Servia to Start the 101st Running of the Indy 500 From 12th Place and Rahal to Start 14th

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade

Verizon IndyCar Series

QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, May 21, 2017



1st:          Scott Dixon                           4-lap avg. speed of 232.164 mph    (L1: 232.595, L2: 232.135, L3: 232.018, L4: 231.907)
12th:       Oriol Servia                           4-lap avg. speed of 230.309 mph    (L1: 230.543, L2: 230.437, L3: 230.276, L4: 229.981)
14th:       Graham Rahal                     4-lap avg. speed of 230.253 mph    (L1: 230.859, L2: 229.997, L3: 230.404, L4: 230.253)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We tried to run just a hair less downforce than Oriol and it seemed like my front tires were going off really aggressively, and also the rear.  I was really loose in Turn 4 the whole run.  We just had to work the tools (in the cockpit) a little too much.  I wish the car was a little more in the zone at the start of the run and then we could have maintained it but I was sliding all over and glad that’s over.  Had we been able to add a little more (downforce) and been comfortably flat, then I think we would have been hard to beat in our group.  We had a massive push in Turn 2 and in Turn 4, I felt like I was sideways.  The Steak ‘n Shake guys have worked hard and it’s good that we found some speed in both cars today. I’m disappointed not to be the fastest in our group and qualify tenth but that’s the way it goes.  Now we can turn our full attention to the race and try to win this thing.  Tomorrow is a good day because there are no more games.  You know where everyone is in terms of race trim.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his 10th 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… Started 26th for the 2016 race and ran 10th in the final stage despite many challenges before a Lap 190/200 stop for a splash of fuel was followed by a 14th place finish in a race in a race where the outcome was dictated by fuel strategy.  Rahal lost his left rear winglet and 100 lbs. of downforce after his Lap 96/200 pit stop, had to make an extra stop for a splash of fuel in a closed pit before it opened and avoid two near misses when Montoya and Aleshin crashed in separate incidents immediately in front of Rahal. He also took a hit to the right rear of the car by Servia. Despite those incidents, he would have been in a decent position if he had been able to stretch his fuel mileage until the checkered flag.

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Manitowoc Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Yesterday we knew we had to take some risks in order to make the top-nine and missing practice in the morning, we really couldn’t balance it.  We missed it a little bit but today we nailed it. The car was on rails, perfect, consistent and really fast which is exactly what you need on May 28.  Obviously I want to start as far forward as we can but I want to take the Manitowoc Honda to winners circle and you need a consistent car to do that.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his 200th Indy car start… The 2017 Indy 500 will be Servia’s ninth in the famed race and fourth with RLL. His best finish overall is fourth in 2012 with Dreyer & Reinbold and best start is third in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing.  In the 2009 Indianapolis 500 with RLL, Servia was in ninth place halfway through the race when a mechanical failure led to his retirement in 26th place.  In 2014, he competed for the team in Long Beach, at Barber Motorsports Park and two events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where he led seven laps in the road course race but finished 12th, qualified 18th for the Indy 500 and finished 11th.  In 2015, Servia retired in 29th place from the Indy 500 with RLL after Ed Carpenter attempted an inside pass while Servia was 15th and took both drivers out of the race after 112 of 200 laps… He will compete for RLL in the Indy 500 and doubleheaders in Detroit…  A native of Pals, Spain, Servia has made 199 starts in CART, Champ Car and the IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2000.  His Indy car highlights include one win (Montreal 2005) and one pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of 19 top-three, 51 top-five and 101 top-10 finishes.

NEXT UP: Practice will take place from 12:30-4:00 p.m. ET tomorrow and Carb Day practice will be 11-12 on Friday, May 26.