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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Iowa Corn 300 – Iowa Speedway

Verizon IndyCar Series

QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, July 9, 2016

 

RAHAL WILL START 12TH IN SUNDAY’S IOWA CORN 300 AT IOWA SPEEDWAY

 

POLE: Simon Pagenaud        2-lap avg. speed of 185.855 mph       (L1: 17.3089, L2: 17.3245)

12th:    Graham Rahal                        2-lap avg. speed of 182.253 mph       (L1: 17.6816, L2: 17.6364)

 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack/RLL Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “This Mi-Jack team is going to continue to work hard. We wanted to be the fastest Honda but ended up second fastest. For whatever reason we struggled in a little in Turns 3 and 4 but overall that was a decent qualifying run. We got a little conservative maybe on downforce. I told our guys that I thought if we were a little more trim (on aerodynamic setup) and the balance was right, we could go quicker. We didn’t have a good practice this morning and didn’t get a good read on our qualifying simulation. It’s hard as a single car team; we’re kind of guessing. Race day is a whole different animal. We’re going to do our best to get this car to the front.”

 

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his ninth race here.  He has earned six top-10 finishes in eight starts with his best being fourth in 2015.  In 2015, he started 17th and was 10th when he had to pit early due to his right rear tire deflating and went two laps down to the leader. Later he got back on the lead lap and reported a shifting issue on Lap 98/300 that slowed his return to the track from his second pit stop after having to reboot and he dropped a lap down again. Later in the race, the team took advantage of a caution period to pit for fuel and new tires which would enable them to go further than the leaders on the next stint and possibly pick up a yellow that would put them back on the lead lap. While leading and with five laps to go before they were forced to pit for their last stop, Sato brought out a caution period and the team stopped for fuel and tires. Due to the reoccurring shifting issue, he had to leave the pits in sixth gear rather than first and returned to the track in eight place, and on the lead lap. The race restarted with 23 laps to go and Rahal moved from eight place into fourth by Lap 294/300. He held his position and finished fourth. In 2014, he started 15th and stayed on the lead lap with the help of the timing of the caution periods. He made his sixth stop on a late race caution period for Montoya and returned to the track in 10th place. Once the race was restarted with six laps to go he moved up to eighth place and passed Castroneves on the final lap for seventh.He set the 19th fastest lap time in single-car qualifying in 2013 to determine that he would be in Heat Race 2. He drove to victory in Heat Race 2 after starting seventh and progressed to Heat Race 3 where he also started seventh. Contact with Ed Carpenter on Lap 16 of 50 damaged his front wing and he held on to finish ninth of 10 cars to match his best start at Iowa of ninth.  He started sixth after engine penalties were served and charged from 10th to second on his second stint. He challenged for the win and led Lap 160 until the last 20 laps where he dropped to fourth while navigating traffic and then fifth on the final lap.  In 2012 he qualified 10th, started 20th (penalty for unapproved engine change) and finished ninth with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). In 2011 he qualified 20th and finished 15th with SCCGR. In 2010, he qualified 17th with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, led 11 laps and finished ninth. In 2009 he qualified ninth and finished 11th with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) and in 2008 he qualified 16th and finished 10th with NHLR… Rahal is ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 261. He is only 22 points behind fifth place Josef Newgarden (283) and 40 behind second place Helio Castroneves (301). Series leader Simon Pagenaud has 375 points.

 

RLL AT IOWA: The Iowa Corn Indy 300 will mark the seventh event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing at Iowa Speedway.  The best finish for the team is third in 2007 by Scott Sharp who also earned the top start for the team of fourth the same year.  Prior to the 2016 event, the team prepared a total of eight entries for drivers Scott Sharp (2007), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012) Graham Rahal (2013-2015) and James Jakes (2013).The team has earned one podium (3rd, Sharp 2007) and five, top-10 finishes at the track.  The No. 15 entry for Graham Rahal will bring that total to nine in 2016.

 

NEXT UP: Final practice will take place tonight from 6:15-6:45 p.m. CT.  The Iowa Corn 300 will take the Green Flag at 4:40 p.m. CT and CNBC will begin coverage at 4 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. CT.  Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes commentary by the INDYCAR Radio Network.