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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade

Verizon IndyCar Series

PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – May 18, 2016

 

RAHAL 10TH FASTEST ON THE SECOND DAY OF PRACTICE FOR THE INDY 500; PIGOT UNINJURED AFTER A CRASH THAT WAS CAUSED BY PUNCTURED TIRES

 

1)         Ryan Hunter-Reay                228.202 mph  94 laps

10)       Graham Rahal                       226.244 mph  97 laps

25)       Spencer Pigot                       223.667 mph  39 laps

 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The day started off really good, we put some great lap times up there early in the day then we seemed to struggle. I’m not 100 percent sure what’s going on here but we’re struggling with mechanical grip.  When we follow other cars obviously there is an aero effect but it seems like some others are a lot better than us. It’s a little frustrating because we’ve been working very hard at this the last two days trying to get a bit of a balance out of it but we can’t seem to make a dent but we’re going to keep trying hard.  This month is fun, but it’s not. It’s fun because we’re here, the atmosphere is cool but it’s not (fun) because its stressful, there is a lot of work, a lot of commitments but we’re trying hard to stay focused on the task at hand. We love being here, there’s no doubt about that, and we want to win this thing more than anything in the world but we have a lot of work to do.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his ninth Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in five of his eight previous races here.  In 2008, with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he was the highest Indy 500 starter of the Champ Car transitioning teams with his 13th place qualifying effort but made contact on L36 after driving high to avoid the slower car of Lloyd and retired in 33rd place.  He qualified fourth for NHLR in the 2009 Indy 500 but made contact on L56 while fifth and retired in 31st. In 2010, he competed for his father’s team – RLL – for the first time in an Indy car. He qualified seventh and ran as high as second but a blocking penalty on L188/200 dropped him from third to a 12th place finish. He qualified 29th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and earned his best finish at Indy to date of third place after he led six laps. In 2012, he qualified 12th, ran as high as third and finished 13th for SCCGR. In 2013, he qualified 26th and pitted from ninth place for his second to last stop and his outside rear tire changer had a mechanical problem and Rahal returned to the track in 21st place. He was in 17th with eight laps to go and lost control of his car in Turn 2 and made contact with the wall. In 2014, he started 20th but finished 33rd due to an electrical problem that kept shutting his engine off .  In 2015, he drove to a fifth place finish after starting 17th. … His best qualifying position of the season so far is third at the IMS road course (later DQ’d due to being a few pounds under weight) and best finish is second at Barber… He is fifth in series point standings with a total of 133.  Fourth place Castroneves has 159 (+26) and leader Pagenaud has 242 (+109).  

 

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 16 RLL / Mi-Jack / Manitowoc Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  (Said after his 1:56 p.m. ETcrash:) “The car was feeling pretty good, I think we’d been making improvements. We’d just done our quickest lap I think the run before, so everything was feeling good. So not really sure what happened there, so we’ll just have to go and look to see what caused the spin.  It’s obviously a big setback for me, for the team, obviously not what you want to happen on just the second day. Like I said, we’ll just try to put everything back together and then pick up where we left off.

(Said at 6 p.m. ET🙂 “After we looked at the data, we found that the right front tire went down followed immediately by the right rear so I must have run over something that cut the tires and caused the spin.”

FAST FACTS: The team is preparing his back-up car with the hope to run a full day on Friday Will be his first IndyCar Series race on an oval and third overall… In his series debut in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Pigot ran as high as 12th and finished 14th…Although he started from pole in two of his four races here, his finishing positions have been limited due to Turn 1 incidents in all four races.  In 2014, he competed in the Pro Mazda doubleheader where he started from pole in both races and finished eighth in both.  In 2015, he competed in the Indy Lights doubleheader where he qualified sixth for Race 1 and finished seventh and qualified and finished 12th in race two.  He still holds the Pro Mazda qualifying record which he set in 2014 (1:26.9623 / 105.836)… Pigot is the most successful driver since the formation of the Mazda Road to Indy in 2010 with 24 race wins to his credit in USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. He was the 15th driver to graduate from the Mazda Road to Indy into the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2010.  He has won no fewer than four scholarship prizes from Mazda to maintain his career’s momentum to get to the IndyCar Series.

 

NEXT UP: Practice will take place from 12-6 p.m. ET tomorrow.