Rahal Set the 15th Fastest Time in Practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Iowa Corn 300 – Iowa Speedway
Verizon IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, July 17, 2015

1st: Tony Kanaan 17.7544 / 181.273 mph
15th: Graham Rahal 18.0875 / 177.935 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “All in all I think it was a decent session. Obviously we have some catching up to do. Our cars strength is the long run. It seems very consistent. This weekend is reminding me a bit of Fontana in that we just seem to be lacking the qualifying sort of speed but over the long run the car feels really good so we’re going to keep working at it and keep plugging away. Our strength this season has been keeping the rears (tires) underneath us over the stint. I hope that plays out because we need it. We need to have a good day; we can’t have a bad one anymore. This team has been doing a heck of a job. We’ll keep working hard and hope it goes our way. Obviously in the race when the sun goes down it will be different conditions so we’ll see what happens.”

* FAST FACTS: Will be his eighth race here. He has earned five top-10 finishes in seven starts with his best being fifth in 2013. 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… His top finish this season is a win at Auto Club Speedway (June 27) and his top start is fifth in Dual 2 in Detroit… Rahal and Helio Castroneves both have a total of 370 points but Rahal is ranked third due to having more wins this season than Castroneves. Rahal trails second place Scott Dixon by 15 (385) and leader Juan Pablo Montoya by 69 (439) after Round 12 of 16.

RLL AT IOWA: The Iowa Corn Indy 300 will mark the sixth 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 2015 event, the team prepared a total of seven entries for drivers Scott Sharp (2007), Jeff Simmons (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012) Graham Rahal (2013-2014) and James Jakes (2013). The team has earned ONE podium (3rd, Sharp 2007) and four top-10 finishes at the track. The No. 15 entry for Graham Rahal will bring that total to eight in 2015.

NEXT UP: Qualifying will take place from 3:00-4:00 p.m. CT tomorrow and NBCSN will broadcast coverage on a tape delayed basis beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Iowa Corn 300 will take the Green Flag at 7:50 p.m. CT and NBCSN will begin coverage at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT. Streaming video and Timing and Scoring information is available for all practice sessions from www.indycar.com and includes commentary by the INDYCAR Radio Network.