Rahal Finished Sixth in the INDYCAR Grand Prix After Starting 20th

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

INDYCAR Grand Prix

Verizon IndyCar Series

RACE NOTES/QUOTES – May 13, 2017

 

RAHAL FINISHED SIXTH IN THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX AFTER STARTING 20TH

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsforTroops.com Dallara/Honda/ Firestone:  “It’s was a pretty good day.  We were on attack mode on the first stint. We had to pump out a whole bunch of qualifying laps and close the gaps.  My United Rentals boys did a great job in the pits because we got by a lot of guys there and we were able to pass a lot of guys.  Overall I’m pleased with the day that we had.  We completed all 85 laps and raised $100 a lap for SoldierStrong and Turns for Troops which means a lot to me.  It’s just a good way to start the month.  I was disappointed with qualifying but I’ll take a sixth.  I was fighting the whole way and guys – the lapped cars — certainly weren’t making it easy there at the end. I was running low on Push to Pass and I knew Max (Chilton) was coming.  It was a very physical day but I’m looking forward to the 500 coming up here  I take pride in my race craft come Sunday’s but you better believe I wish my job was easier than that. Because on a day like today we had a car to win this race, I guarantee you that so it’s disappointing starting where we start and putting ourselves in that hole. This field and the competitiveness of the drivers is why there were no yellows and when there are no yellows, 85 laps on a warm day like this is a good workout.  We know we can compete, we know we can run up front. We’ve had a lot of things go against us this year but today, finally, we had just a smooth, good day.”

  • FAST FACTS: Rahal started 20th and was ahead of Kimball, Jones, Andretti and Kanaan by the end of the opening lap. He cycled into ninth before his first stop and returned to the track in 15th. He passed Kimball again for 14th and ran as high as fourth before his second stop on Lap 45 which saw him return to the track in ninth. He passed Rossi for eighth on Lap 51 and was as high as second place during the next pit cycle before he made his final stop on Lap 66. He returned to the track in sixth place and navigated lapped traffic between himself and fifth place but had one more lapped car ahead of him and was unable to challenge for the position before the checkered flag… Was his fourth Indy car race on the road course at IMS. In 2016, Graham Rahal qualified third but was disqualified for being underweight and started 24th in the 25-car field but charged back to finish fourth. In 2015, he finished second after starting 17th. He moved to sixth on the opening lap after avoiding a multi-car accident and passed Filippi for fifth place on Lap 10. As others made their first pit stops he moved into the lead for laps 22-23 and gained valuable track position before he pitted at the end of Lap 23. He returned to the track in fifth place and moved into second a few laps later when three out-of-pit-sequence cars made their stops. Leader Will Power pitted and Rahal returned to the lead on Laps 40-43 after being able to stretch his stint due to maintaining good fuel mileage compared to others. The team opted to stay on track one lap longer than previously determined before his second stop but at the pit exit Rahal closed on the car of Scott Dixon, who was returning to the track with cold tires and a heavy fuel load and slightly held up Rahal, who had a light fuel load and hot tires. Rahal pitted the next time by, at the end of Lap 43, and returned to the race in fifth place but again reclaimed second place a few laps later. While navigating lapped traffic earlier, most notably the 23rd place car of Josef Newgarden, who ran between he and Power, the gap to Power grew at times but he finally passed him after he returned to the track from his third and final stop. On Lap 63 of 82 he was -4.4 seconds behind Power but closed to -1.4 by Lap 70. He ultimately took the checkered flag 1.5 seconds behind the reigning series champion… In the inaugural Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2014, Rahal started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21stHe is ranked 13th in series standings with 87 points. 

NEXT UP: Opening day for the 101st Indianapolis 500 is Monday. Oriol Servia will participate in a refresher practice session and the whole field will begin practice at 2 p.m. ET.

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