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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.

Verizon IndyCar Series – NOTES/QUOTES – Saturday, April 18, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

 STEAK ‘N SHAKE DRIVER RAHAL TO START EIGHTH IN THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; BEST STARTING POSITION FOR 2015

POLE:             Helio Castroneves    1:06.6294 / 106.331 mph       (Round 3; Group 1)
8th:                 Graham Rahal           1:07.1290 / 105.540 mph       (Round 2; Group 1) 

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “Everything went pretty well in qualifying; obviously the Steak ‘n Shake car was pretty close. We missed a top-six spot in Round 2 to advance to Round 3 by less than one-tenth of a second; it’s a close field.  Obviously we would like to start a little higher up. If we couldn’t be on pole we wanted to be the fastest Honda today and we came up just short.  The guys have been working awfully hard and I think this team is turning it around so hopefully we can have a good day tomorrow. I think racing is typically our thing versus qualifying so starting eighth makes it a lot easier than where we have started.  I think it’s going to be an exciting race. For all the guys out here, I figured it would be pretty exciting to have the Maxim girls out here. It’s cool to have them on board. Biglari Holdings owns both Steak ‘n Shake and Maxim and it’s exciting to have them involved. It’s a new sponsor for Indy car racing. The fan support for Steak ‘n Shake in particular has been absolutely incredible.  Keep those social media posts coming and go out and enjoy a Steakburger!”

FAST FACTS: Will be 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.

3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 15 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: This will mark the fourth time for RLL to compete in the Indy car race at Long Beach since 2003 when Michel Jourdain, Jr. won pole, led a race high 48 laps and was in the lead when his car stuck in gear on his final stop with seven laps to go and ultimately retired in 15th place.  In their 15 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 26 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Jourdain (2002-2003), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014),  James Jakes (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014).  In total, the team won three poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place four times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013) and earned six podiums (3rd – Herta 1998-1999). Last year in Long Beach, Rahal finished seventh after struggles in practice led to a 23rd place start. Oriol Servia qualified 12th but contact with Conway and Andretti broke two different front wings in the race and he soldiered on to finish 13th.

NEXT UP:  Race day warm-up will take place tomorrow from 10:00-10:30 a.m. PT. The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBCSN at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 19.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING TO PREPARE AN ENTRY FOR ORIOL SERVIA FOR THE 99TH RUNNING OF THE INDY 500

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 14, 2015) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team will prepare an entry for veteran Oriol Servia for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. Servia competed for the team in the Indy 500 in 2009 and in four races in 2014.

The 2015 Indy 500 will be Servia’s seventh in the famed race and third 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.

“I honestly couldn’t be any happier to announce that I will be entering the 99th Indianapolis 500 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said Servia. “There is a saying in Spanish “A la tercera va la vencida” (Third time lucky) that I feel fits our effort very well. This will be our third attempt together to cross the most famous brickyard first after 500 miles. The first two efforts were very promising and encouraged all parties to go for it again with the most ambitious aspirations. I have followed closely all the changes that the team has gone through over the winter and I am really excited as I have worked with most of the new hires. I believe the whole team is perhaps the strongest and most talented group in the whole Indy car paddock. I must thank the whole team and especially the bosses, Mr. Rahal, Mr. Letterman and Mr. Lanigan for their confidence and support. I can’t wait to jump in the car and team up with Graham again. This will be a great month of May.”

“Oriol is a very talented driver,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan.  “He’s a smart driver and he’s got a lot of experience so we’re looking forward to bringing him back to run the Indy 500 with us for the third time.  Having teamed with Graham before at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and again last year, their setups seem to be quite similar so you can really take advantage of having a multi-car team.  When we looked at who the best driver was to join us for the Indy 500, Oriol was our first choice. He’s competitive; he’s smart, has good race craft and brings it home.”

Servia, a native of Pals, Spain, has made 195 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.  He will participate in the open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 3.

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 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.

NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, April 17, 2015

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Grand Prix of Long Beach
Verizon IndyCar Series

NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, April 17, 2015

STEAK ‘N SHAKE DRIVER RAHAL SEVENTH OVERALL IN PRACTICE FOR THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH

1) Will Power 1:07.5485 / 104.885 mph
7) Graham Rahal 1:08.1294 / 103.990 mph

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I thought the crowd today was great but with this weather, why wouldn’t it be? We had a mechanical issue this morning and only got to run a handful of laps. The second practice was more of what I expected. Our car was good this morning but we just didn’t get to see it through before we had the issue. We are the fastest Honda but we have a little work to do to catch the Penske’s. I was on a lap that was about a tenth (of a second) and a half quicker but I just screwed it up, ate too much curb off in Turn 8 and lost it. I feel like there is a lot of potential. But we’re pretty close and if you put Will, Simon and a few others aside, we’re kind of the best of the rest but we’ll keep fighting hard to improve the Steak ‘n Shake car tomorrow. We’re in the hunt.”

FAST FACTS: Will be 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.

3 POLES, 6 PODIUMS FOR RLL IN 15 INDY CAR RACES AT LONG BEACH: This will mark the fourth time for RLL to compete in the Indy car race at Long Beach since 2003 when Michel Jourdain, Jr. won pole, led a race high 48 laps and was in the lead when his car stuck in gear on his final stop with seven laps to go and ultimately retired in 15th place. In their 15 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 26 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Jourdain (2002-2003), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014), James Jakes (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014). In total, the team won three poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place four times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013) and earned six podiums (3rd – Herta 1998-1999). Last year in Long Beach, Rahal finished seventh after struggles in practice led to a 23rd place start. Oriol Servia qualified 12th but contact with Conway and Andretti broke two different front wings in the race and he soldiered on to finish 13th.

NEXT UP: Practice will take place tomorrow morning from 10:00-10:45 p.m. PT. Qualifying will take place from 2:00-3:15 PM and air on NBCSN at 6:30 PM ET Saturday. Timing and Scoring information and live streaming video is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com . The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be televised live on NBCSN at 4:00 PM ET Sunday, April 19.

After Top-Five Runs in the Past Two Races, Rahal Looks Forward to Long Beach in the Steak ‘n Shake Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Pre-Race Notes
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach – Streets of Long Beach, California
Round 3 of 16 in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series
DATE: Friday – Sunday, April 17-19, 2015
QUALIFYING BROADCAST: NBC Sports Network at 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, April 18; live on the IMS Radio
Network and www.indycar.com (timing & scoring)
RACE BROADCAST: Live on NBC Sports Network, Sunday, April 19 at 4 p.m. ET
RADIO BROADCAST: The race will air on IMS Radio Network, XM 211 & Sirius 211
TRACK LAYOUT: 1.968-mile, 11-turn street course
RACE LENGTH: 80 laps / 157.4 miles
2014 WINNER: Mike Conway
2014 POLESITTER: Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:07.8219 / 104.462 mph)

RLL’S BEST START/FINISH AT LONG BEACH: 3 poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003) / 2nd – four times (Rahal 1992-1993,
Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013)
RAHAL’S BEST START/FINISH AT LONG BEACH: 5th in 2007 / 2nd in 2013; will be his ninth Indy car race here and 10th overall

RAHAL’S BEST INDY CAR START/FINISH: Pole at St. Pete 2009 & Kansas 2009 / 1st in St. Pete in 2008

NEWS & NOTES:

DEBUT OF STEAK ‘N SHAKE AS PRIMARY SPONSOR IN LONG BEACH
The 2015 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (TGPLB) marks the first race for Steak ‘n Shake as a primary sponsor of an Indy car. The team announced in March that Steak ‘n Shake would be the primary sponsor of the No. 15 entry for Verizon IndyCar Series events in 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. Steak ‘n Shake is a definitive American brand and home of the original Steakburger(TM) and hand-dipped milkshakes. Rahal is making an appearance at their Third Street Promenade location in Santa Monica from 12-2 PM PT Wednesday. After running in the top-five in the 2015 season-opening race in St. Petersburg and last weekend in New Orleans, Rahal can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the Steak ‘n Shake entry in Long Beach.
“I have been pleasantly surprised by the fan support and excitement since we announced Steak ‘n Shake as a sponsor. The fans have taken the news by storm and the support has been pretty incredible. It seems that every day someone tags me in a tweet with a picture of themselves at Steak ‘n Shake. I’m looking forward to getting out there in the Steak ‘n Shake Maxim car and seeing how we can do. It’s a racy-looking machine; I think the colors suit the car well. The last time we ran red and white, we finished second at Long Beach (2013, Big O Tires) so hopefully that carries forward.”

16TH INDY CAR RACE IN LONG BEACH FOR RLL; THREE CARS ENTERED FOR WEEKEND
The 2015 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (TGPLB) marks the 16th time for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) to compete in the event. Although the team didn’t compete in Indy car races here from 2004-2011 while they fielded a fulltime entry in the Indy Racing League (2004-2008), they did compete in the 2003 and 2004 Atlantic races with Danica Patrick and in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race. In 2009, the team returned to the streets of Long Beach in the ALMS with BMW Team RLL and has finished on the podium each year since then including a win in 2011 with Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller and a 1-2 finish in 2013 with Bill Auberlen and Maxime Martin (1st) and Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand (2nd). In 2014 the team finished second and sixth.

In their 15 previous Indy car races in Long Beach, the team entered 27 cars for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998),
Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Jourdain (2002-2003), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014), James Jakes (2013), Mike Conway (2013) and Oriol Servia (2014). In total, the team won three poles (Herta 1998, Vasser 2002, Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Brack 2001); earned their best finish of second place four times (Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002, G. Rahal 2013) and earned six podiums (2nd – Rahal 1992-1993, Vasser 2002 & G. Rahal 2013; 3rd – Herta 1998-1999).

In 2014, Rahal drove to a seventh place finish after struggles in practice led to a 23rd place start. The team also prepared an entry for Oriol Servia who qualified 12th but contact with Conway and Andretti broke two different front wings in the race and he soldiered on to finish 13th.

The team has prepared three cars for the Long Beach weekend – the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry for Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race and two entries under the name BMW Team RLL that will compete in the GTLM class of the United SportsCar Series race on Saturday.

GRAHAM ON EXPECTATIONS FOR “HOME RACE” AFTER RUNNING IN THE TOP-FIVE IN BOTH 2015 RACES
“Long Beach is kind of a home race for me these days so it will be exciting to be out there with a lot of friends and family,” said Rahal who is tied for seventh place in the point standings with 43. “Hopefully we can put on a good show for them. The St. Pete and Long Beach tracks are a little bit different but I do think that having had a competitive run at St. Pete indicates that we should have a good run at Long Beach. I feel pretty confident in our street course car. Long Beach has kind of been one of our strong suits as far as the street courses have been, certainly the last couple of years, so I’m looking forward to it. Long Beach is a very technical track, there are a lot of bumps, a lot of different variations of speed and cornering; it should be a lot of fun.”

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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