Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix – Phoenix Raceway
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – April 29, 2017
RAHAL WAS COLLECTED IN A FIVE CAR CRASH TRIGGERED BY ALESHIN ON THE OPENING LAP OF THE DESERT DIAMOND WEST VALLEY PHOENIX GRAND PRIX; FINISHED 21ST
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I was told by my spotter ‘Go low, go low’ but Max (Chilton) was spinning in front of me to the bottom so I could not go low. My only choice was to go above him and when he released the brake pedal, his car came back up the banking. Where do you go? There was no way to stop the car on the banking. It’s not his fault, that’s just the circumstances of racing. Unfortunately we got pinched between Max and Marco (Andretti). We’re all innocent bystanders. I haven’t seen the replay yet but I heard Aleshin lost it. With all the smoke, you can’t see a thing. There are cars flying everywhere. I was just kind of hanging on. It’s a shame because we obviously wanted to get a good finish for United Rentals and all of our sponsors.”
- FAST FACTS: Mikhail Aleshin, who started seventh, lost control of his race car on the opening lap of the 250-lap race and the incident collected the cars of Andretti, Bourdais, Chilton and Rahal… Made his second start at this track… In 2016, he started 19th and passed two cars (Daly, Hawksworth) on the start and later moved into 16th when Luca Filippi had a problem. He was in 15th place when he made his first stop and the crew gained two positions in the pits. He moved into the top 10 near the halfway point of the 250-lap race and was on his “in laps” of his second and third stops when a caution period came out but was able to continue on low fuel each time until the pits opened. He ran as high as third, which is the position he was running in when he entered his pit for his third and final stop but lost a spot to Simon Pagenaud. He was passed by Tony Kanaan on Lap 223 of 250 and was in fifth place when the final caution came out for debris with a few laps to go and the race ended under yellow… Has four IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas oval) and two poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval). His highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015.
NEXT UP: The team is scheduled to test at Gateway Motorsports Park Tuesday, May 2. The Grand Prix of Indianapolis will take place May 12-13.
PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photography as well as video. Register for access to photos at: http://www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess