Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit – Raceway at Belle Isle Park
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES for DUAL 2 – Sunday, June 2, 2013
JAKES EARNED HIS BEST SERIES FINISH WITH SECOND PLACE IN DUAL 2 OF THE CHEVROLET INDY DUALS IN DETROIT; RAHAL FINISHED NINTH
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a busy race. On the initial start I was the series punching bag; I got hit by about 10 guys and pushed backwards. And the car just didn’t really come to me until a few laps in. Unfortunately it kept going yellow and we barely got any clear running. When we got up and running, we tried a different strategy to make up a little bit of time and initially it was working but with all of the yellows that came out, everybody ended up doing a similar sort of thing. By no means am I upset with where we finished but certainly this weekend has been a difficult weekend for all of us. James (Jakes) did a great job and we scored two top-10’s but we need to find a better balance in our cars, not only here but the ovals and everything.”
· FAST FACTS: He started 15th and drove to a 9th place finish today. He started 23rd in Dual 1, climbed 14 spots and finished 9th… He qualified seventh with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2012 but had a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change and started 17. He was eighth when he made his final stop on Lap 45/60 but during the red flag stop to repair the track, a clutch problem surfaced and he was unable to continue and retired in 19th place. In 2008 he drove for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and progressed to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying for the first time in his series career and qualified sixth. The team chose the same pit strategy as then race leader Dixon which almost worked but a late race fourth caution botched the plan and he had to stop for a splash of fuel with three laps to go and dropped to 13th… His best finish this season is second place in Long Beach and best start is 11th also in Long Beach… Is ranked 14th in series standings with 126 points.
JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s huge. It’s huge for a lot of people. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan guys have done a great job this weekend. This one is for Honda. Three Hondas on the podium in Detroit again. They’ve really worked their butts off since Indy, and we’re proud of them. The No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts-StemCyte car was just magical today. It was tough, obviously. In the beginning it wasn’t going our way but we stayed patient and then we got a stint in the middle part of the race where we were able to push like hell and manage the lead. Thanks to the guys. They did a great job. We really struggled on the red tires yesterday and towards the end of this last stint we were struggling but we had enough pace at the start of it to pull a big enough gap. So big thanks to the Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan guys.
(On the double header) “It’s very tough. It has been a long weekend. But I’d go again, I love this track. Starting 2nd and 3rd, you know, I’d race here every weekend.”
· FAST FACTS: Today was his best series start of second place and he earned his best series finish of second. His previous best was eighth in Toronto in 2012. On Friday he earned his best series qualifying position of fourth for Duel 1 and started third when pole sitter Franchitti served a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change from Indy. He struggled with the handling of his car on the red alternate tires, drove into the runoff area which dropped him to 21st and ultimately finished 10th… He qualified 25th at Belle Isle last year with Dale Coyne Racing and had gained seven spots by Lap 14 before a problem surfaced and he retired in 23rd after mechanical failure… 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 4th at Detroit and best finish is 12th at Long Beach although he had the potential to finish higher in each race… Is ranked 12th in series standings with 130 points.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING IN DETROIT … The 2013 event marked the 14th year for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. The team’s highest start of second place and highest finish of first in the event came in the inaugural running on Belle Isle in 1992 by Bobby Rahal. Jakes matched the team’s best starting spot of second for Duel 2 today and brought RLL their third podium here (2nd: James Jakes 2013, Max Papis 2000). In total, the team earned four top-five finishes and 10 top-10’s here (chart available). Prior to 2013, the team prepared a total of 21 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08) and Takuma Sato (2012). Last year Sato qualified 12th and was sixth when he hit a curb that wrenched the steering wheel from his hands and retired in 20th place after he hit the wall. The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal and the No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts entry for James Jakes brought that total to 23 in 2013.
NEXT UP: The series will return to action for the fourth consecutive weekend for the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway, June 7-8. Graham Rahal qualified third there last year, led 27 laps but brushed the wall with two laps to go and finished second. James Jakes earned his best oval finish to date there in 2012 of 10th place.