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Apr 14, 2014 - 09:38 AM
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2014 Long Beach: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Apr 14, 2014 - 09:36 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2014 Long Beach: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Recap

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a crazy day for us. The National Guard guys did a great job for us. I must say the engineering staff and all of the mechanics were down because we were starting where we did and to charge up like that feels awfully good. When we stopped out strategy was working perfectly. We were able to click by guys, going and going. I hit Justin and they called a penalty on me and then I got hit by Aleshin and he doesn’t get a penalty. Same exact situation but I got one and he doesn’t. Honestly I feel like we had a great car today. The National Guard guys did a fantastic job and I really can’t be disappointed. We could have won this race because the car was definitely quick enough but on a day like today, you just have to take what you’re given.”


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FAST FACTS: Started 23rd and gained one spot at the start before he made his first pit stop on Lap 3 in order to get out of sequence. Multiple incidents happened during the race including being hit by Kanaan, who was leaving his pit box, a drive through penalty for what was deemed avoidable contact with Justin Wilson on a restart, avoiding a multi car accident, and being hit by Aleshin, who was not penalized for contact and dropped from sixth to 13th… Was his EIGHTH Champ or Indy car race here, ninth overall, and second for his father’s team. 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… He is in a three-way tie for 15th in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings with 33 points.

ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was one of those races where you feel frustrated no matter where you finish because I basically ran two thirds of the race with a broken front wing. I broke two front wings actually. On the first one, out of the hairpin I think Conway went into neutral or anti-stall because all of a sudden he slowed down when I was out of the hairpin so I kind of nailed him on exit and broke the front wing. We ran around 15 laps like that and I was really struggling so on the next pit stop we changed the front wing which cost us some positions but at least the car felt great then. And three laps into it, Marco tried a bonzai move in the hairpin and I had to move and hit Pagenaud and broke the second one so I was without a front wing again. I was amazed about how the car was still great. I had a lot of under steer but I was able to keep the pace. I wasn’t able to pass anybody because I was slow in the corners but the car was strong. It’s just frustrating because there was not one lap where I could show how fast the car was and I think it was really fast. It’s encouraging that we found a good pace for the next street race, which I hope I will be in.”

FAST FACTS: Started 12th and gained one spot on the start. Ran as high as seventh, where he finished… Was his 13th race here and first with RLL at this track. His best finish is second in 2007 with Forsythe and best start is fourth in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing… In 12 events, he has earned one podium (2nd in 2007), one top-five and five top-10 finishes. He retired with mechanical failure four times and once after contact… Servia, 39, a native of Pals, Spain, has made 191 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 100 top-10 finishes. He competed for the team in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 and was in ninth place halfway through the race when a mechanical failure led to his retirement in 26th place.

NEXT UP: Graham Rahal will test at Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 16. The next round of the Verizon IndyCar Series will take place at Barber Motorsports Park for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, April 25-27.

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