for unapproved engine changes. He struggled with the handling of his race car and finished 21st. He set the fastest single lap in qualifying in 2012 but the grid is set based on a two-lap average and he qualified third in 2012. In the race, he led 27 laps but a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). He qualified 20th for the first of two heat races in 2011 and finished ninth with SCCGR. He drew the fourth starting spot for Race 2 in 2011 and finished 30th. He did not compete in Texas in 2010 during his partial season of competition. He qualified 12th with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) in 2009 but retired in 22nd place after contact. In 2008, he qualified 18th and finished 11th with NHLR.
RLL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: The Firestone 600 will mark the 12th event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at the 1.5-mile, high-banked Texas Motor Speedway oval. The team’s highest start of POLE with Scott Sharp came in 2007 and highest finish of SECOND came in 2005 with Vitor Meira. The team earned another front row start in 2004 when Buddy Rice qualified second. Prior to the 2014 event, the team prepared a total of 17 entries for drivers such as Kenny Brack (2003 x2), Buddy Rice (2004 x2; 2005, 2006), Vitor Meira (2004 x2; 2005), Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Jay Howard (2011, Schmidt/RLL), Takuma Sato (2012) Graham Rahal (2013) and James Jakes (2013). The team has earned three top-five finishes and six top-10’s at the track. The No. 15 National Guard entry for Graham Rahal will bring that total to 20 in2014. Last year, Rahal qualified 19th, started 17th due to engine change penalties ahead on the grip and finished 21st after struggling with the handling of his race car. James Jakes earned a career-best oval qualifying position at Texas of 10th and ran as high as fourth but pitted from the position for fuel with 16 laps to go and finished 12th.
NEXT UP: There will be a 30-minute practice session from 6:45-7:15 p.m. CT tonight and the Firestone 600 will take the Green Flag at 7:50 p.m. CT. Live coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
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