Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
IZOD IndyCar Series
POLE DAY NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, May 18, 2013
THIRD TIME IS THE CHARM FOR JAKES WHO QUALIFIED 20TH FOR THE INDY 500; RAHAL AND JOURDAIN JR. WILL BE “BUMP DAY” QUALIFIERS DESPITE RAHAL SETTING THE FOURTH FASTEST TIME IN THE MORNING PRACTICE
POLE: Ed Carpenter (Seg 2) 4-lap avg. speed of 228.762 mph (L1: 39.2418, L2: 39.3054, L3: 39.3402, L4: 39.4815)
20th: James Jakes (Seg 1) 4-lap avg. speed of 225.809 mph (L1: 39.8114, L2: 39.8664, L3: 39.8515, L4: 39.8975)
OVERALL: Rahal was the first RLL driver to make a qualifying attempt and logged a four lap average of speed of 225.140 mph. Jakes was next from the team and set a four lap average of 225.401 mph but it was later disqualified due to being 0.5 lbs. under the minimum weight. Jourdain Jr. made an attempt and had a 4-lap average of 220.471 which did not make the top 24. When Jakes went back out for his second attempt, Rahal was the 24th car and on the “bubble” of the cars that would earn starting spots today so when Jakes ran a 4-lap average of 225.153 mph, he narrowly bumped Rahal. Rahal went out for a second attempt later but his race car was slower with each lap and wasn’t fast enough for the top-24. Jakes was later bumped by Townsend Bell and went on to make his third qualifying attempt with five minutes to go in the session. His 4-lap average of 225.809 mph earned him a 20th place qualifying spot. Jourdain Jr. went out for a second attempt as the gun went off but his 4-lap average of 218.329 mph was not fast enough. Once qualifying was complete, it was determined that the No. 15 and No. 17 race cars would each have engine changes performed tonight.
BOBBY RAHAL, team co-owner: “Obviously I am really pleased for James to come back in the eleventh hour to put together a great run to get back in the race today. I’m really disappointed for Graham. Every time we went out the car just went slower. The car handles well but we are just lacking. We’re going to be in the race but you would like to have been able to focus totally on the race setup. But we will still be able to do a lot of that. I have no doubt that tomorrow will be quite fast. It almost doesn’t matter where you start this race from. I think Michel just had way too much push in the car. We have got to get him more comfortable in the car for sure. Tomorrow will be a good day.”
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I qualified on the second day a couple of years ago and my best finish came from my worst starting spot (29). I’m pretty frustrated to not get in but what do you do? We’re fighting some uphill battles and we just can’t overcome them so it’s not worth trying at this point. We will just come back out tomorrow and start over.”
JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “First of all I would like to say thanks to the guys, without these guys it wouldn’t have been possible. The Acorn Stairlifts crew got it right there at the end and we made a couple of slight setup changes there at the end that will hopefully help Graham tomorrow. We’ve been quick all day. Among the quickest of the Honda’s and we just haven’t been able to show it. Obviously the guys made a mistake on the first run and we were disqualified but I’m not holding that against them. I would be upset if they weren’t pushing the limit. Now we can work on the race setup tomorrow and help the other two boys get in. (On the third attempt:) It was then or never. On the first run, the car wasn’t great and I had to lift through one of the corners so I knew that if we got the car balanced right it would be okay, and we did. We made a couple of changes and it was great and I knew it from the out lap. I thought ‘This could be a good run.’ The car was consistent and it’s been great all week. I think we’ve got a good race car so I’m looking forward to next weekend.”
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR, No. 17 Office Depot Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We tried some things in the morning practice. The balance in the car wasn’t perfect but it was okay. We felt there was a 225 mph lap there. We made some extremely small adjustments for qualifying. The track conditions were different but it was so hard to know exactly what they were. The car was so different, there was huge understeer and we made some adjustments in the car and it got so loose that I had to catch it many times. It was very difficult. We just made a qualifying run to check things; it was just practice but we had to do it because everyone was in line and we had to check some things in the car. It’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway, its tough for everybody. Sometimes for some people, sometimes for others and today it was us. Tomorrow is a new day. We have to put the car in the show. I have all the confidence in the world in Bruno (Couprie, engineer) and the guys, that we will be good.”
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT INDY … The team’s highest start and finish in the event came in 2004 when Buddy Rice won from pole. In addition, the team has earned a total of four podiums (2nd – Meira 2005; 3rd – Rahal 1994, 1995). The team was in contention to win the race as recent as 2011 when Bertrand Baguette led laps 139-140 and laps 189-197 of the 200 lap race. Had a caution come our before Baguette was forced to pit for a splash of fuel, he might have been the victor. The race ultimately ended under caution when JR Hildebrand crashed on the front straight while in the lead on the final lap… The 2013 race will mark the 16th year for the team in the event. Prior to 2013, the team prepared a total of 28 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1995), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Jimmy Vasser (2002-2003), Kenny Brack (2003, 2005), Buddy Rice (2004, 2006; DNC 2005 due to practice crash), Vitor Meira (2004, 2005), Roger Yasukawa (2004), Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Jeff Simmons (2006, 2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Oriol Servia (2009), Graham Rahal (2010), Bertrand Baguette (2011), Jay Howard (2011), Takuma Sato (2012) and Michel Jourdain (2012). The No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires entry for Graham Rahal, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts entry for James Jakes and No. 17 Office Depot entry for Michel Jourdain will bring that total to 31 in 2013.
NEXT UP: Practice will resume tomorrow from 9-10 a.m. ET. Qualifying will take place from 12-6 p.m. NBC Sports Network will air qualifying action from 12– 6:30 p.m. The 97th Indianapolis 500 race will be May 26 and will be televised by ABC at 12 p.m. (ET) and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network on Sirius XM (XM 94 and Sirius 212). Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com.
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