RAHAL RETIRED IN 21ST PLACE AFTER CONTACT IN THE INDYCAR GRAND PRIX AT THE GLEN
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing / RLL Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I had a great run on Kimball, I got inside, completed the pass and he decided not to give me any room on the exit. That was a hard hit, probably the hardest I’ve taken in my life, ovals included. It’s a shame. We were looking really good before that yellow (Aleshin). My United Rentals car was phenomenal. We were able to move up and pass more cars than I thought we could, save a lot of overtakes and our tires were better than everybody else. We were just taking our time and saving a ton of fuel looking to go longer on that stint than anybody. But then the caution came out which was a little unlucky but I thought we could bounce back from it. Unfortunately we got back there with Kimball. I have to take blame too because I put myself in that position. I should know better than to race him like that. It’s disappointing and I’m a little ticked off. I disagreed heavily with the penalty yesterday that put us back there in the first place. And when you take an impact like, that the guys are going to have a heck of a lot of work to get this fixed for the Sonoma test on Thursday. I don’t know if this car is even repairable, the tub was bad. It’s a great crowd at Watkins Glen. We can’t thank everybody enough. With our Turns for Troops program with United Rentals, $50 for every lap completed goes to Soldier Strong and we were tied for the most laps completed until today. This put a dent in that total.”
- FAST FACTS: Rahal started 20th after his qualifying penalty on Saturday. He started the race on primary Firestone tires and most utilized the softer, alternate Firestones. He passed a car on the opening lap and after a multi-car incident, he was up to 15th. He passed Hunter-Reay for 14th on Lap 3 and steadily moved up to eighth place as the pit cycle was in progress. He had been saving fuel to extend the stint as long as possible and gain positions but Aleshin crashed and brought out the first caution on Lap 14. Once the pits opened, Rahal pitted from eighth place on Lap 16. He returned to the track in 18th place with the top 11 having made their first stops on Lap 14 or before. On the restart, he was passing Charlie Kimball and contact between the two forced him head-on into the tire barrier on Lap 19. He retired in 20st place… The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen marked Graham Rahal’s third race here. In 2008, he qualified 18th with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) after a Saturday practice crash and finished eighth… In 2009, he qualified fifth with NHLR but lost 10 starting positions when his car was ruled to be too light in a tech inspection and he started 15th. He ran as high as second but the wrong fuel strategy contributed to a 13th place finish… He did not compete in the 2010 race… His top finish overall this season is a win at Texas Motor Speedway (oval) and his top road/street course finish is second place at Barber Motorsports Park. His top start is sixth at Barber and Road America. He also qualified third for the Indy GP but his car was disqualified for being a few pounds underweight… Rahal moved from seventh to sixth in series standings with a total of 403 points and is 24 behind fifth place Tony Kanaan (427) and 48 behind third place (Castroneves & Dixon tied with 451).
NEXT UP: The series will take next weekend off and return to action Sept. 16-18 for the season-finale GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. The team will join the majority of the field at a test at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday, September 8.