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May 31, 2014 - 06:35 AM
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2014 Detroit: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Practice Recap
Posted by: newsla on May 31, 2014 - 06:29 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2014 Detroit: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Practice Recap


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “The National Guard car seems to be very competitive and that’s all we can ask for. It seems we’re right in the thick of it. I’m pretty happy with our pace. I brushed the wall in Practice 2 and ended our day about 15 minutes early but we’re pretty quick and competitive. I think the things we found in Long Beach with the setup are starting to pay off.”

 

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FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth and sixth races here. He qualified 14th for Dual 1 in Detroit in 2013 but started 23rd due to an unapproved engine change at Indy. He gained three spots on the opening lap and another two on the first restart on Lap 4. The team elected for an alternate strategy and the timing of the caution flags worked in the team’s favor and Rahal was able to climb 14 spots to finish ninth. He qualified 15th for Dual 2 in Detroit and finished ninth… In 2012, he qualified seventh with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing but had a 10-grid penalty for an unapproved engine change and started 17th. He was eighth when he made his final stop on Lap 45/60 but during the red flag stop to repair the track, a clutch problem surfaced and he was unable to continue and retired in 19th place. In 2008 he drove for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and progressed to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying for the first time in his series career and qualified sixth. The team chose the same pit strategy as then race leader Dixon which almost worked but a late race fourth caution botched the plan and he had to stop for a splash of fuel with three laps to go and dropped to 13th.

1 WIN, 2 FRONT ROW STARTS & 3 PODIUMS ON BELLE ISLE FOR RLL RACING: The 2014 entry will mark the 15th year for the team in the event as well as the 16th and 17th races. The team’s highest start of second place and highest finish of first in the event came in the inaugural running on Belle Isle in 1992 by Bobby Rahal. The team also started second in 2013 with James Jakes (Dual 2). In total, the team has earned three podiums (James Jakes 2013, Max Papis 2000 – 2nd), four top-five finishes and 12 top-10’s here (chart on back page). Prior to 2014, the team prepared a total of 23 entries for drivers such as Bobby Rahal (1992-1998), Mike Groff (1993-94), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-01), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-08), Takuma Sato (2012) Graham Rahal (2013) and James Jakes (2013). The No. 15 National Guard entry for Graham Rahal will bring that total to 24 in 2014.

NEXT UP: Qualifying for Dual 1 will take place tomorrow morning from 8:35-9:35 a.m. ET. Timing and Scoring information is available for all sessions from www.indycar.com. The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit – Race 1 -- will air on ABC on Saturday, May 31 and race 2 will air on ABC on Sunday – both shows begin at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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