Archives for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing PR

Rahal 15th & Servia 18th; Opening Day of Practice for the Indy 500 Was Delayed by Rain But Later Commenced in Windy Conditions

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Verizon IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – Monday, May 11, 2015
OPENING DAY OF PRACTICE FOR THE INDIANAPOLIS 500 WAS DELAYED BY RAIN BUT LATER COMMENCED IN WINDY CONDITIONS

1) Sage Karam 225.802 mph 41 laps
15) Graham Rahal 223.582 mph 77 laps
18) Oriol Servia 223.301 mph 58 laps

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We made some gains over last year but we’re still struggling with the consistency of the grip level. On our own, it’s pretty good but then when we get in traffic its good for a little bit but then it seems to slide the longer we go so we’ve got to be a little cautious. We turned a lot of laps out there in the Steak ‘n Shake car and I got behind Dixon on old tires and we were doing 221’s which I don’t think is too bad. When we’re behind one car, it’s okay but when we’re behind two or three the car seems to struggle a little bit. We’ve got a lot of time left to dial the Steak ‘n Shake car in.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his eighth Indy 500 and fourth with RLL. 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 four of his seven previous races here.

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 32 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was good to get back in the car but it was not as much fun as it should be because it was really windy and gusty and it’s never fun when it’s like that but you’ve got to run because you never know if on race day it’s going to be as windy or worse. It was a good opportunity to try different things on the aero package to see which ones worked best in windy conditions and traffic. It didn’t feel great but I could see that everyone around me was feeling similar or worse. It was a good first day to get back in the ‘Month of May’ mood. Hopefully we don’t get much rain in the next week so we can keep running miles and learning.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his seventh Indy 500 and third with RLL. His best finish here is fourth in 2012 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and best start in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing. Today was his first day behind the wheel of an Indy car since the 2014 Indy 500.

NEXT UP: Practice resumes tomorrow from 12-6 p.m. ET.

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Verizon IndyCar Series – RACE NOTES/QUOTES – May 9, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis

RAHAL LED NINE LAPS AND FINISHED SECOND IN THE ANGIE’S LIST GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS; MOVED TO TIE FOR FOURTH PLACE IN SERIES POINT STANDINGS

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We’re going to win one of these things; I keep saying it. We’re getting closer and closer and it feels good. We had to keep fighting as hard as we could and we came up just a little bit short. It’s still good momentum going into the Indy 500. It was hard to catch Will. I could close a little bit but I wasn’t able to gain. I’ve really got to give it to the Steak ‘n Shake guys because the pit stops were good, we were able to make some moves when we had to. I’m so proud of my team. To be the lead Honda again feels good but we want to win these things. Same as at Barber, I was giving absolutely everything I had to try to catch (Will) Power, trying to get the fans excited but he was just a little bit too strong.”

FAST FACTS: After starting the past two races from eighth place, Rahal started today’s race from 17th place. He moved to sixth on the opening lap after avoiding a multi-car accident. He passed Filippi for fifth place on Lap 10. As others made their first pit stops he moved into the lead for laps 22-23 and gained valuable track position before he pitted at the end of Lap 23. He returned to the track in fifth place and moved into second a few laps later when three out-of-pit-sequence cars made their stops. Leader Will Power pitted and Rahal returned to the lead on Laps 40-43 after being able to stretch his stint due to maintaining good fuel mileage compared to others. The team opted to stay on track one lap longer before his second stop than previously determined but at the pit exit Rahal closed on the car of Scott Dixon, who was returning to the track with cold tires and a heavy fuel load and slightly held up Rahal, who had a light fuel load and hot tires. Rahal pitted the next time by, at the end of Lap 43, and returned to the race in fifth place but again reclaimed second place a few laps later. While navigating lapped traffic earlier, most notably the 23rd place car of Josef Newgarden, who ran between he and Power, the gap to Power grew at times but he finally passed him after he returned to the track from his third and final stop. On Lap 63 of 82 he was -4.4 seconds behind Power but closed to -1.4 by Lap 70. He ultimately took the checkered flag 1.5 seconds behind the reigning series champion… It will be his second Indy car race on the IMS road course… In the two previous ICS races, Graham started eighth in NOLA and Barber. In the inaugural race on the road course, he started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21st… Rahal is hot off one of the best runs of his career at the previous race at Barber Motorsports Park. He returned to the track in sixth place from his final pit stop with 19 laps to go and was 21-seconds behind race leader Josef Newgarden. By the time he passed reigning series champion Will Power and then Ryan Hunter-Reay for fourth, he was still 18.9 seconds behind Newgarden but in the final 11 laps he turned lap times that were one-to-two-seconds faster than the race leader and passed Castroneves. On the final lap he passed second-place Scott Dixon and closed the gap to eventual winner Newgarden to 2.2-seconds… His best qualifying position of the season so far is eighth and best finish is second – both at Barber… He is tied for fourth in series point standings with Scott Dixon with a total of 144 and is only 27 points out of first place (Juan Pablo Montoya, 177).

BOBBY RAHAL, Team co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: “He didn’t make any mistakes and you could tell he was driving hard, the pit stops were fabulous and here we are. It shows Alabama wasn’t a fluke, doesn’t it? This is a kid that’s got tremendous talent. He and the engineers are really clicking and I think it’s going to get stronger and stronger as the year goes on. This should move us up on the championship. I think we have more points this year that we had all of last year. Everybody’s clicking and what this does for your confidence is tremendous and a confident driver is the most powerful weapon you got in your bag.”

RLL AT INDY ROAD COURSE…. The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis marked the second Verizon IndyCar Series race on the 2.439-mile road course. This is the best finish for the team here and the second race in a row to finish second.

NEXT UP: Practice will begin for the 99th Indy 500 on Monday.

Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis – QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – May 8, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – May 8, 2015

RAHAL QUALIFIED 17TH FOR THE ANGIE’S LIST GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS

1) Will Power 1:09.4886 / 126.357 mph (Group 1, Round 3)
17) Graham Rahal 1:10.6480 / 124.284 mph (Group 1, Round 1)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s frustrating to not be able to qualify better. We’ve been pretty good in practice but the Chevy’s somehow crank it up in qualifying. We didn’t have any more. Maybe there was another couple of 100ths (of a second) in the car but I didn’t have two-tenths. It’s frustrating because we had a lot of momentum coming in to this race. This Steak ‘n Shake team has just got to try to have a good, clean day tomorrow and hopefully we can move our way forward. I hope it rains given where we qualified.”

FAST FACTS: After starting the past two races from eighth place, Rahal will start tomorrow’s race from 17th place… It will be his second Indy car race on the IMS road course… In the two previous ICS races, Graham started eighth in NOLA and Barber. In the inaugural race on the road course, he started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21st… Rahal is hot off one of the best runs of his career at the previous race at Barber Motorsports Park. He returned to the track in sixth place from his final pit stop with 19 laps to go and was 21-seconds behind race leader Josef Newgarden. By the time he passed reigning series champion Will Power and then Ryan Hunter-Reay for fourth, he was still 18.9 seconds behind Newgarden but in the final 11 laps he turned lap times that were one-to-two-seconds faster than the race leader and passed Castroneves. On the final lap he passed second-place Scott Dixon and closed the gap to eventual winner Newgarden to 2.2-seconds… His best qualifying position of the season so far is eighth and best finish is second – both at Barber… He is ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 103 and is only seven points out of sixth (Hinchcliffe & Kanaan, 110) and nine points out of fifth place (Will Power, 112).

RLL AT INDY ROAD COURSE…. The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will mark the second Verizon IndyCar Series race on the 2.439-mile road course. Last year the team prepared entries for Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia. Rahal started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by the lapped car of Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21st. Servia qualified 22nd and was struck by the flying tire of another car after the standing start. He was forced to pit for a new front wing which put him out of sequence. Later he led seven laps but the team’s hope to capitalize on a caution flag didn’t pan out and he had to pit for a late-race splash of fuel which limited him to a 12th place finish.

NEXT UP: Warm-up will take place tomorrow from 11:30-12:00 p.m. ET. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com and includes live commentary by the IMS Radio Network. The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be televised live on ABC at 3:30 PM ET Saturday, May 9.

Rahal Top Honda at 7th Fastest in Practice 2 for the Angie’s List GP of Indy and 9th Overall for the Day

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Verizon IndyCar Series
PRACTICE NOTES/QUOTES – May 7, 2015
 
RAHAL TOP HONDA AT SEVENTH FASTEST IN PRACTICE TWO FOR THE  ANGIE’S LIST GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS AND NINTH OVERALL FOR THE DAY

1)         Scott Dixon                1:10.6971 / 124.197 mph      

9)         Graham Rahal           1:11.1422 / 123.420 mph      

 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was good to be the fastest Honda in the second session but we’ve got to get some predictability in the car. It’s pretty difficult to drive; it’s on edge which is how it’s been all year but as I said to someone earlier, if it’s on edge and fast, that’s cool but if it’s on edge and its slow, that’s obviously not so at least we’re at the fast end. We’ve got to find some more things to make the Steak ‘n Shake car faster to be good in qualifying and on race day.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his second Indy car race on the IMS road course… In the inaugural race on the road course, he started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21st…  Rahal is hot off one of the best runs of his career at the previous race at Barber Motorsports Park. He returned to the track in sixth place from his final pit stop with 19 laps to go and was 21-seconds behind race leader Josef Newgarden. By the time he passed reigning series champion Will Power and then Ryan Hunter-Reay for fourth, he was still 18.9 seconds behind Newgarden but in the final 11 laps he turned lap times that were one-to-two-seconds faster than the race leader and passed Castroneves. On the final lap he passed second-place Scott Dixon and closed the gap to eventual winner Newgarden to 2.2-seconds… His best qualifying position of the season so far is eighth and best finish is second – both at Barber… He is ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 103 and is only seven points out of sixth (Hinchcliffe & Kanaan, 110) and nine points out of fifth place (Will Power, 112).

RLL AT INDY ROAD COURSE…. The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will mark the second Verizon IndyCar Series race on the 2.439-mile road course.  Last year the team prepared entries for Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia. Rahal started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by the lapped car of Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21st.  Servia qualified 22nd and was struck by the flying tire of another car after the standing start. He was forced to pit for a new front wing which put him out of sequence.  Later he led seven laps but the team’s hope to capitalize on a caution flag didn’t pan out and he had to pit for a late-race splash of fuel which limited him to a 12th place finish.

NEXT UP:  Practice 3 will take place tomorrow from 11:00-11:45 a.m. ETand qualifying will take place from 3:00-4:15 PM.  Timing and Scoring information and liver streaming video is available for all sessions fromwww.indycar.com and includes live commentary by the IMS Radio Network. The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be televised live on ABC at 3:30 PM ET Saturday, May 9.

Pre-Race Notes – Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes – Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Round 5 of 16 in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series

DATE: Thursday – Saturday, May 7-9, 2015
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Live on the INDYCAR 15 app at 3 p.m. ET Friday, May 8, INDYCAR Radio Network and
www.indycar.com (timing & scoring)
RACE BROADCAST: Live on ABC, Saturday, May 9 at 3:30 p.m. ET
RADIO BROADCAST: The race will air on the INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 213& XM 209
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course
RACE LENGTH: 82 laps / 200 miles
2014 WINNER: Simon Pagenaud
2014 POLESITTER: Sebastian Saavedra (83.8822; 104.672 mph)

RLLR TOP START/
FINISH AT IMS (ROAD): 12th by Rahal in 2014/ 12th by Servia in 2014; one event

G. RAHAL’S BEST START/
FINISH AT IMS (ROAD): 12th / 21st – both in 2014; one event
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES
START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete 2009 & Kansas 2009 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008

NEWS & NOTES:

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING & THE GP OF INDY
The Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will mark the second Verizon IndyCar Series race on the 2.439-mile road course. Last year the team prepared an entry for Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia. Rahal started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by the lapped car of Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21st. Servia qualified 22nd and was struck by the flying tire of another car after the standing start. He was forced to pit for a new front wing which put him out of sequence. Later he led seven laps but the team’s hope to capitalize on a caution flag didn’t pan out and he had to pit for a late-race splash of fuel which limited him to a 12th place finish. For 2015, RLL has entered the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda-Dallara-Firestone car for Graham Rahal.

GRAHAM ON THEGP OF INDIANAPOLIS
In the inaugural Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2014, Rahal started 12th, ran as high as sixth and was 11th when he was hit by Montoya on a restart on Lap 51/82 and ultimately finished 21st. Rahal is hot off one of the best runs of his career at the previous race at Barber Motorsports Park. He returned to the track in sixth place from his final pit stop with 19 laps to go and was 21-seconds behind race leader Josef Newgarden. By the time he passed reigning series champion Will Power and then Ryan Hunter-Reay for fourth, he was still 18.9 seconds behind Newgarden but in the final 11 laps he turned lap times that were one-to-two-seconds faster than the race leader and passed Castroneves. On the final lap he passed second-place Scott Dixon and closed the gap to eventual winner Newgarden to 2.2-seconds. Who knows what could have happened if only there were two more laps to go in the race. Rahal is looking forward to picking up where he left off on the IMS road course.
“I hope a lot of the set up for Barber works for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. We’re going to start from a pretty similar set up as we did there. Barber went so well for the Steak ‘n Shake team, I don’t know why you would change the car so much. We were pretty competitive on the Indy road course last year and had a solid baseline setup so that will help as well. Last year, we had run in the top five or six and then Montoya, who was a lap down, hit us on a restart and ended our day with plenty of racing to go. I hope we can have a really good weekend this year. We are so close in points now that a good finish would mean so much to us as a team. We need to be good and continue to rack up points. We’re only nine points out of fifth place in the championship. If we can have a couple of good days, we can slide right up in there. The car felt pretty good in Barber so I hope it transfers to Indy. We get a lot of practice time on Thursday so we should be alright. Momentum is pretty important to have heading into May and we have it right now. We just need to keep it.”

POINT STANDINGS AFTER FOUR OF 16 RACES
Rahal is ranked eighth in series point standings with a total of 103 and is only seven points out of a sixth place rank (Hinchcliffe & Kanaan, 110). He is only nine points out of fifth place (Will Power, 112).

Rahal and Servia Turned Their First Laps With Honda’s New Super Speedway Aero Kit at the IMS Open Test Today

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Verizon IndyCar Series – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
OPEN TESTING NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, May 3, 2015
RAHAL AND SERVIA TURNED THEIR FIRST LAPS WITH HONDA’S NEW SUPER SPEEDWAY AERO KIT AT THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY OPEN TEST TODAY

1) Juan Pablo Montoya 226.772 mph 95 laps
18) Oriol Servia 223.683 mph 75 laps
25) Graham Rahal 221.714 mph 77 laps

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a good first day testing the aero kit. We also had to mileage out an engine, which we successfully did, but we have a little work to do with the handling of the Steak ‘n Shake car. It’s better than last year but we’re not where we need to be. It’s the first on-track day of the month which is good so there is a lot of time ahead of us. The team is a little split up right now over the two cars but once we get a full staff in here it will be a lot easier.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his eighth Indy 500 and fourth with RLL. 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 four of his seven previous races here.

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 32 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I enjoy driving here almost every time. It felt really good, I felt at home immediately and it helped that I was with the team I drove with last year. Everything felt like it was only yesterday that I drove an Indy car here instead of a year ago. The team did a great, great job. It already felt better than last year. We just went through a lot of changes and gathered data. We have a whole week now to look at the data and basically understand the new aero package. We have wind tunnel figures, which is good to have, but it’s not the same as being on track so both cars tried different things to gather as much data as possible. Graham and I did a lot of laps today but this week the engineers have a lot of work ahead of them to go through. I’m feeling pretty good. It’s quite amazing to see how different the two aero packages are and yet are still so close in speed.”

FAST FACTS: Will be his seventh Indy 500 and third with RLL. His best finish here is fourth in 2012 with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and best start in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing. Today was his first day behind the wheel of an Indy car since the 2014 Indy 500.

NEXT UP: The Grand Prix of Indianapolis will take place May 7-9.

Honda Grand Prix of Alabama Verizon IndyCar Series RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Grand Prix of Alabama
Verizon IndyCar Series
RACE NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, April 26, 2015

RAHAL FINISHED SECOND IN THE HONDA INDY GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA AFTER HE LED TWO TIMES FOR A TOTAL OF 17 LAPS

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I’m really proud of these Steak ‘n Shake guys. They’ve worked extremely hard and today I drove that race 110 percent every single lap.  We knew when we made the strategy call to stay out we had to go fast in order to make up the gap. I’ve got to say Honda did a great job for me today. It’s still tough to follow, but obviously I passed a lot of guys. This team has come a long way and I think we have proven that. Eventually one of these days we’ll win one of these things. I hope everybody enjoyed the race because we were pushing there until the last second. It was great racing with Ryan (Hunter-Reay), Will (Power) and (Scott) Dixon – he gave me room there in those last couple turns. That’s pretty nice of him – not a lot of guys do that. (On if he’d had a chance to win) Hawksworth got out of the pits in front of me and that held me up and we lost a few seconds right there, so we had to pit a little earlier than we wanted to. A couple laps earlier we would have gotten him I think.”

FAST FACTS: Rahal started eighth and passed Kanaan on the opening lap. He later lost a position to Filippi but passed Dixon for seventh place. He pitted and ran ninth place but moved to third as others made their stops. He held off charges from fourth place Hinchcliffe on several restarts and later built a gap on him while leading laps 35-46. Rahal pitted from the lead for his second stop and dropped to 15th but cycled back into the lead for laps 65-69. He made his final stop on Lap 71 and returned to the track in sixth place. With new tires and more fuel than others, he consistently turned lap times that were one-to-two seconds quicker than those in front of him and eventually passed Power, Hunter-Reay and Castroneves before he was able to close the gap on second-place Dixon in the closing laps. With less than two laps to go, he passed Dixon but ran out of time to attempt to catch eventual race winner Newgarden… Was his sixth race here. In 2014 he started 18th on a wet track, ran as high as 10th, dropped four places after being hit by two cars and ultimately finished 17th. In 2013, Rahal set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st.  He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Servia. Moved up to 12th place but he ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st… Started 8th, led 1 lap and finished 4th here in 2012 for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). Started 10th and finished 18th in 2011 for SCCGR. Started 15th and finished 17th for Sarah Fisher Racing in ‘10… Rahal is ranked 8th in series point standings with a total of 103 and is only seven points out of a sixth place rank (Hinchcliffe & Kanaan, 110).

RLL AT BARBER: This was the fourth Indy car race for RLL at Barber Motorsports Park (BMP). Last year, Rahal started 18th on a wet track, ran as high as 10th, dropped four places after being hit by two cars and ultimately finished 17th.  Servia started 19th, ran as high as 14th and finished 20th.  In 2013, Rahal set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st.  He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Servia. He moved up to 12th place but ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st.  James Jakes qualified 11th in 2013 but had to pit early in the race when the camber shims fell out of the left rear upright which put him two laps down to the leader. He soldiered on through fueling issues, set the fastest lap of the race and finished 23rd.  In 2012, Takuma Sato set the third fastest time in Friday’s first practice and was fastest in the wet second session but traffic limited his qualifying performance to 16th.  In the race he passed four cars for 12th place on red alternate tires but struggled on primary tires and ultimately retired in 24th place due to mechanical failure after 52/90 laps.

 

NEXT UP:  The team will participate in a series-wide open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 3. Oriol Servia will join Graham Rahal for their first test on the track since the 2014 Indianapolis 500.

Rahal Matched His Best Start of Season with Eighth Place for the Honda GP of Alabama; Fastest Honda-Powered Driver in Qualifying

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Honda Grand Prix of Alabama
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 25, 2015
RAHAL MATCHED HIS BEST START OF THE SEASON WITH EIGHTH PLACE FOR THE HONDA GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA; FASTEST HONDA-POWERED DRIVER IN QUALIFYING

POLE: Helio Castroneves 1:07.1925 / 123.228 mph (Round 3; Group 1)
8th: Graham Rahal 1:07.3903 / 122.866 mph (Round 2; Group 1)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It (fastest lap) was a really good lap. I don’t know if there was much left in the Steak ‘n Shake car. These guys worked very hard, we weren’t very good in the second practice and we fought back here in qualifying. It’s good to be the fastest Honda. We have to close the gap and get up there, get more competitive. It feels good to be where we are but we’ve got all these Penske’s and Ganassi’s we’ve got to keep up with which is pretty challenging. I think we have a good chance in the race starting eighth. Anything can happen here. We’ve got to be smart and we’ve got to take care of the rear tires. Hopefully it’s a little easier to follow than Long Beach. I think we can get a good result, I feel good about it.”

FAST FACTS: Rahal matched his best start at Barber of eighth place today. He also started eighth here in 2012. In addition, he matched his best start of the season of eighth place at Long Beach… Will be his sixth race here. In 2014 he started 18th on a wet track, ran as high as 10th, dropped four places after being hit by two cars and ultimately finished 17th. In 2013, Rahal set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st. He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Servia. Moved up to 12th place but he ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st… Started 8th, led 1 lap and finished 4th here in 2012 for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). Started 10th and finished 18th in 2011 for SCCGR. Started 15th and finished 17th for Sarah Fisher Racing in ’10.

RLL AT BARBER: Graham Rahal brought the team its best starting position at Barber with his eighth place effort today. This will mark the fourth Indy car race for RLL at Barber Motorsports Park (BMP). Last year, Rahal started 18th on a wet track, ran as high as 10th, dropped four places after being hit by two cars and ultimately finished 17th. Servia started 19th, ran as high as 14th and finished 20th. In 2013, Rahal set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st. He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Servia. He moved up to 12th place but ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st. James Jakes qualified 11th in 2013 but had to pit early in the race when the camber shims fell out of the left rear upright which put him two laps down to the leader. He soldiered on through fueling issues, set the fastest lap of the race and finished 23rd. In 2012, Takuma Sato set the third fastest time in Friday’s first practice and was fastest in the wet second session but traffic limited his qualifying performance to 16th. In the race he passed four cars for 12th place on red alternate tires but struggled on primary tires and ultimately retired in 24th place due to mechanical failure after 52/90 laps.

NEXT UP: Race day warm-up will take place tomorrow from 10:00-10:30 a.m. CT. The Honda Grand Prix of Alabama will be televised live on NBCSN at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, April 26.

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Rahal Hopes to Continue to Build on Strong Barber Test at this Weekend’s Honda Indy GP of Alabama

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama – Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama
Round 4 of 16 in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series
DATE: Saturday – Sunday, April 25-26, 2015
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Tape-delayed on NBC Sports Network at 2 a.m. ET Sunday, April 26; live on the INDYCAR 15
app, INDYCAR Radio Network and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring)
RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBC Sports Network, Sunday, April 26 at 3:00 p.m. ET
RADIO BROADCAST: The race will air on the INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 213& XM 209
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course
RACE LENGTH: 90 laps / 214.2 miles
2014 WINNER: Ryan Hunter-Reay
2014 POLESITTER: Will Power (1:08.3120; 121.209 mph)

RLLR TOP START/FINISH AT BARBER: 11th by Jakes in 2013/ 17th by Rahal in 2014; three events

G. RAHAL’S BEST START/FINISH AT BARBER: 8th / 4th – both in 2012 with SCCGR; will be his sixth race here
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete 2009 & Kansas 2009 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008

NEWS & NOTES:

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING – FOURTH RACE AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
The 2015 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will mark the fourth IndyCar Series race for the team at Barber Motorsports Park (BMP). A recent two-day test at BMP in March went well and Rahal was the fastest Honda-powered driver at seventh fastest over two days. Last year, Rahal started 18th on a wet track, ran as high as 10th, dropped four places after being hit by two cars and ultimately finished 17th. Servia started 19th, ran as high as 14th and finished 20th. In 2013, Rahal set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st. He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Oriol Servia. He moved up to 12th place but ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st. James Jakes qualified 11th in 2013 but had to pit early in the race when the camber shims fell out of the left rear upright which put him two laps down to the leader. He soldiered on through fueling issues, set the fastest lap of the race and finished 23rd. In 2012, Takuma Sato set the third fastest time in Friday’s first practice for the team and was fastest in the wet second session but traffic limited his qualifying performance to 16th. In the race he passed four cars for 12th place on red alternate tires but struggled on primary tires and ultimately retired in 24th place due to mechanical failure after 52/90 laps.
For 2015, RLL has entered the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda-Dallara-Firestone car for Graham Rahal which brings the total to six entries for RLL for this event.

GRAHAM PREPARATION SINCE THE OPEN TEST HERE & COMPRESSED TWO-DAY EVENT
The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be Graham Rahal’s sixth race here since the inaugural event in 2010. The field returns to BMP after an Open Test here March 16-17. Over the two-day test, Rahal set the fourth fastest time in Practice 3 and fifth fastest in the final Practice 4 and ranked seventh overall for the two days. He was the fastest Honda-powered driver in each of those instances and is looking forward to carrying that progress over to race weekend.
“We had a really good test at Barber,” said Rahal, who is one of eight drivers in this year’s field that has competed in every Indy car race at BMP. “Obviously the conditions were cooler than what we will see this weekend but all in all I feel pretty good about our ability to be competitive at the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. The Long Beach race was frustrating but I feel like we can have a strong rebound. We won’t find out until we get on track but certainly at the test we were right up there so I’m hoping we can have a good show on the weekend because we need the points. Since it’s only a two day event this year we have to be right on top of our game in the practice sessions and qualifying so we definitely can’t miss a beat.”

GRAHAM AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
In 2014, Rahal started 18th on a wet track, ran as high as 10th, dropped four places after being hit by two cars and ultimately finished 17th. In 2013, Rahal set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st. He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Servia. He moved up to 12th place but ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st. He started 8th, led one lap and finished fourth here in 2012 for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). He started 10th and finished 18th in 2011 for SCCGR and started 15th and finished 17th for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2010.

ATTEMPTING TO BREAK THE THREE-DRIVER DOMINANCE
Graham Rahal will be one of many drivers to attempt to break the dominance of three series drivers at this track. Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Hunter-Reay are the only drivers to have won at Barber Motorsports Park. Castroneves won the inaugural race in 2010, Power won the race in 2011 and 2012 and Hunter-Reay won in 2013 and 2014. In addition, Castroneves, Hunter-Reay and Power are the only drivers to have won the pole position here. Power claimed the pole position in 2010, 2011 and 2014; Castroneves won the pole in 2012 and Hunter-Reay in 2013. Rahal and RLL hope to break into the group.

Steak ‘n Shake Driver Rahal Finished 11th in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, April 19, 2015
STEAK ‘N SHAKE DRIVER RAHAL FINISHED 11TH IN THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “What we thought was an issue with the rear end of the car this morning in warm-up, we thought would go away in the race and unfortunately it didn’t and we struggled with keeping the rear of the car underneath us. It was a major struggle to balance and maintain it which is unfortunate because I was hoping today would be a day where we could make up some points and we squandered the opportunity.”

FAST FACTS: Rahal started eighth in the race and was later passed by Bourdais to run ninth. He lost a few positions due to the timing of pit stops and track position and lost a position to Saavedra and ultimately finished 11th… Was his ninth Champ or Indy car race here, 10th overall, and third with RLL. In 2014, he finished seventh after struggling in practice and qualifying 23rd. In 2013, he finished second after starting 11th. In 2012, he qualified 15th for SCCGR, started 8th due to penalties to Chevy-powered teams, ran as high as fourth but finished 24th due to contact with Marco Andretti. In 2011, he qualified 16th for SCCGR and finished 13th. In 2010 he started and finished 22nd for Sarah Fisher Racing after contact. In 2009, he started seventh and finished 12th for NHLR. In 2008 he started ninth and had a podium in sight when he was alongside third place but contact during this pass led to a 13th place finish. Started fifth in 2007 but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place. In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth… Rahal has a total of 62 laps and is ranked 10th in series point standings.

NEXT UP: The Honda Grand Prix of Alabama will be televised live on NBCSN at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, April 26. It has been a three-day event in past years but will be a two-day event in 2015.

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