Rahal Pleased with Car Handling and Rank on “No Tow” List; Pigot Back on Track in Back Up Car for Installation Run After Wednesday’s Crash

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing logo

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade

Verizon IndyCar Series





1)                     Gabby Chaves                       227.961 mph  66 laps

24)                   Graham Rahal                       225.321 mph  95 laps

No time)         Spencer Pigot                       —                    installation lap

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Ultimately we ended up second fast on the no tow list which was good since we only really did one qualifying simulation. I was pleasantly surprised at the pace of the car because we are nowhere near fully trimmed out so to see the speed of it was definitely a good thing. We worked most of the day on the race car. After yesterday I was pretty nervous about what it looked like for us from a race car standpoint and the Steak ‘n Shake car came to life today and for sure it was miles and miles better. I’m really pleased with where we stand at the end of the day because today we were 24th and the last couple of days we’ve been in the top-10 but this was by far the best car we’ve had the entire time so I’m pretty excited about it.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his ninth Indy 500. His best qualifying position in the Indy 500 is fourth in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and best finish is third with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 after he led six laps. He ran in the top-five in five of his eight previous races here.  In 2008, with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he was the highest Indy 500 starter of the Champ Car transitioning teams with his 13th place qualifying effort but made contact on L36 after driving high to avoid the slower car of Lloyd and retired in 33rd place.  He qualified fourth for NHLR in the 2009 Indy 500 but made contact on L56 while fifth and retired in 31st. In 2010, he competed for his father’s team – RLL – for the first time in an Indy car. He qualified seventh and ran as high as second but a blocking penalty on L188/200 dropped him from third to a 12th place finish. He qualified 29th with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011 and earned his best finish at Indy to date of third place after he led six laps. In 2012, he qualified 12th, ran as high as third and finished 13th for SCCGR. In 2013, he qualified 26th and pitted from ninth place for his second to last stop and his outside rear tire changer had a mechanical problem and Rahal returned to the track in 21st place. He was in 17th with eight laps to go and lost control of his car in Turn 2 and made contact with the wall. In 2014, he started 20th but finished 33rd due to an electrical problem that kept shutting his engine off .  In 2015, he drove to a fifth place finish after starting 17th. … His best qualifying position of the season so far is third at the IMS road course (later DQ’d due to being a few pounds under weight) and best finish is second at Barber… He is fifth in series point standings with a total of 133.  Fourth place Castroneves has 159 (+26) and leader Pagenaud has 242 (+109).  

SPENCER PIGOT, No. 16 RLL / Mi-Jack / Manitowoc Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  (On possible soreness from the crash:)  “I feel good. I only had to suffer through a split moment of pain and the guys have been working hard for the whole last 24 hours so I feel much worse for them. They have had to rebuild the whole car but they did a great job and got us out for an install lap which was important so we could go through everything and make sure we are ready to go tomorrow and get some track time which is very much needed.  I just can’t thank them enough for their hard work.”

FAST FACTS: The team began work on Pigot’s back-up car after his crash in practice yesterday at approx.. 2 p.m. ET and he was able to get on track for an installation check before the end of today’s session at 6 p.m. ET Will be his first IndyCar Series race on an oval and third overall… In his series debut in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Pigot ran as high as 12th and finished 14th…Although he started from pole in two of his four races here, his finishing positions have been limited due to Turn 1 incidents in all four races.  In 2014, he competed in the Pro Mazda doubleheader where he started from pole in both races and finished eighth in both.  In 2015, he competed in the Indy Lights doubleheader where he qualified sixth for Race 1 and finished seventh and qualified and finished 12th in race two.  He still holds the Pro Mazda qualifying record which he set in 2014 (1:26.9623 / 105.836)… Pigot is the most successful driver since the formation of the Mazda Road to Indy in 2010 with 24 race wins to his credit in USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. He was the 15th driver to graduate from the Mazda Road to Indy into the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2010.  He has won no fewer than four scholarship prizes from Mazda to maintain his career’s momentum to get to the IndyCar Series.


NEXT UP: “Fast Friday” practice will take place tomorrow from 12-6 p.m. ET.