SUMMARY: On the opening lap, Rahal charged from his 21st place starting spot to 12th and was in 14th when he made his first pit stop. Different pit strategies played out in a race that saw only 10 caution laps of 110 total. In the closing laps of the race, Rahal was 13th but lost a position to Bourdais with two laps to go and finished 14th.
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I got a good start. I saw that it was going green and there was a stack-up in front of me and I knew you could go on green so I pulled off to the right and went straight on down the inside so it worked out for me. After that we struggled all day with a lack of grip. I could never attack the car; it was driving me more than I was driving it. There is a lot of work to be done but I think we had some highlights this weekend. We’ve just got to keep working on it.”
SEVENTH ST. PETE EVENT FOR RLL: This marked the seventh IndyCar race for the team in St. Pete and the 12th car entered. The team prepared Indy cars for Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Buddy Rice (2005, 2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013) and James Jakes (2013) prior to this year. The team led the 2012 race for 11 laps with Takuma Sato and for four laps with Hunter-Reay in 2008 (G. Rahal won) and has earned three top-10 finishes with the best being fifth by Meira in 2005. The highest starting position by the team is sixth place by Hunter-Reay in 2008.
NEXT UP: Round 2 of the Verizon IndyCar Series – the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – will take place April 11-13. Graham Rahal finished second in Long Beach last year for RLL. Oriol Servia will drive the No. 16 entry for the team in Long Beach.
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