Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone 600 – Texas Motor Speedway
Verizon IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, August 27, 2016
RAHAL WON THE FIRESTONE 600 AT TEXAS MOTORSPEEDWAY BY 0.0080 OF A SECOND — THE CLOSEST MARGIN OF VICTORY AT THE TRACK
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I had to set that (pass) up. James did a great job tonight and in all honesty he deserved to win this thing; he led from start to finish. You’ve just got to lead that last lap. I knew I couldn’t get him on the high side, everybody kept pushing me way up into the wall even if we were three-wide. They were still just coming on up the track. It was pretty intense. I tell you what, if Texas Motor Speedway fans didn’t love that, then they don’t love racing because that was by far the best thing we’ve seen here. We had a hole underneath Hinch and we had to take it. I had to set him up and get him thinking I was going high and then cut across. I’m so proud of this Penn Grade team and thankful to everybody that supports us like Steak ‘n Shake, United Rentals, Hyatt and more. It means the world to me. In all honesty I was thinking about (Bryan) Clauson but more importantly I was thinking about Justin because he and I had a great battle here a few years ago and he got me at the end. I kept thinking about him the last few laps. I definitely miss that guy. He was a great human being and a hell of a race car driver.”
- FAST FACTS: Rahal earned his first win of 2016 and fourth overall. The margin of victory was 0.0080 of a second, the fifth-closest finish in Indy car history and the closest finish at Texas Motor Speedway. The previous closest finish at TMS was when Sam Hornish Jr. beat Helio Castroneves by 0.0096 of a second in Sept. 2002. Rahal restarted the race on Lap 72 of the 248-lap race in 12th place and quickly moved to sixth place. He maintained a top-five position the majority of the time except after pitting and never was lower than eighth. He ran second many times and only led once – the final lap. Was his eighth event here and ninth race (two in 2011)… In 2015, he qualified sixth and set the second fastest time in the final practice but struggled with the handling of his car during the race due to the downforce level the team elected to run and finished 15th… He qualified 21st in 2014 and finished 12th. 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… His previous top finish this season was second place at Barber Motorsports Park and his top start is sixth at Barber, Road America and Mid-Ohio. He also qualified third for the Indy GP but his car was disqualified for being a few pounds underweight… Rahal moved from ninth in series point standings to seventh with a total of 394 and is only 12 points behind fifth place Josef Newgaarden (406).
NEXT UP: The series will compete in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen on September 4.
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