Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade

Verizon IndyCar Series

PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Monday, May 23, 2016




1)         Josef Newgarden      227.414 mph  111 laps

19)       Graham Rahal                       224.536 mph  88 laps

28)       Spencer Pigot                       222.867 mph  107 laps


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone entered under the name Rahal Letterman Lanigan with Theodore Racing:  “We started off good and then we made some changes which kind of took us sideways in terms of progress. Then we had to go back to the garage to replace the left rear upright. We went back out and just pounded around made a solid, good improvement. We ran on old tires and again, I could pass everyone I wanted to pass. I’m pretty pleased with the Steak ‘n Shake Honda. If we could go out next Sunday and the conditions were just like this, I’d be a happy man. Legitimately, I felt like there was nobody that I was around that I couldn’t pass and I don’t think I’ve ever said that on the Monday before the race. We’ll probably just polish it (car), put it away and then go for Carb Day and see what we’ve got.”

FAST FACTS: Will start his ninth Indy 500 from 26th place. 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:  “I think we made some progress throughout the middle part of the session. Towards the end, we tried a few things that didn’t give us what we were looking for so we will go back and see where we can improve. It was good to finally get some running in the pack. We missed quite a lot of time during the week but I think we can make some changes and have a good car for the race. It’s definitely a lot different in the pack with all the drafting, people passing and checking up and doing all sorts of stuff.  Its unpredictable out there but it’s exciting. It’s definitely going to take time to really get the hang of it but I think Carb Day will be another good practice for the race.”

FAST FACTS: He will start the Indy 500 from the 29th position in 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… 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.