Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, September 17, 2016
RAHAL EARNED HIS TOP STARTING POSITION OF THE SEASON WITH FIFTH PLACE FOR THE GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA INDYCAR SEASON FINALE; ALSO HIS TOP START HERE
POLE: Simon Pagenaud 1:16.2565 / 112.594 mph (Round 3; Group 1)
5th: Graham Rahal 1:16.7149 / 111.921 mph (Round 3; Group 1)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a really solid end to the day for the Steak ‘n Shake team. It’s been a challenging weekend. No one has had their head down but we have had to work very hard to get ourselves into a good spot for sure. I don’t think any session was smooth for us so far but to come out of qualifying the top Honda is something that makes us very proud, particularly since the Andretti team has been so strong here this weekend. It was nice to beat them out there. We’re fifth and have four Penske’s ahead of us. My guys have worked very hard; we’re the little team that can. Tomorrow hopefully we can get a victory. It would mean a lot to end the season off strong. Obviously we’ve got championship contenders in front of us, we’ve got to be smart about what we’re doing tomorrow but we’re here to win. I’m not going to sit around and wait for someone else to do it. We’ll push as hard as we can and hopefully we can get Honda, PennGrade, United Rentals and the rest of our sponsors in Victory Lane. We just have to have a good solid race. We started up front last year but everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. We just need to be smart tomorrow, protect those rear tires and have a good solid race.”
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT SONOMA … The race will mark the ninth Indy car event for RLL here. The highest start for the team here is FIFTH (today) by Graham Rahal. The highest finish is second place by Buddy Rice in 2005. Prior to the 2016 event, the team prepared a total of 14 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005-2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Danica Patrick (2005-2006), Jeff Simmons (2006), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-2008), Takuma Sato (2012), James Jakes (2013) and Graham Rahal (2013-2015). The team has earned one podium (2nd – Rice 2005), one top-five and four top-10 finishes at the track. The No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake entry for Graham Rahal will bring the Indy car total to 15 entries in 2016.
NEXT UP: Morning warmup will take place tomorrow from 10:00-10:30 a.m. PT and the 85-lap GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will take the Green Flag at 3:50 PM PT. NBCSN will begin coverage at 6:30 PM ET Sunday, September 18.
PHOTO AND VIDEO AVAILABLE: Media members who register on the IndyCar Series media site have access to photography as well as video. Register for access to photos at: /www.indycarmedia.com/pages/ApplyforAccess