Rahal Set the Third Fastest Time in Practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen – Watkins Glen
Verizon IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, September 1, 2017


1) Scott Dixon 1:22.6187 / 146.843 mph
3) Graham Rahal 1:22.9716 / 146.219 mph (fastest in Practice 1)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Overall it was a very good day. I feel like we made really good gains on the setup. The car rolled off the trailer extremely competitive and that’s what you need because you don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel during the weekend. The guys have done a great job, the car is close. Do we want to be a little bit better? Yes, but overall we are pretty close. This is a phenomenal place. There is a lot of grip, and the track is very smooth just as we left it last year. It should be a great race this weekend.”

FAST FACTS: The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark Graham Rahal’s fourth race here. In 2016, he started 20th after a qualifying penalty on Saturday. He had set the sixth fastest time in Group 2 of Round 1 when Takuma Sato brought out the red flag and would have advanced to Round 2 to set the top-12 positions but INDYCAR withdrew Rahal’s two fastest laps because they ruled he impeded Jack Hawksworth’s lap time. Rahal’s third fastest lap put him P10 in his group and he did not advance. 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 and he retired in 20st place after one of the hardest impact’s he had taken in Indy car. 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 finishes this season are wins in Dual 1 and Dual 2 in Detroit and top start is pole for Detroit Dual 1… Rahal is sixth in series point standings with a total of 418. He is 76 points behind leader Josef Newgarden (494), 58 behind second place Scott Dixon (476), 54 behind third place Helio Castroneves (472), 50 behind fourth place Simon Pagenaud (468) and 34 behind fifth place Will Power (452).

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT WATKINS GLEN … The 2017 INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will mark the sixth Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Watkins Glen International (WGI) and second here since the team won the 2008 event with Ryan Hunter-Reay. The team has one win (Hunter-Reay 2008), and four top-10 finishes here and team drivers have led a total of 15 laps. Prior to the 2017 event, the team prepared a total of 10 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005-2006), Danica Patrick (2005-2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2006-2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008) and Graham Rahal (2016). The No. 15 entry for Graham Rahal will bring the Indy car total to 11 entries in 2017.

NEXT UP: Practice 3 will take place tomorrow from 10:30-11:15 a.m. ET and qualifying will be 3:00 – 4:15. NBCSN will broadcast qualifying on a tape delayed basis at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commentary by the INDYCAR Radio Network. The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will be televised live on NBCSN beginning at 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 3.