PHOTO_TX

Rahal Qualified 21st for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway

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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