ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway – QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – August 22, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway
Verizon IndyCar Series


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “That was a good qualifying session for sure. To get the Steak ‘n Shake Honda in the top-five feels really was good. I definitely think the aero efficiency of the Chevy has an advantage over us here but my guys did a great job to get us a starting spot up front, particularly engineers Mike (Talbott) and (race engineer) Eddie (Jones) who chose a good downforce level (for qualifying). We didn’t shoot for it all. I told them ‘Lets be conservative, let’s get some good laps and we’ll be alright.’  To be the top Honda feels good again but we’ve got a big day tomorrow, I’ve got to make up some points and I think we can do it. We have to chase down Juan in the points. Obviously qualifying didn’t go his way but Juan is one heck of a competitor and I know he will be there right on our heels tomorrow. This is a relief. Starting practice today we were so slow I was really concerned but all of a sudden the car came to life.”

  • FAST FACTS: Will be his third Indy car race here.  In 2014, he started 14th and moved into 11th on the opening lap but his helmet pad on the right side of the cockpit flew out of the car and he gradually dropped to 19th. The helmet pad helps the drivers head stay upright while sustaining high G-Forces for 200 laps and he was unable to see as well. Once he made his first stop and the team replaced the helmet pad he steadily climbed back up the field and ran 12th midway through the race and held the fastest lap of the race through his third stint. He was in 11th place when a problem surfaced on Lap 158/200. The car appeared to abruptly change and Rahal spun. The side of the car made contact with the Turn 2 wall and he ultimately retired in 19th place… In 2013 he qualified 17th, started 16th due to a grid penalty ahead and finished 18th… His top finishes this season are wins at the 500-mile race at Auto Club Speedway (June 27) and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Aug. 2) and his top start is fifth in Dual 2 in Detroit (based on Entrant Points) and Pocono… Rahal is second in series standings with a total of 456 points and trails leader Juan Pablo Montoya by 9 (465) after Round 14 of 16.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT POCONO AND IN 500 MILE RACES… Will be the third race for the team at this track.  The team entered cars for Graham Rahal and James Jakes in 2013 and Rahal in 2014. Rahal earned the best start for the team here today with fifth place and best finish is 12th by Jakes in 2013. The team’s highest 500-mile start is pole by Buddy Rice in the 2004 Indy 500 and the team has two 500-mile wins – 2004 Indy 500 by Buddy Rice and 2015 MAVTV 500 by Graham Rahal.

NEXT UP:  The 200-lap ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway will take the Green Flag at 2:36 p.m. ET Sunday. NBC Sports Network will begin live coverage at 2 p.m. ET.