Rahal Ran as High as Sixth but an Incident Limited His Finish to 11th in Sonoma; Jakes Ran as High as Ninth But Retired After Engine Failure

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – August 25, 2013

RAHAL RAN AS HIGH AS SIXTH BUT AN INCIDENT LIMITED HIS FINISH TO 11TH IN THE GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA; JAKES RAN AS HIGH AS NINTH BUT RETIRED IN 25TH AFTER ENGINE FAILURE

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The race was going really well, the Big O Tires / Midas car felt pretty solid to be honest. I was just going through the motions and trying to save the car, save the tires and unfor­tu­nately we got to that restart and we were the only ones on (Fire­stone) blacks and got up in there with Marco (Andretti) and (Simon) Page­naud and the next thing I knew I was side­ways. I’m not really sure what happened but at the end of the day what­ever happened in the inci­dent bent some­thing so the rest of the race was a bit of a struggle. It wasn’t perfect but we got through it.”

FAST FACTS: Was his sixth Indy car race here. He started eighth, but was involved in an inci­dent while sixth with Simon Page­naud and Marco Andretti which dropped him to the back of the field. He steadily moved forward and finished 12th. His best start is sixth place with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) in 2009 and best finish is fifth with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR) in 2012. He has finished in the top-10 in all but one of his five races (broken drive shaft in ’09). He qual­i­fied 15th for SCCGR in 2012, started 13th after grid penal­ties were served and finished fifth. He qual­i­fied 13th for SCCGR in 2011 and finished eighth. In 2010, he qual­i­fied 16th with NHR and finished 9th. Made the final Fire­stone Fast Six in qual­i­fying six times in the seven road/street races in 2009 and started sixth in Sonoma for NHLR. Contact on the opening lap with Marco Andretti forced an early stop for a new front wing but his drive shaft broke when he attempted to leave the pits. After the car was repaired in the garage area, he returned to the track many laps down in 21st posi­tion and ulti­mately retired in the same place after completing 30 of the 75 laps. He started 15th and finished 8th here in 2008 with NHLR… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 8th at Sonoma… Is ranked 16th in series stand­ings with 252 points.

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We lost the engine unfor­tu­nately. It was tough because we had it going on. We had settled in and just started to pick people off and they just kept coming to us. We decided to run the blacks (Firestone’s) early because we wanted to get them on and out of the way and we did that. We had a heck of a restart on our second to last restart. It’s just a shame the engine let go but you can’t fault Honda for that, they have pushed hard all year and have given us a good engine. The differ­ence in tire compounds is unbe­liev­able. Anyone on blacks (primary Firestone’s), you’ve just got to try and hold on because the guys on reds have such an advan­tage. The three years I have been in IndyCar I have not seen a start like this to a race. It’s great for the fans though. Always in the past here, you had to be aggres­sive to get up front and with the tire differ­ence here this year that wasn’t the case but nobody really knew so everyone was going crazy at the start. It was good to watch, it was good to be involved in it but unfor­tu­nately the engine let go and ended our day early but hope­fully we will move on to Balti­more where we have run well before.”

FAST FACTS: Was his third event here and first with RLL. He qual­i­fied 19th and had gained 10 spots by Lap 25 of 85 when he ran ninth but he retired with engine failure after completing 57/85 laps. In 2012 he qual­i­fied 26th, started 24th after two competi­tors were penal­ized for an unap­proved engine change and finished 12th. In 2011 he qual­i­fied 17th and finished 19th. Both events were with Dale Coyne Racing… It is his third season in the IndyCar Series and first with RLL. In 31 Indy car starts with Dale Coyne Racing from 2011 – 2012, his best finish was eighth at Toronto and series-best start of eighth was at Motegi… His best start to date this season is 2nd at Detroit Dual 2 and best finish is also 2nd in Detroit’s Dual 2 … Is ranked 19th in series stand­ings with 237 points.

NEXT UP: The Balti­more Grand Prix will take place next Sunday, September 1. It will be a double-header weekend as the team’s ALMS program will race on Saturday.

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