PENN GRADE DRIVER RAHAL THIRD FASTEST IN PRACTICE FOR THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH
1) Will Power 1:07.5992 / 104.806 mph
3) Graham Rahal 1:07.8853 / 104.364 mph
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 PennGrade Motor Oil Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I couldn’t get a good lap in on the new tires; it took me way too long. I guess today is a good day to do that but it’s just disappointing because I knew that the car had the lap time in it. Finally we got a decent one in though. The PennGrade car seems to be good, the balance isn’t bad. We have a couple of things to work on but we’re in a good position right now. And we have one less set of tires than some so we didn’t run on new tires as much as some but I feel good about where we are right now. I feel good about what the car is giving me. We have a little more work to do but in terms of competitiveness but we seem to be very close.”
- FAST FACTS: Will be his 10th Champ or Indy car race here, 11th overall, and fourth for his father’s team… In 2015, he qualified eighth in Long Beach but struggled in the race and finished 11th… In 2014, he finished seventh after struggling in practice and qualifying 23rd… In 2013, he finished second after starting 11th with RLL… In 2012, he qualified 15th for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR), started 8th due to penalties to Chevy-powered teams, ran as high as fourth but finished 24th due to contact with Marco Andretti… In 2011, he qualified 16th for SCCGR and finished 13th… In 2010 he started and finished 22nd for Sarah Fisher Racing after contact… In 2009, he started seventh and finished 12th for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR)…In 2008 he started ninth and had a podium in sight when he was alongside third place but contact during this pass led to a 13th place finish for NHLR. Started fifth in 2007 but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place for NHLR. In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth… Is ranked seventh in series point standings with 44 points after Round 2 of 16… 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.
3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 16 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: This marks the 17th time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete in the event. Although the team didn’t compete in Indy car races here from 2004-2011 while they fielded a fulltime entry in the Indy Racing League (2004-2008), they did compete in the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic races with Danica Patrick and in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race. In 2009, the team returned to the streets of Long Beach in the ALMS with BMW Team RLL and has finished on the podium each year since then which makes Long Beach the most successful venue for the team in the current WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Since its inaugural season in 2009, the team has not failed to finish the race without at least one car on the podium at Long Beach. The team has won the race three times (2011, 2013 and 2015).
NEXT UP: Practice will take place tomorrow morning from 10:00-10:45 a.m. PT. Qualifying will take place from 2:00-3:15 PM PT and air on NBCSN at 6:00 PM ET Saturday. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com. The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBCSN at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 17.