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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans

Verizon IndyCar Series

DUAL 1 RACE NOTES/QUOTES – June 4, 2016

 

RAHAL FINISHED FOURTH AFTER RUNNING AS HIGH AS SECOND IN DUAL 1 OF THE CHEVROLET DUAL IN DETROIT

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “The guys did a great job. I’m frustrated that somehow Daly and Bourdais got around us. I’m disappointed about that. At the end of the day the United Rentals Honda was great, we put some great laps in and to come out fourth is a nice result. Obviously I would rather be on that podium but it’s a good first race for us here. I want to keep my podium streak here but we will get another chance tomorrow. Pit stops were key and my guys did a great job. We put a good solid run together there to finish fourth. That was a tough race. Literally it hurt my bones. The kick back in the steering wheel is so rough that my wrists are just aching.”

FAST FACTS: Rahal started 10th and passed Power, Kimball and Dixon for seventh place on the opening lap.  He was sixth when Kanaan pit right before his first stop on Lap 4.  Many pitted early to change to the more durable primary tires. Through great driving and strategy, Rahal was up to fourth place by Lap 24 of 70 and held the position four laps before his second pit stop on Lap 28. When Hinchcliffe crashed on Lap 42 just ahead of Rahal, many took advantage of the caution to pit and Rahal restarted the race in second place. The caution was longer than expected due to the series attempting to determine what to do with Power’s car that was on three wheels and this impacted the team strategy as Rahal now had a shorter amount of laps to run with clear track.  On the restart, he was able to hold off Dixon and maintain second place for a total of eight laps.  After he made his third and final stop from second place on Lap 52/70, he returned to the track in 10thplace as others had yet to stop. Track position was key to the outcome as Rahal was held up in a pack of cars behind Munoz, who must have been saving fuel, and then later Pagenaud and Castroneves. Once he got around them and was fourth, he tried to close on the leaders, which he did but it was not enough to attempt to gain a position.  Was his ninth race here… In his previous eight races here, his best finishes have come in the two years with second in 2014 (Dual 1) and third in 2015 (Dual 2).  In 2015, he started 13th in Detroit Race 1 but was in 15th place on a wet track on a Lap 6 restart. The field entered Turn 1 and Coletti attempted an ambitious three-wide pass but contact with Jakes pushed Jakes into Kanaan who bounced off the tires and into Rahal’s path. Right-side front suspension damage forced him to retire in 23rd place.  Standing water cancelled qualifying for Race 2 and the grid was set by entrant points so Rahal started fifth. He lost positions to Newgarden, Munoz and Bourdais in the opening laps but regained seventh when Munoz had mechanical problems. After the first cycle of stops concluded he regained seventh place and moved to sixth when Power pit to change his steering wheel. He came out eight from his second stop as those who took over the top three didn’t pit. On a restart, he lost a position to Castroneves but later gained it back by passing Newgarden when Castroneves did. He moved to sixth once Hunter-Reay made his out-of-sequence stop. Sato attempted a pass on Lap 48 but Rahal was able to stay ahead.  Dixon, who was on rain tires while the majority of the field were on slicks, held up a pack of cars until Rahal and others were able to pass him. He moved into fourth when Power also pit. He lost traction on the exit of Turn 11 and made his one move to the outside in front of Sato but the series deemed it blocking and he had to give up a position during the caution for Dixon and Kimball. On the restart, he passed Montoya for third. Fuel was tight for race leader Bourdais and a 10 minute red flag to clear debris from contact between teammates Power and Castroneves deemed the race a timed event once it resumed. Once it was restarted, Rahal closed on Sato but was unable to pass and finished third to Sato and Bourdais who was able to stretch his fuel in the shortened race and win… In 2014 he qualified 9th for Dual 1 in Detroit, led 10 laps, challenged for the win and finished second. He started 14th in Dual 2 after the team elected to qualify on primary tires to save a set of red alternate tires for the race – a strategy that didn’t pay off. On the opening lap, Power, who was later penalized with a drive through penalty for avoidable contact, squeezed Newgarden in Turn 4 and the two made contact. Rahal was behind the two and had nowhere to go and hit Newgarden before Wilson ran into the rear of the No. 15 entry which resulted in gear problems. By the time the team replaced the front nose and repaired the gear sensor, he returned to the track seven laps down. He ultimately retired in 21st place after he brushed the wall and damaged his suspension after completing 43 of 70 laps… He qualified 14th for Dual 1 in Detroit in 2013 but started 23rd due to an unapproved engine change at Indy.  He gained three spots on the opening lap and another two on the first restart on Lap 4. The team elected for an alternate strategy and the timing of the caution flags worked in the team’s favor and Rahal was able to climb 14 spots to finish ninth.  He qualified 15th for Dual 2 in Detroit and finished ninth… In 2012, he qualified seventh with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing but had a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change and started 17th.  He was eighth when he made his final stop on Lap 45/60 but during the red flag stop to repair the track, a clutch problem surfaced and he was unable to continue and retired in 19th place. In 2008 he drove for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and progressed to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying for the first time in his series career and qualified sixth.  The team chose the same pit strategy as then race leader Dixon which almost worked but a late race fourth caution botched the plan and he had to stop for a splash of fuel with three laps to go and dropped to 13th… He moved from 12th in series point standings to 9th with 205.  Entering the Indy 500 he was fifth but dropped to seventh after qualifying and 12th after the race.  He trails leader Simon Pagenaud by 119 points (292), second place Scott Dixon by 62 (235) and fifth-place-ranked James Hinchcliffe by 32 (205).

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT … This is RLL’s 17th year to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the team’s 20th and 21st races. The team’s highest start of second place came in the inaugural running on Belle Isle in 1992 by Bobby Rahal and in 2013 by James Jakes in Dual 2. Bobby Rahal brought the team its highest finish with a win in 1992, Jakes added a third podium for the team in 2013 with his second place finish and Graham Rahal added a fourth and fifth podium with his second place finish in Dual 1 in 2014 and third place finish in Dual 2 in 2015. In total, the team has earned five podiums (2nd – G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000), (3rd – G. Rahal 2015) six top-five finishes and 14 top-10’s here (chart available).

NEXT UP:  Qualifying for Dual 2 will take place tomorrow from 10:45-11:15 a.m. ET and the 70 lap Dual 2 will take the Green Flag at 3:50 PM.  Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commentary by the INDYCAR Radio Network. The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, Dual 2 will be televised live on ABC beginning at 3:30 PM ETSunday, June 5.