Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Verizon IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, April 17, 2016
PENNGRADE DRIVER RAHAL FINISHED 15TH IN THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH AFTER RUNNING AS HIGH AS NINTH IN A FUEL ECONOMY RACE
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 PennGrade Motor Oil Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I think we just made some mistakes today overall and put ourselves in a bit of a bind. With our strategy, we really needed a yellow but it’s what we needed to do to try to make up some ground after starting 17th and we did there for a while. We coasted across the finish line with no fuel and barely made it. It kind of stunk for me today because I had a great car, I just couldn’t do anything. As a series we need to look at the way that we generate the downforce on these cars. We need to get rid of so much top side downforce, put the under wings back on. We all have the parts so it’s a no-expense addition that will allow everybody to follow closer and make the racing better. And the races need to be longer. That race flew by and it shouldn’t be borderline two stops, make it three and if you make it three the strategy calls would be a lot more fun and guys will be driving hard all the time. There will be more action for the fans. I’m proud of the PennGrade boys because they worked hard this weekend. I put them in a hole yesterday. And once again the stops were great.”
- FAST FACTS: The team elected for an alternate strategy due to starting from 17th place. Graham passed two cars on the start and another by Lap 3 to run 14th..He made his first stop on Lap 20 of 80 and returned to the race in 19th place. As the field cycled through their stops he moved up to 10th place and later made his second stop on Lap 48 which came one lap earlier than expected which forced the team into even more of a fuel-savings mode. He had moved up to ninth place by Lap 59 and held it while the team hoped for a caution period. The race ran caution-free and Rahal dropped from ninth to 15th in the final 10 laps and coasted across the final line. His car ultimately stooped on track in Turn 1.… Was 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.
NEXT UP: The Honda Grand Prix of Alabama will take place on April 24. Rahal started eighth in 2015 and finished second after passing Power, Hunter-Reay, Castroneves and Dixon after this final stop.