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Apr 22, 2013 - 11:07 AM
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2013 Long Beach: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Apr 22, 2013 - 11:05 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2013 Long Beach: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Recap


RAHAL EARNED HIS FIRST PODIUM WITH HIS FATHER’S TEAM WITH SECOND PLACE IN THE TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; JAKES FINISHED 12TH AND CONWAY RETIRED 25TH AFTER MECHANICAL FAILURE

 

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GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Midas / Big O Tires Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We performed the way we ought to each and every weekend here in Long Beach. We came out here and the Midas / Big O Tires car was right there all the time. Qualifying was a little disappointing but we were in the top-five almost every session and I felt, going into the race that’s exactly what we could do here. To be honest it just feels phenomenal to get this result. God, I was so close to winning yet again. On the last restart, I think that if (Charlie) Kimball wasn’t in the way we would have had a great run at it. Man it feels so good to be on the podium here. There is so much history in Long Beach. The only problem is that I think this is the fifth time a Rahal has finished second here so we’re going to have to break the curse eventually. I can’t thank these guys enough; they have done a great job.”

FAST FACTS: With his second place finish and 12th Indy car podium, he jumped to seventh in series points with 66… Was his seventh Champ/Indy car race here, eighth overall, and first for his father’s team. His previous best start/finish here came in 2007 when he started fifth 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. He was in podium contention several times but various challenges took him out of that possibility… This is Rahal’s first full season at RLL, sixth in the IZOD IndyCar Series and seventh in a top open wheel racing series (CCWS 2007)... The Ohio native recorded 92 starts between the Champ Car World Series and IZOD IndyCar Series (2007-2012) capturing one win, two poles, 19 top-five and 44-top 10 finishes. He led a total of 28 laps in 2012 – 27 at Texas Motor Speedway where he nearly claimed his second series victory but brushed the wall and finished second -- had an average start of 12.4 and average finish of 11.2, earned three podium finishes and completed 87.2 percent of the laps run (1,841 of 2,111).

JAMES JAKES, No. 16 Acorn Stairlifts Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I nearly got looped at the start; I was lucky not to spin really. And then everything was kind of going according to plan but on the first stop we had a problem with the left front and had a long stop which dropped us to the back. Then we were just gradually working our way up from there really. It was a tough afternoon. We were fighting from there and managed to climb up a few positions but then the last stint was a fuel-saving one so it was difficult to overtake. It was disappointing but the Acorn Stairlifts guys will bounce back at Brazil.”

FAST FACTS: Was his third race here, best start at this track and first with RLL after having driven for Dale Coyne Racing in the previous two. He qualified 22nd in 2012 but started 14th after grid penalties to Chevy-powered teams but made a mistake while running up front and finished 11th. In 2011, he qualified 23rd and finished 15th... Jakes is competing in his third season in the IndyCar Series and first with RLL. In 31 Indy car starts with Dale Coyne Racing from 2011-2012, his best finish was eighth at Toronto and series-best start of eighth was at Motegi… Is ranked 22nd in series standings with 40 points.

MIKE CONWAY, No. 17 blu eCigs Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It had been a great weekend so far and obviously I wanted to come away with a good result. Unfortunately we had an electrical issue of some kind. It’s a shame. At the beginning we dropped back on that first restart; I was in a bit of trouble really because I couldn’t move anywhere. I was stuck on the inside and everyone just started funneling down the outside and I lost five or six positions. That was a shame. We were just stuck there between all the guys on reds (Firestone alternate tires) and it was difficult to do anything. After that, we felt quick but then we came in and changed strategies and leapfrogged quite a few guys so it was a good call. We ended up fourth and were around guys on blacks so we would have done really well but unfortunately, once the safety car came out, the problem started to kick in. It’s unfortunate because the blu eCigs car has been great all weekend so it’s a shame we couldn’t get the result.”

FAST FACTS: Was his fifth race in Long Beach and first IndyCar Series race of 2013. The electrical charging system was not working properly so the car was losing battery power and that caused the engine to not run properly. The battery was changed once as was the power distribution block but neither solved the problem so it would have taken much longer to fix therefore the team was forced to retire from the race. In 2012, he qualified 14th, started seventh after series penalties to Chevy-powered teams and retired in 22nd due to mechanical issues while driving for AJ Foyt Racing. In 2011, he qualified third, led 14 laps and earned his first series victory with Andretti Autosport. In 2010, he qualified 16th and finished 10th with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. In 2009, he qualified 16th and retired in 21st after contact… RLL expanded to three entries for Long Beach with primary sponsorship from blu eCigs for the event. Blu eCigs is also an associate sponsor for the team for the full season.

RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING AT LONG BEACH… 2013 marks the 22nd consecutive season of competition for the team and 14th Indy car race in Long Beach… In total, the team won three poles (Bryan Herta 1998, Jimmy Vasser 2002, Michel Jourdain, Jr. 2003); made five front row starts including an all-Team Rahal front row in 1998 (2nd – Rahal 1998, Kenny 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).


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