Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Grand Prix of Portland
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – September 1, 2018
RAHAL WILL START 10TH IN THE GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND AND SATO WILL START 20TH
1) Will Power 57.3467 / 123.292 mph (Group 2, Round 3)
10) Graham Rahal 57.7772 / 122.374 mph (Group 1, Round 2)
20) Takuma Sato 57.7848 / 122.357 mph (Group 2, Round 1)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 One Cure Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s ultra-competitive as everyone can see. If you gain a tenth (of a second), you gain four spots. We didn’t have quite enough in the heat. This morning in the cool, the car was pretty hooked up but in the afternoon we struggled a little bit. We’re starting tenth in the One Cure machine and we will put our heads down and work hard and try to stay out of the championship battle but we have a lot to gain too. We can get in the top five in the points so we’ll be charging. Tomorrow’s race is a little bit earlier being a noon start and it will be a little cooler, track-temp-wise, which will help. You can see that Takuma and I ran about the same times. We definitely need to work on improving the cars a little bit and saving the rears (tires) for the race a little bit. I think it’s going to be a physical race, a lot of laps around here with very little break.”
· FAST FACTS: It will be the fourth overall race for Graham at PIR and second in the headline event. He competed in the 2007 Champ Car World Series race where he started eighth and finished ninth in his rookie season for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. He started from pole in the Atlantics race here in 2006 but was hit by Simon Pagenaud on Lap 1 and finished 27th. In 2005, he earned his first professional win at PIR in the Star Mazda race after starting fourth and winning by a margin of 0.0317 seconds over James Hinchcliffe. Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas oval; 2017 – Race 1 & 2 Detroit streets) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street). His highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015. He is currently ranked fourth in series standings with 63 points. He is currently ranked eighth in series point standings with 351 points.
TAKUMA SATO, No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We had a very strong package this morning. The car felt good with the changes we made overnight so we were very positive about qualifying. Obviously the temperature was very different between practice and qualifying. It was cold this morning and we had a great session and then in qualifying it was the hottest so far of the weekend and changed our speed a lot. Unfortunately the balance wasn’t there and I wasn’t able to clock a fast enough time to progress so I am very disappointed. There are some places to pass but it will be very challenging. We will continue to work on improving the car and give it our best effort in the race.”
· FAST FACTS: Will be his first race at PIR… Has TWO IndyCar Series wins (2013 – Long Beach street course, 2017 – Indy 500 oval) and SEVEN poles (2011 Iowa oval, Edmonton street; 2013 Houston Race 1 street; 2014 St. Pete street, Detroit Race 2 street; 2017 Detroit Race 2, Pocono oval). He is ranked 13th in series point standings with 290.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT PORTLAND … Indy car racing is returning to Portland International Raceway (PIR) for the first time since the 24th consecutive race was held in 2007. It will mark the 13th time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing to compete in an Indy car race here and first since 2003 when Michel Jourdain Jr. started second but contact with Paul Tracy led to a 12th place finish. The team competed in CART and Champ Car-sanctioned races here from 1992-2003 with a best starting position of pole by Bryan Herta in 1998 and Max Papis in 2001 and best finish of first place by Max Papis in 2001. RLL has earned a total of three podium finishes (3rd – B. Rahal 1995, Herta 1998) and has led a total of 89 laps here (1998: Herta, 20; 2001 Papis, 69). In addition, the team competed in the Toyota Atlantic races here in 2003 (Danica Patrick, Jon Fogerty) and 2004 (Patrick and Chris Festa).
NEXT UP: The 105-lap Grand Prix of Portland will take the Green Flag at 12:09 PM PT tomorrow. NBCSN will begin live coverage at 2:30 PM ET. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commentary.
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