Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sonoma Raceway
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, September 16, 2017
RAHAL QUALIFIED NINTH FOR THE GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA INDYCAR SEASON FINALE; ROOKIE CLAMAN DeMELO WILL START 21ST
1) Josef Newgarden 1:15.5205 / 113.691 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
9) Graham Rahal 1:16.1968 / 112.682 mph (Group 2, Round 2)
21) Zachary Claman DeMelo 1:17.2814 / 111.100 mph (Group 1, Round 1)
ZACHARY CLAMAN DeMELO, No. 13 Paysafe Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Today was really enjoyable. I made some good progress throughout the day. I was pretty far off in the practice before qualifying but we made some changes to the car and I got better and I made some changes to my driving and I was only two-tenths off of making it through to the second qualifying round so I think it was a good result. I will keep working on the car and myself for tomorrow.”
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals / SoldierStrong Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We have just been a little off this weekend. Our United Rentals guys have worked extremely hard this weekend and the engineering staff has done a great job. We have thrown everything you can imagine at this car and we just can’t seem to make much of a difference. Today we really closed the gap; yesterday we were not this close. I’m proud of everyone here at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for keeping focused and putting us in a good spot for tomorrow. My gap to Rossi was only a couple thousandths (of a second) and only another couple of thousands to Hunter-Reay ahead of him. And Dixon was only nine-hundredths ahead so it’s tight. IndyCar racing is the tightest, most competitive motorsport in the world. We’ve proven that time and time again and today is no different. The Penske’s are solid. We’re going to have our work cut out for us tomorrow but hopefully we will find ourselves in front again.”
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT SONOMA … The 2017 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma race will mark the 10th Indy car event for RLLR here. The highest start for the team here is fifth by Graham Rahal in 2016. The highest finish is second place by Buddy Rice in 2005 and Graham Rahal in 2016. Prior to the 2017 event, the team prepared a total of 15 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 (2013-2016). The team has earned two podiums (2nd – Rice 2005, Rahal 2015), two top-five’s and five top-10 finishes at the track.
NEXT UP: The pre-race warm-up will take place tomorrow from 11:30-12:00 p.m. PT and the 85-lap race will take the Green Flag at 3:50 p.m. The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, September 17.
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