Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix – Phoenix International Raceway
Verizon IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 2, 2016
RAHAL FINISHED FIFTH IN THE DESERT DIAMOND WEST VALLEY PHOENIX GRAND PRIX AFTER STARTING 19TH
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I knew I had to make up a bunch of spots in the first few laps. I got a good start and got a couple of positions on the first lap and another when Luca dropped back. I felt decent about that, I was just trying to close the gap. The team was keeping me up to date on where (race leader) Helio was the whole time and I knew he couldn’t get through traffic. The frustrating thing is that I felt like I had the best car out there. I could catch everybody but I just couldn’t pass at all so I started to save fuel. We got two yellows and it helped a lot. The pit stops were amazing as always. I said it from the start that I felt confident today because of those guys. Had I not had that crew and those pit stops behind me, I wouldn’t have felt as good about this race going into it. Getting the points we did for fifth place helps us in the standings for sure. We’re going to keep challenging and pushing hard.”
- FAST FACTS: Started 19th in his first race at this track. He passed Daly and Hawksworth on the opening lap and moved into 16th when Filippi had a problem. He was in 15th when he made his first stop and the crew gained two positions in the pits. He moved into the top 10 near the halfway point of the 250-lap race and was on his “in laps” of his second and third stops when a caution period came out but was able to continue on low fuel each time until the pits opened. He ran as high as third, which is the position he was running in when he entered his pit for his third and final stop but lost a spot to Simon Pagenaud. He was passed by Kanaan on Lap 223 of 250 and was in fifth place when the final caution came out for debris with a few laps to go and the race ended under yellow… Has three IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course) and two poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… He is ranked seventh in series point standings with a total of 44 to points leader Simon Pagenaud’s 83.
NEXT UP: The majority of the series will participate in a test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 6 including Graham Rahal. Round 3 of the Verizon IndyCar Series season will be the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 15-17.