Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING DAY 2 NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, May 22, 2016
RAHAL WILL START 26TH IN THE INDY 500 AND PIGOT WILL START 29TH
1st: James Hinchcliffe 4-lap avg. speed of 230.760 mph (L1: 38.9804, L2: 38.9711, L3: 39.0007, L4: 39.0541)
26th: Graham Rahal 4-lap avg. speed of 225.847 mph (L1: 39.7369, L2: 39.8297, L3: 39.8258, L4: 40.0078)
29th: Spencer Pigot 4-lap avg. speed of 224.847 mph (L1: 40.1289, L2: 40.1099, L3: 39.9937, L4: 39.8762)
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I have been chasing it all week, particularly in qualifying trim. It’s been frustrating obviously because the car has gone slower as the week has gone on and I’m not sure why that is. My race car is really good, this is just a qualifying-trim issue. We can’t put our finger on it so we’re going to have to go back and figure it out for next year. We wanted to qualify further up for the points. We’re going to lose 30-plus points to lead group in the championship which is frustrating because we were fifth in the points coming into qualifying. This is going to hurt us pretty bad but what can we do? We’ve got to focus on next Sunday and try to get another Rahal in victory lane along with Steak ‘n Shake, PennGrade and all of our partners. We can win this thing. I started 29th and earned my best finish of third here. I’ve seen it all happen here. I’m not worried about the race.”
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: “The car was definitely very comfortable today. I think we put a little bit more downforce on expecting it to be hot, windy and kind of difficult like it was this morning but it turned out to maybe be just a little bit too much. It was comfortably flat the whole time but that’s alright. The important thing is that we’re going to be racing in the Indy 500 and the car is in one piece so a big thank you to everyone at the team. I think we have a good race car and we will put in a lot of laps in the next couple of days of practice to try and fine tune it.”
FAST FACTS: 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… 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.