Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

ABC IndyCar

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach
IZOD IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, April 21, 2013


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We performed the way we ought to each and every weekend here in Long Beach. We came out here and the Midas / Big O Tires car was right there all the time. Qual­i­fying was a little disap­pointing but we were in the top-five almost every session and I felt, going into the race that’s exactly what we could do here. To be honest it just feels phenom­enal to get this result. God, I was so close to winning yet again. On the last restart, I think that if (Charlie) Kimball wasn’t in the way we would have had a great run at it. Man it feels so good to be on the podium here. There is so much history in Long Beach.  The only problem is that I think this is the fifth time a Rahal has finished second here so we’re going to have to break the curse even­tu­ally. I can’t thank these guys enough; they have done a great job.”

FAST FACTS: With his second place finish and 12th Indy car podium, he jumped to seventh in series points with 66… Was his seventh Champ/Indy car race here, eighth overall, and first for his father’s team.  His previous best start/finish here came in 2007 when he started fifth but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething prob­lems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place.  In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth. He was in podium contention several times but various chal­lenges took him out of that possi­bility… This is Rahal’s first full season at RLL, sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seventh in a top open wheel racing series (CCWS 2007)… The Ohio native recorded 92 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series (2007 – 2012) capturing one win, two poles, 19 top-five and 44-top 10 finishes. He led a total of 28 laps in 2012 – 27 at Texas Motor Speedway where he nearly claimed his second series victory but brushed the wall and finished second — had an average start of 12.4 and average finish of 11.2, earned three podium finishes and completed 87.2 percent of the laps run (1,841 of 2,111).

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stair­lifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I nearly got looped at the start; I was lucky not to spin really.  And then every­thing was kind of going according to plan but on the first stop we had a problem with the left front and had a long stop which dropped us to the back.  Then we were just grad­u­ally working our way up from there really.  It was a tough after­noon. We were fighting from there and managed to climb up a few posi­tions but then the last stint was a fuel-saving one so it was diffi­cult to over­take. It was disap­pointing but the Acorn Stair­lifts guys will bounce back at Brazil.”

FAST FACTS: Was his third race here, best start at this track and first with RLL after having driven for Dale Coyne Racing in the previous two. He qual­i­fied 22nd in 2012 but started 14th after grid penal­ties to Chevy-powered teams but made a mistake while running up front and finished 11th.  In 2011, he qual­i­fied 23rd and finished 15th… Jakes is competing in 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… Is ranked 22nd in series stand­ings with 40 points.

MIKE CONWAY, No. 17 blu eCigs Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It had been a great weekend so far and obvi­ously I wanted to come away with a good result. Unfor­tu­nately we had an elec­trical issue of some kind. It’s a shame. At the begin­ning we dropped back on that first restart; I was in a bit of trouble really because I couldn’t move anywhere. I was stuck on the inside and everyone just started funneling down the outside and I lost five or six posi­tions. That was a shame. We were just stuck there between all the guys on reds (Fire­stone alter­nate tires) and it was diffi­cult to do anything.  After that, we felt quick but then we came in and changed strate­gies and leapfrogged quite a few guys so it was a good call.  We ended up fourth and were around guys on blacks so we would have done really well but unfor­tu­nately, once the safety car came out, the problem started to kick in. It’s unfor­tu­nate because the blu eCigs car has been great all weekend so it’s a shame we couldn’t get the result.”

FAST FACTS: Was his fifth race in Long Beach and first IndyCar Series race of 2013.  The elec­trical charging system was not working prop­erly so the car was losing battery power and that caused the engine to not run prop­erly.  The battery was changed once as was the power distri­b­u­tion block but neither solved the problem so it would have taken much longer to fix there­fore the team was forced to retire from the race.  In 2012, he qual­i­fied 14th, started seventh after series penal­ties to Chevy-powered teams and retired in 22nd due to mechan­ical issues while driving for AJ Foyt Racing.  In 2011, he qual­i­fied third, led 14 laps and earned his first series victory with Andretti Autosport.  In 2010, he qual­i­fied 16th and finished 10th with Dreyer & Rein­bold Racing. In 2009, he qual­i­fied 16th and retired in 21st after contact… RLL expanded to three entries for Long Beach with primary spon­sor­ship from blu eCigs for the event. Blu eCigs is also an asso­ciate sponsor for the team for the full season.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT LONG BEACH… 2013 marks the 22nd consec­u­tive season of compe­ti­tion for the team and 14th Indy car race in Long Beach… In total, the team won three poles (Bryan Herta 1998, Jimmy Vasser 2002, Michel Jour­dain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Kenny Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place FOUR times (Rahal 1992 – 1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013) and earned six podiums (2nd — Rahal 1992 – 1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013; 3rd — Herta 1998 – 1999).

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