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Jul 02, 2014 - 07:24 PM
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2014 Pocono 500: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 02, 2014 - 07:23 PM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2014 Pocono 500: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Preview


RLL RETURNS TO POCONO RACEWAY
The Pocono INDYCAR 500 will mark the second open-wheel race at Pocono Raceway since 1989. The 2.5-mile oval hosted Indy car races from 1971 to 1989 and team co-owner Bobby Rahal competed in eight races there from 1982-1989. Last year Rahal qualified 17th, started 16th due to a grid penalty for someone ahead of him and finished 18th. James Jakes qualified 14th, started 13th after a car ahead received a grid penalty and finished 12th. The team will field the No. 15 National Guard entry driven by Graham Rahal for this event.

 

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RAHAL ON POCONO
“It's tricky because it's three corners that are totally different. To get a car that's well balanced in all corners is impossible, but you certainly work your hardest to be close on the rest of them. The team and I are looking forward to the challenge of the track and 500 miles. We attempted to test here in June but didn’t due to the weather and weepers. I think we will be fine. We certainly have to work hard and efficiently, but our team has improved a lot in that aspect and I think we can be very competitive.”

RAHAL ON LAST YEAR
“Last year was difficult because we never got a good balance out of the car. We were never very close and struggled throughout the race. We are hoping to be much better this year.”

RAHAL ON THE APPROACH TO A 500-MILE RACE VS. A REGULAR DISTANCE RACE
Last year Indy car racing returned to the “Tricky Triangle” for the first time since 1989 and the distance was 400 miles. This year the race will be extended 40 laps for a total of 500 miles. In the previous 500-mile race this year – the 2014 Indy 500 -- Rahal suffered an engine electrical issue that repeatedly shut the engine off. He completed 44 of 200 laps and retired in 33rd place.
“I think you do approach the race a little different than non-500-mile races because it's all about patience and being solid throughout the whole race, not just a couple hundred miles. It's key to stay calm and relaxed throughout the race to have a good finish.”

SPECIAL FOURTH OF JULY LIVERY
Rahal’s No. 15 National Guard entry will feature a special livery at the Pocono INDYCAR 500 to commemorate the Fourth of July weekend and honor the more than 350,000 Army National Guard Soldiers who serve in over 3,200 communities across 54 US states and territories. The unique one-race design features a patriotic mix of red, white and blue with iconic brand elements for the National Guard, including highlights of ‘urban camouflage’ used on the team’s crew apparel this season.
“I love the current red, white and blue livery but it’s great to have a special one for the Fourth of July weekend,” said Rahal. “The camouflage is really a cool touch and I hope it connects with the men and women of the National Guard that we are honored to represent. As an American, racing on this particular weekend is very special and I think the car will look great on track!”

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