Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone 600 – Texas Motor Speedway
Round 9 of 16 in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series
NEWS & NOTES:
June 5-6, 2015
Tape delayed on NBCSN on Friday, June 5 at 6 p.m. ET and live on www.indycar.com (timing & scoring w/radio commentary)
Live on Saturday, June 6 at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN
The race will air on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209 and
248 laps / 360.84 miles
Will Power (two-lap average speed of 218.896 mph)
RAHAL’S BEST OVAL START/FINISH:
Pole (Kansas 2009) / 2nd (Texas 2012 and Milwaukee 2011)
RAHAL’S BEST TMS START/FINISH:
3rd in 2012 / 2nd in 2012
RLL’S TOP START/FINISH AT TMS:
1st by Scott Sharp 2007 / 2nd by Vitor Meira 2005
NEWS & NOTES:
1 POLE, 1 PODIUM, 2 FRONT ROW STARTS IN 12 EVENTS AT TMS FOR RLL RACING
The 2015 Firestone 600 will mark the 13th event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at the 1.5-mile, high-banked Texas Motor Speedway oval. The team’s highest start of pole with Scott Sharp came in 2007 and highest finish of second came in 2005 with Vitor Meira. The team earned another front row start in 2004 when Buddy Rice qualified second. Overall the team has earned three top-five finishes and six top-10’s at the track.
Prior to the 2015 event, the team prepared a total of 18 entries for drivers such as Kenny Brack (2003 x2), Buddy Rice (2004 x2; 2005, 2006), Vitor Meira (2004 x2; 2005), Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Jay Howard (2011, Schmidt/RLL) and Takuma Sato (2012), James Jakes (2013) and Graham Rahal (2013-2014). The No. 15 entry for Graham Rahal will bring that total to 19 in 2015.
FIFTH PLACE IN THE POINT STANDINGS AT THE MIDSEASON MARK
Rahal has run in the top five in six of eight races this season with the exception of Long Beach and Detroit Race 1, and has led the race five times for a total of 26 laps. A penalty in St. Pete for avoidable contact while trying to pass a damaged race car, a shortened race due to weather in NOLA and getting collected after contact between three other cars on Lap 6 of 70 in Detroit Race 1 potentially limited the amount of points he collected in those events but he is currently ranked fifth in series standings with a total of 246. He trails fourth place Helio Castroneves by two (248), third place Scott Dixon by six (252) and second place Will Power by 48 (294) after Round 8 of 16.
RAHAL ON THE AERO KIT CONFIGURATION AND EXPECTATIONS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY RACE
“In recent years, the racing has been difficult because we removed downforce and made the racing harder and harder. At this point, it’s hard to say what it’s going to be like this year but I’m sure we will put on a good race. We are going back to using the old style mainplane so I don’t know that anybody has a real idea of where the car is going to be, performance-wise just yet. At Indy the aero kit was very good but there are a couple of different things that will change for Texas as far as the aero kit goes. The pods will be blocked off and the rear mainplane goes back to the one we ran last year so there are a few things that are different. We’re just going to have to see how it all plays out. But we always put on a good race and a good show so I’m sure it will be the same.”
RAHAL ON THE ALWAYS-EXCITING RACE AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
“The first things I think about when I think about the race at TMS are close racing and craziness. It’s always close and always hard fought. It feels good to get that race under your belt.”
84TH PODIUM FOR RLL’S INDY CAR PROGRAM AT DETROIT
Graham Rahal brought the team its 84th Indy car podium with his third place finish in Dual 2 in Detroit Sunday. It was the third podium finish in the past five races for the team and third of the past four road/street course races. He finished second at Barber Motorsports Park, second in the Indy GP, fifth in the Indy 500, 23rd in Detroit Race 1 and third in Detroit Race 2. To date the Indy car team has earned 20 wins, 37 second-place finishes and 27 third-place finishes.
GRAHAM AT TMS INCLUDING HIS NEAR-WIN IN 2012
The 2015 race will mark Graham Rahal’s seventh event here. In 2014, he qualified 21st and finished 12th. In 2013 he qualified 19th and finished 21st after struggling with the handling of his race car. He qualified third in 2012, led 27 laps and looked close to earning his second series victory but a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). He qualified 20th for the first of two heat races in 2011 and finished ninth with SCCGR. He drew the fourth starting spot for Race 2 in 2011 and finished 30th. He did not compete in Texas in 2010 during his partial season of competition. He qualified 12th with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) in 2009 but retired in 22nd place after contact. In 2008, he qualified 18th and finished 11th with NHLR.