Archives for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing PR

Rahal Finished Eighth in the Indy GP of Louisiana After Running as High as Fourth in the Timed Race

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, April 12, 2015
RAHAL FINISHED EIGHTH IN THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA AFTER RUNNING AS HIGH AS FOURTH IN THE TIMED RACE

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 D-A Lubricant Company Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “In the wet, the car was really good and I was able to move my way up quickly and get a good spot to contend the rest of the day. I had a couple of good restarts, picked off a couple more spots but unfortunately in the end the guys up front got lucky with the yellows and strategy. We played it right but unfortunately it just didn’t stay green. There was nothing we could do about that. I thought we had a car that was pretty capable today, particularly in the wet. We just didn’t get to see it through though the way the race played out.”

* FAST FACTS: Qualifying was cancelled due to severe weather and Rahal started 11th based on entrant point standings. In the race he moved from 11th to fifth and made his first stop, he moved from eighth to fourth before his next stop and was 11th when a three car accident happened to move him to eighth before the race ended due to a time limit. It was Rahal’s first time to race at NOLA Motorsports Park… Prior to 2015, the Ohio native recorded 110 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series capturing one win, two poles, 21 top-five finishes — including his 2008 win at St. Petersburg — 49 top-10’s, and led a total of 121 laps. In addition, he won poles at St. Petersburg (street course) and Kansas Speedway (oval) in 2009. Rahal came close to winning again in 2012 as he led the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway before a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place. He finished second again in Long Beach in 2013 and had competitive runs at Iowa, where he won Heat Race 1, Sonoma and Baltimore in 2013. The highlight of his 2014 season was a second place finish in Dual 1 in Detroit.

NEXT UP: The team will return to the race shop on Monday morning to begin preparation of the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake entry and depart for California on Monday night for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach that will air on NBCSN at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 19.

Rahal to Start 11th in the Indy GP of Louisiana After Qualifying Was Cancelled Due to Severe Weather; Grid Set Based on Entrant Points

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 11, 2015
RAHAL TO START 11TH IN THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA AFTER QUALIFYING WAS CANCELLED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER; GRID BASED ON ENTRANT POINTS

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 D-A Lubricant Company Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I didn’t get much time on track (in qualifying) so I don’t have much to say about the session. I was just trying to get a gap to attack and do a lap. The car actually felt pretty good on the few turns I did but unfortunately the fans came out today and we didn’t put on a show for them which is disappointing. I think we will be okay starting 11th. This team can work hard, give me some good stops to move forward and I will try to make some good restarts and we will move our way forward.”

* FAST FACTS: It is Rahal’s first time to race at NOLA Motorsports Park… Prior to 2015, the Ohio native recorded 110 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series capturing one win, two poles, 21 top-five finishes — including his 2008 win at St. Petersburg — 49 top-10’s, and led a total of 121 laps. In addition, he won poles at St. Petersburg (street course) and Kansas Speedway (oval) in 2009. Rahal came close to winning again in 2012 as he led the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway before a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place. He finished second again in Long Beach in 2013 and had competitive runs at Iowa, where he won Heat Race 1, Sonoma and Baltimore in 2013. The highlight of his 2014 season was a second place finish in Dual 1 in Detroit.

INAUGURAL RACE AT NOLA MOTORSPORTS PARK FOR RLL: The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana marks the inaugural IndyCar Series event at this track.

NEXT UP: Pre-race warm-up will take place tomorrow from 10:00-10:30 a.m. CT. The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will be televised live on NBCSN at 2:30 PM ET Sunday, April 12.

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Rain Limited Running on the First Day of the Indy GP of Louisiana; Rahal was 16th Overall with Time Set in First Practice

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, April 10, 2015

RAIN LIMITED RUNNING ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA; RAHAL WAS 16TH OVERALL WITH TIME SET IN FIRST PRACTICE

1) Tony Kanaan 1:18.8753 / 125.058 mph (Set in Practice 1; P2 was delayed & wet)
16) Graham Rahal 1:19.8876 / 123.473 mph (Set in Practice 1; P2 was delayed & wet)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 D-A Lubricant Company Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We didn’t have the best first session but I really do feel that we learned a lot and figured some stuff out with the car. We’re going to go back more towards what we ran here at the test, which will probably help us. The track temp was so much warmer today than when we tested here. It’s really kind of hard to tell exactly where we need to be with the car setup but I think we’ll be okay. We have learned a lot and the guys are doing a great job. We’ll just keep working hard on this thing and get it better and better. We’re not far off, it’s just so competitive. We’ll be there; we’ll be fine. There wasn’t much to be learned in the wet session but we had a couple of things we wanted to check and were able to do that.

(On racing in the rain:) “Racing in the rain is always a different art. I think the biggest thing here is to see how the drainage will be. We’re going to have to see how that plays out. It is a permanent road course so that should help versus some of the street courses.”

* FAST FACTS: It is Rahal’s first time to race at NOLA Motorsports Park… Prior to 2015, the Ohio native recorded 110 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series capturing one win, two poles, 21 top-five finishes — including his 2008 win at St. Petersburg — 49 top-10’s, and led a total of 121 laps. In addition, he won poles at St. Petersburg (street course) and Kansas Speedway (oval) in 2009. Rahal came close to winning again in 2012 as he led the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway before a slight brush of the wall with two laps to go forced him to settle for second place. He finished second again in Long Beach in 2013 and had competitive runs at Iowa, where he won Heat Race 1, Sonoma and Baltimore in 2013. The highlight of his 2014 season was a second place finish in Dual 1 in Detroit.

INAUGURAL RACE AT NOLA MOTORSPORTS PARK FOR RLL: The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana marks the inaugural IndyCar Series event at this track.

NEXT UP: Practice will take place tomorrow from 12:30-1:15 p.m. CT. Qualifying will take place from 4:15-5:30 PM. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com. The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will be televised live on NBCSN at 2:30 PM ET Sunday, April 12.

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D-A Lubricant Co. Makes its Return as a Primary Sponsor in This Weekend’s Indy GP of Louisiana; Rahal Hoping to Carry Momentum To NOLA

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana – NOLA Motorsports Park, Avondale, LA
Round 2 of 16 in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series

 

DATE: Friday – Sunday, April 10-12, 2015
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: Live on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 11. Also on the IMS Radio Network, www.indycar.com (timing & scoring + commentating), and www.indycarradio.com
RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBCSN, Sunday, April 12 at 2:30 p.m. ET
RADIO BROADCAST: The race will air on IMS Radio Network, XM 209 & Sirius 213
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.74-mile, 13-turn street course
RACE LENGTH: 75 laps / 205.5 miles
2014 WINNER/POLESITTER: Inaugural event

RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete 2009 (street) & Kansas 2009 (oval) / 1st in St. Pete in 2008

NEWS & NOTES:

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT NOLA
The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will be the inaugural IndyCar Series event at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, La., approximately 20 minutes from New Orleans and the famed French Quarter. Graham Rahal will pilot the No. 15 D-A Lubricant Company entry. This partnership marks a return to Indy car racing for D-A Lubricant Co., based in Lebanon, IN, who sponsored entries in the Indianapolis 500 from 1955 – 1958 with a highest finish of sixth in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 1956 with driver Bob Sweikert. D-A-sponsored cars also ran in the USAC Championship Car series during that time period, earning one win in 1957 and four wins in 1958. RLL’s first test with the new Honda aero kit took place at this track on March 14.

RAHAL ON EXPECTATIONS FOR THE INDY GP OF LOUISIANA
“We’re looking forward to running the D-A Lubricant Company colors at NOLA. They have been a great partner so far and bring a lot of enthusiasm so we want to have a good race weekend for them. New Orleans is tricky because it’s a very flat track so there aren’t a lot of reference markers for the drivers. When we normally race you see a certain marker, spot on the ground or, at times, a shadow and you know you have to brake right at that point. The NOLA track is very flat so it’s hard to have any of that. It’s a track that’s very demanding and it’s very important to get the maximum out of the car. It seems to be one of the most difficult tracks to put a lap time together completely and get the best out of yourself and every corner. Having said all of that, we’re looking forward to going there. Even with an eleventh place result in St. Pete, we feel we had one of the best cars in the race and the team has a lot of momentum and can’t wait to get on track again. I really think that all signs are pointing to us being able to have a great year. Our goal is to go to New Orleans and try to rack up as many points as we can, move ourselves up in the championship and kick off Long Beach and the rest of the season.”

GRAHAM ON THE LEVEL OF COMPETITION AT ST. PETE
“For sure the competitiveness of the teams and of the series is tremendous. Penske was very good in qualifying and they obviously had a good race too but I think we are seeing that there are a lot of teams that are very, very close together. You certainly can’t slip up and in qualifying we slipped up a little bit and had our worst session of the weekend and that really hurt us. We need to make sure we are on top of our game because there is no margin for error with the field as tight as it is. You have to be on it and that’s what makes the Verizon IndyCar Series so exciting right now.”

NOLA COULD BE THE MOST PHYSICAL RACE OF THE SEASON
“Physically at St. Pete I felt extremely good. After the race I felt like I had just completed a practice session and not a full race distance. I feel like I have done a pretty good job of getting my cardio, race-shape strong which is going to be important in NOLA. The track is very physical on the neck which is going to make for a long day but hopefully it will play out in our favor.”

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Rahal Ran as High as Fifth in the Firestone GP of St. Pete But Was Penalized for Avoidable Contact and Finished 15th

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Sunday, March 29, 2015

RAHAL RAN AS HIGH AS FIFTH IN THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG AFTER STARTING 15TH BUT WAS PENALIZED FOR AVOIDABLE CONTACT AND FINISHED 11TH

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The car was really good, I was very pleased with it. I thought we had a car that could have won today. When we got into fifth place after passing Bourdais in Turn 1, Pagenaud in Turn 4 and then Charlie, I had Helio in my sights. I was strong on restarts so I thought I would be able to fight my way up there and catch up to Power. I knew we had reds (alternate tires) to come which in the end proved to be a strong suit. But then we got penalized. Kimball had a broken car and I didn’t know what he was doing. He was so slow off of Turn 9 that I thought he was pulling over and then he accelerates into the kink. He had a broken car and was slow. I went inside of him and then he broke deep. He was cranking in well before the apex so I was trying to bail out and I just tapped him. Sure enough, I dive inside him and he comes over. It’s a shame because the car was good today.”

FAST FACTS: Rahal started 15th and gained three spots on the first lap and ran as high as fifth place midway through the race but was penalized for “avoidable contact” after he made contact while trying to pass the damaged car of Charlie Kimball. He dropped to the back of the field and ultimately finished 11th in the 110 lap race… Made his eighth start at this track today. His best start here is pole in 2009 and best finish is a win in 2008 in his IndyCar Series debut – both history-making moments as the youngest driver to do so… In 2014, the start of qualifying was delayed over three hours after an afternoon storm. Rahal was in Group 1 that ran on a wet track on rain tires. Conditions improved as each of the three rounds took place and teams switched to “slick” tires. Rahal lost control of the car on the slick course and made contact with a tire barrier which brought out a red flag. His two fastest laps were omitted, one of which was sixth fastest and would have allowed him to progress to Round 2 and start in the top-12. On the opening lap, Rahal charged from his 21st place starting spot to 12th and was in 14th when he made his first pit stop. Different pit strategies played out in a race that saw only 10 caution laps of 110 total. In the closing laps of the race, Rahal was 13th but lost a position to Bourdais with two laps to go and finished 14th… Qualified 15th in 2013 for RLL and was in ninth place when the team discovered an electrical issue on Lap 22 under caution that shut the engine off intermittently 6-7 times and dropped him to 21st place. He soldiered on to finish 13th… He qualified 11th in 2012 and finished 12th and qualified 12th in 2011 and finished 17th – both for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). He qualified 16th and finished 9th for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2010. While with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he won pole in 2009 and finished seventh and qualified ninth, led 19 laps and won in his series debut in 2008 at the age of 19 years, 93 days old… His highest series start is pole at St. Pete (2009; street) and Kansas (2009; oval) and his highest finish is a win in St. Pete (2008) in his IndyCar Series debut to make him the youngest winner in series history at 19 years, 93 days old.

NEXT UP: The series will take next weekend off before reconvening for the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN beginning at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, April 12.

NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Verizon IndyCar Series

RAHAL QUALIFIED 15TH FOR THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES SEASON OPENER

POLE:             Will Power                 1:01.4709 / 105.416 mph       (Round 3; Group 2)

15th:               Graham Rahal           1:02.1850 / 104.205 mph       (Round 1, Group 1)  

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “We just seem to struggle with power down. We were only a couple of hundredths (of a second) away from advancing to Round 2 so if we can figure out how to maximize power down and get off the corner well enough, we will be in a better position. In fact the lap before my best lap was a tenth (of a second) better down the front straight and that’s probably the tenth we needed to advance. It’s going to be a long day of work tomorrow starting from 15th. I think we’ll be okay in the race but starting from where we are is going to make for a long day.”

FAST FACTS: In qualifying today, Rahal was eighth fastest in Group 1 of Round 1 with a lap time of 1:01.5742. He was less than three-hundredths of a second away from sixth fastest Simona de Silvestro, who advanced to Round 2 with a lap time of 1:01. 5475… Will make his eighth start at this track.  His best start here is pole in 2009 and best finish is a win in 2008 in his IndyCar Series debut – both history-making moments as the youngest driver to do so… In 2014, the start of qualifying was delayed over three hours after an afternoon storm. Rahal was in Group 1 that ran on a wet track on rain tires. Conditions improved as each of the three rounds took place and teams switched to “slick” tires. Rahal lost control of the car on the slick course and made contact with a tire barrier which brought out a red flag. His two fastest laps were omitted, one of which was sixth fastest and would have allowed him to progress to Round 2 and start in the top-12.  On the opening lap, Rahal charged from his 21st place starting spot to 12th and was in 14th when he made his first pit stop. Different pit strategies played out in a race that saw only 10 caution laps of 110 total. In the closing laps of the race, Rahal was 13th but lost a position to Bourdais with two laps to go and finished 14th… Qualified 15th in 2013 for RLL and was in ninth place when the team discovered an electrical issue on Lap 22 under caution that shut the engine off intermittently 6-7 times and dropped him to 21st place. He soldiered on to finish 13th… He qualified 11th in 2012 and finished 12th and qualified 12th in 2011 and finished 17th – both for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR).  He qualified 16th and finished 9th for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2010.  While with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he won pole in 2009 and finished seventh and qualified ninth, led 19 laps and won in his series debut in 2008 at the age of 19 years, 93 days old… His highest series start is pole at St. Pete (2009; street) and Kansas (2009; oval) and his highest finish is a win in St. Pete (2008) in his IndyCar Series debut to make him the youngest winner in series history at 19 years, 93 days old.

EIGHTH ST. PETE EVENT FOR RLL: This will mark the eighth IndyCar race for the team in St. Pete and the 13th car entered. The team prepared Indy cars for Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Buddy Rice (2005, 2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014) and James Jakes (2013) prior to this year. The team led 11 laps with Takuma Sato in 2012 and four laps with Hunter-Reay in 2008 (G. Rahal won w/NHLR) and has earned three top-10 finishes with the best being fifth by Meira in 2005.  The highest starting position by the team is sixth place by Hunter-Reay in 2008.

NEXT UP:  Morning warm-up will take place tomorrow from 12:00-12:30 p.m. ET and the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be televised live on ABC beginning at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, March 29.

 

Rain Limited Running on Day 1 in St. Pete IndyCar Season Opener; Rahal was 13th Overall in Practice and Fourth Fastest Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Verizon IndyCar Series
NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, March 27, 2015

RAIN LIMITED RUNNING ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRESTONE GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG INDYCAR SEASON OPENER; RAHAL WAS 13TH OVERALL IN PRACTICE AND FOURTH FASTEST HONDA

1) Will Power 1:01.4709 / 105.416 mph (Set in Practice 1; no cars ran in P2)
13) Graham Rahal 1:02.1850 / 104.205 mph (Set in Practice 1; no cars ran in P2)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We would have liked to have gotten back on track for the second session to see if we could improve but it didn’t make sense to run in the rain because the weather the rest of the weekend looks good so there was nothing to be gained. I thought the car was decent in the first session but we have a little work to do to make some improvements. We are in the thick of it but we need to find a little more speed to leap us up to the next group of guys. I feel okay about the day though. If we find ourselves a couple of tweaks, we can shuffle ourselves up the grid. There is more work to be done Saturday and I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

FAST FACTS: Will make his EIGHTH start at this track. His best start here is pole in 2009 and best finish is a win in 2008 in his IndyCar Series debut – both history-making moments as the youngest driver to do so… In 2014, the start of qualifying was delayed over three hours after an afternoon storm. Rahal was in Group 1 that ran on a wet track on rain tires. Conditions improved as each of the three rounds took place and teams switched to “slick” tires. Rahal lost control of the car on the slick course and made contact with a tire barrier which brought out a red flag. His two fastest laps were omitted, one of which was sixth fastest and would have allowed him to progress to Round 2 and start in the top-12. On the opening lap, Rahal charged from his 21st place starting spot to 12th and was in 14th when he made his first pit stop. Different pit strategies played out in a race that saw only 10 caution laps of 110 total. In the closing laps of the race, Rahal was 13th but lost a position to Bourdais with two laps to go and finished 14th… Qualified 15th in 2013 for RLL and was in ninth place when the team discovered an electrical issue on Lap 22 under caution that shut the engine off intermittently 6-7 times and dropped him to 21st place. He soldiered on to finish 13th… He qualified 11th in 2012 and finished 12th and qualified 12th in 2011 and finished 17th – both for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). He qualified 16th and finished 9th for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2010. While with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he won pole in 2009 and finished seventh and qualified ninth, led 19 laps and won in his series debut in 2008 at the age of 19 years, 93 days old… His highest series start is pole at St. Pete (2009; street) and Kansas (2009; oval) and his highest finish is a win in St. Pete (2008) in his IndyCar Series debut to make him the youngest winner in series history at 19 years, 93 days old.

EIGHTH ST. PETE EVENT FOR RLL: This will mark the eighth IndyCar race for the team in St. Pete and the 13th car entered. The team prepared Indy cars for Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Buddy Rice (2005, 2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014) and James Jakes (2013) prior to this year. The team led 11 laps with Takuma Sato in 2012 and four laps with Hunter-Reay in 2008 (G. Rahal won w/NHLR) and has earned three top-10 finishes with the best being fifth by Meira in 2005. The highest starting position by the team is sixth place by Hunter-Reay in 2008.

NEXT UP: Practice will take place tomorrow from 12:30-1:15 p.m. ET. Qualifying will take place from 4:15-5:30 PM. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com. The season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be televised live on ABC at 3:00 PM ET Sunday, March 29.

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Pre-Race Notes – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

 

Round 1 of 16 in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series

 

DATE:                                   FridaySunday, March 27-29, 2015

QUALIFYING BROADCAST:       Live on the IMS Radio Network andwww.indycar.com (timing & scoring + commentating)

RACE BROADCAST:                       Live on ABC, Sunday, March 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET

RADIO BROADCAST:                     The race will air on IMS Radio Network, XM 209 & Sirius 213

TRACK LAYOUT:                            1.8-mile, 14-turn street course

RACE LENGTH:                               110 laps / 198 miles

2014 WINNER:                  Will Power

2014 POLESITTER:                        Takuma Sato (1:01.8668; 104.738 mph)

 

RLLR TOP START/

FINISH AT ST. PETE:                     6th by Hunter-Reay in 2008 (led 4) / 5th by Meira in 2005; will be 7th event

 

  1. RAHAL’S BEST START/

FINISH IN ST. PETE:                      1st in 2009 / 1st in 2008; will be his eighth 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 AT ST. PETE

The 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will mark the eighth IndyCar Series race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) in St. Petersburg. RLL has entered the No. 15 Mi-Jack entry for Graham Rahal.  The team prepared Indy cars for Danica Patrick (2005, 2006), Buddy Rice (2005, 2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Jeff Simmons (2007), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014) and James Jakes (2013) prior to this year. The team led 11 laps with Takuma Sato in 2012 and four laps with Hunter-Reay in 2008 (G. Rahal won w/NHLR) and has earned three top-10 finishes with the best being fifth by Meira in 2005.  The highest starting position by the team is sixth place by Hunter-Reay in 2008.

 

2014 ST. PETE RACE RECAP

The start of qualifying was delayed in 2014 for more that three hours after an afternoon storm. Rahal was in Group 1 that ran on a wet track on rain tires. Conditions improved as each of the three rounds took place and teams installed racing “slick” tires. Rahal lost control of the car on the slick course and made contact with a tire barrier which brought out a red flag. His two fastest laps were omitted, one of which was sixth fastest and would have allowed him to progress to Round 2 and start in the top-12.  Instead Ryan Briscoe advanced.  On the opening lap of the race, Rahal charged from his 21st place starting spot to 12th and was in 14th when he made his first pit stop. Different pit strategies played out in a race that saw only 10 caution laps of 110 total. In the closing laps of the race, Rahal was 13th but lost a position to Bourdais with two laps to go and finished 14th.

 

GRAHAM AND HIS HISTORY-MAKING APPEARANCES IN ST. PETE

In 2015, Graham will compete in his eighth event here.  After his history-making win here in 2008 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) at the age of 19 years, 93 days, he won pole in 2009 with NHLR to also become the youngest pole winner in series history.  He was hit from behind on the opening lap and finished seventh. In his other races here, he started 21st in 2014 (details above) and finished 14th.  In 2013, he qualified 15th for RLL and was in ninth place when the team discovered an electrical issue on Lap 22 under caution that shut the engine off intermittently 6-7 times and dropped him to 21st place. He soldiered on to finish 13th. He qualified 11th in 2012 and finished 12th and qualified 12th in 2011 and finished 17th – both for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR).  He qualified 16th and finished 9th for Sarah Fisher Racing in 2010.  While with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, he won pole in 2009 and finished seventh and qualified ninth, led 19 laps and won in his series debut in ‘08 at the age of 19 years, 93 days old.

He is one of four former previous race winners entered this year: James Hinchcliffe (2013), Helio Castroneves (2006, 2007 and 2012), Will Power (2010, 2014) and Graham Rahal (2008).

 

RAHAL ON A NEW SEASON AND THE AERO PACKAGE

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg marks the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda. Cars will be differentiated by their shape on the street course as the manufacturers have designed separate aero kit specifications for road and street course/short ovals and speedways for the Dallara IR-12 chassis. References to the cars will incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer.  After test sessions where Rahal and RLL were either the fastest Honda or near the top of the time sheets, Rahal is looking forward to the season-opener even more.

“I’m excited to race again in St. Petersburg,” said Rahal. “For me, St. Pete has always been one of the best tracks, one of the best places we go all year, a place that I just love. Because of the fact that I got my first win and my first pole there, it has always had a sweet spot in my heart. The town has always embraced the racing and I’ve enjoyed that. More than anything, I’m ready to just get this season going. It’s such a long off-season that I feel like we’re kind of behind.  The team has been doing such a great job and I’m just thrilled to get this thing going. I think its going to be a great year; I’m excited and ready to go.

“St. Pete is going to be interesting because it will be our first hard run with the new aero kits. The car seems to be handling everything pretty well; durability seems to be pretty good. At the end of the day, I think everybody is ready to get to St. Pete. Honda is ready to perform and I think we can lead the charge for them and hopefully do a great job. It’s going to be tough, tricky to see how this all plays out. We’re going to have to be very cautious of contact and make sure that we are staying clean and sharp. All in all, I’m really excited to get going.”

 

NEW FOR 2015

The first of three key appointments for the Verizon IndyCar Series program is Mike Talbott, who was most recently senior trackside engineer with Wirth Research in support of Honda Performance Development’s Indy car program and worked with Graham Rahal at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) in 2008. Talbott leads the vehicle dynamics program.  Martin Pare, who was race engineer for Rahal at NHLR from 2009-2010 and at Chip Ganassi Racing in 2011-2012 is head of the vehicle ride control development program.  Derek Davidson moved from being chief mechanic to James Jakes (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014) to crew chief. Donny Stewart remains the chief mechanic for Graham Rahal on the No. 15 entry as he has been since 2013. In addition, team manager Ricardo Nault and race engineer Eddie Jones will relay race strategy information to Graham. Bobby Rahal provided that information in 2013 and 2014.

 

MIKE TALBOTT ON THE WELCOME CHALLENGES OF THE NEW AERO PACKAGE

Manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda returned to the series in 2012. For the 2015 season, this extends to new aerodynamic configuration each manufacturer debuted recently.  Mike Talbott, who leads the vehicle dynamics program for RLL, is optimistic of the team’s progress with the aero kit.

“Since we received the data for the aero kit, we have been analyzing it in comparison to the old car to understand the differences between the last three years and 2015.  With the 2015 data we run simulations for each circuit to determine what we think is the best aero configuration.   Before arriving in St. Pete, we tested at NOLA, Barber, and Sebring.  Sebring will be the closest data to St. Pete so we will learn the most about the street course aero package there.  Certainly we are still on the very steep portion of the learning curve.  Heading into St. Pete, we will still be trying to optimize aero kit and the setup to maximize performance.

“The teams chosen by the two manufacturers to do the early testing certainly have an advantage.  If you look at the results from NOLA and Barber, the fastest  cars have mostly been the teams that did the development testing of the aero kits.  There is no doubt they have a big advantage.  However, that doesn’t change our expectations. At least for me personally, the rest of the engineers and certainly Graham, our intent is to go out and be on pole and fight for the win. That is certainly a lofty goal considering we are behind those teams in understanding the aero kit, but the nice thing about going to St. Pete is that it’s not a primarily aero-driven circuit.  Mechanical setup has a great deal to do with being competitive there and we have made big gains in that area and continue to work on that. I would expect us to be in the Fast Six and hopefully shooting for pole.”

 

Valpak Teams with IndyCar’s Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing for Second Year

(ST. PETERSBURG, FL – March 25, 2015)Valpak announced today that it will once again partner with IndyCar Series team Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing. This will be the second year for the exciting partnership that combines America’s love of racing with the Valpak loyal audience.

Featured driver Graham Rahal will make an appearance on the Valpak envelope later this year, as well as promote the Valpak smart phone app and spread the Valpak savings message nationwide on the Verizon IndyCar Series circuit. Graham will promote Valpak’s mobile offerings and savings on the go around the country.

“We’re excited that Graham and the team will share the Valpak message throughout the circuit,” said Michael Vivio, president of Cox Target Media and Valpak. “Watching them go full throttle during last year’s race season was exhilarating and it’s exciting to see them bring the Valpak message to millions of viewers,” he said.

Last year, Graham Rahal was featured on the August Valpak envelope with an augmented reality (AR) component and video. The envelope was mailed to more than 40 million households throughout the United States andCanada.

“We’re thrilled to continue our great partnership with Valpak,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. “Like a number of our partners, Valpak is one of the great iconic brands in today’s marketplace and we couldn’t be more proud to represent them at their home race in St. Petersburg. We look forward to supporting their many franchises and customers at IndyCar races across the nation.”

The IndyCar season will officially start this year at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, where Valpak headquarters is also located. Graham andBobby Rahal will visit Valpak headquarters and the Valpak ManufacturingCenter for a tour on March 26.

The partnership will also highlight Valpak’s automotive offerings, which continue to be a favorite among Valpak consumers, and includes offers on auto repair, tire dealers, auto parts, oil and lube, car wash and detail, auto body, auto repair and more.  Advertisers include Firestone, Jiffy Lube, Valvoline, Meineke, Maaco, Precision Tune, Tuffy and other brands. Combined, more than 1.6 billion advertisements were mailed with Valpak in 2014.

Valpak has led the industry in mobile couponing, with mobile savings through apps and continuing to incorporate the latest technology. It’s commitment to being in front of the latest technology helped its first-to-market integration into four mobile wallets, including Passbook, Microsoft, Samsung and Google.

Discover more about Valpak®

Valpak is at the heart of communities across North America, helping people save, businesses grow and neighborhoods thrive through a network of local franchises in the U.S. and Canada. Valpak marketing consultants live and work in your neighborhood. We know what your customers want (we are them!) and can help you take the guesswork out of advertising with real-world marketing solutions that drive measurable results. From the mailbox to online to mobile devices, Valpak continues to find innovative ways to connect businesses with consumers. Monthly, close to 40 million homes receive our Blue Envelope of savings and traffic on valpak.com and our syndication partner sites exceeds 110 million. Backed by the muscle of Cox Target Media, your local Valpak office has the means and know-how to custom build a marketing campaign that meets your needs and budget. Let us introduce you to the neighborhood. Call Valpak at 1-800-676-6878.

 

About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of CoxReps.  Additionally, CMG owns Cox Target Media, which operates Valpak, one of North America’s leading direct marketing companies, and Savings.com, a leading online source for savings.  The company’s operations currently include 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 59 radio stations, seven daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services.  CMG currently operates in more than 20 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including more than 31 million TV viewers, more than 3.5 million print and online newspaper readers, and more than 14 million radio listeners.  For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com

 

About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio andBrownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  In 2015 the team will compete in their 24th year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles, 81 podium finishes and 1992 series championship.  The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. In 2014, BMW Team RLL competed in the GTLM class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and earned six podium finishes including four second-place finishes. In 2015, the team opened the season by scoring their 50th podium finish of second place at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and will attempt to add to their 10 wins.

 

STEAK ‘N SHAKE TO BE PRIMARY SPONSOR OF RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING’S INDY CAR ENTRY AT FIVE VENUES INCLUDING THE INDY 500

RLLR SteaknShake Resized

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (March 24, 2015) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Steak ‘n Shake, the definitive American brand and home of the original Steakburger™ and hand-dipped milkshakes, will be the primary sponsor of the No. 15 Indy car driven byGraham Rahal at five Verizon IndyCar Series events including the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500. The partnership includes races at Long Beach, two events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Detroit, and Mid-Ohio. Maxim Magazine branding will also be featured on the race car. Both are owned by Biglari Holdings Inc.

In addition, Steak ‘n Shake will be an associate sponsor for the rest of the 2015 IndyCar Series season.  It is the first time that the Indianapolis-based company will be involved in Indy car racing.

“I’ve been eating them since I was 11. Finally, free Steakburgers!” said David Letterman, co-owner of RLL with 1986 Indy 500 winner and three-time Indy car champion Bobby Rahal and Mi-Jack co-owner Michael Lanigan.

“Dave Letterman clearly loves Steak ‘n Shake, and we love teaming up with champions. After all, the best way to be a champion is to unite with champions,” added Sardar Biglari, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Biglari Holdings Inc. “As we enter the Indy car series with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, without a doubt we are sponsoring the very best in racing and we are honored to be associated with the team, whose name is synonymous with winning.”

“As a longtime fan of Steak ‘n Shake, this partnership seems so perfect,” added Bobby Rahal, co-owner of RLL.  “Over the years I have visited many Steak ‘n Shakes and never had the thought that they could potentially be a sponsor of ours but here we are. We are thrilled to welcome the Steak ‘n Shake brand to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and introduce them to Indy car racing.  This is another bit of good news for our sport with a new company coming in. We’re looking forward to putting them in Victory Lane.”

The 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins on March 29 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and will be televised live on ABC at3:00 p.m. ET.

About Steak ‘n Shake Inc.

Steak ‘n Shake, a classic American brand, serves premium burgers and shakes in more than 500 restaurants across the country and the world. Founded in 1934 in Normal, Illinois, Steak ‘n Shake is the leader in the “better burger” segment of the restaurant industry, serving hand-crafted, premium Steakburgers and hand-dipped milkshakes. Steak ‘n Shake is the recipient of the Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain Award. Zagat has recognized Steak ‘n Shake as having the #1 Milkshake. Steak ‘n Shake  Inc., based out of Indianapolis, Indiana, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Biglari Holdings Inc.

About Maxim Inc.

Maxim. is one of the largest men’s lifestyle magazines in the United Statesand internationally. The company is based in New York, New York. Maxim Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Biglari Holdings Inc.

About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg,Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis500 winner Bobby Rahal, CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  In 2015 the team will compete in their 24th year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 20 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice — their 29 poles, 81 podium finishes and 1992 series championship.  The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. In 2014, BMW Team RLL competed in the GTLM class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and earned six podium finishes including four second-place finishes. In 2015, the team opened the season by scoring their 50th podium finish of second place at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and will attempt to add to their 10 wins.

 

 

 

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