Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – May 29, 2015
RAHAL QUALIFIED 13TH FOR DUAL 1 OF THE CHEVROLET DUAL IN DETROIT
1) Will Power 1:16.0941 / 111.178 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
13) Graham Rahal 1:18.2239 / 108.151 mph (Group 1, Round 1)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m pretty disappointed with qualifying. The team has been doing such a great job and we’ve been so competitive everywhere and when we got on track this morning, the car just felt like it was off and that carried through to qualifying. We’re going to have to make some changes for the morning practice but hopefully we can make the right changes, head in the right direction and have a good day tomorrow. Starting 13th isn’t the worst thing we’ve ever done but it’s certainly not the best. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. Hopefully we can get the Steak ‘n Shake car up there. It would be slippery for sure in the rain here but it’s the same for everybody. I would feel pretty good about it if it rained. I feel like I could make up some positions but we’re just going to have to see what tomorrow brings.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his seventh and eighth races here. 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, Will Power, who was later penalized with a drive through penalty for avoidable contact, squeezed Josef Newgarden in Turn 4 and the two made contact. Rahal was behind the two and had nowhere to go and hit Newgarden before Justin 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 is currently ranked fifth in series standings with a total of 204. He trails fourth place Helio Castroneves by two points (206), third place Scott Dixon by seven (211) and second place Will Power by 43 (247) after Round 6 of 16.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT DETROIT … This will be RLL’s 16th year to compete at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the team’s 18th and 19th 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 with his second place finish in Dual 1 last year. In total, the team has earned four podiums (G. Rahal 2014, Jakes 2013 & Max Papis 2000 – 2nd), five top-five finishes and 13 top-10’s here (chart available). Prior to 2015, the team prepared a total of 24 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08) Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014) and James Jakes (2013). The No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake entry for Graham Rahal will bring that total to 25 in 2015.
NEXT UP: Practice 2 will take place tomorrow from 8:55-9:25 a.m. ET and the 70 lap Dual 1 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 1 will be televised live on ABC beginning at 3:30 PM ET Saturday, May 30.