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Aug 24, 2014 - 07:41 AM
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· 2014 Sonoma: IndyCar Starting Line-up & Race Preview (Aug 24, 2014)
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2014 Sonoma: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Aug 24, 2014 - 07:37 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2014 Sonoma: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Recap


GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It’s very, very competitive. We were seventh in our group which means we missed advancing by one-tenth of a second but that’s the way this sport is, you can’t miss it at all. It was a hair but we’ll be alright tomorrow. We have a lot of work to do overnight but I have confidence in this group and the National Guard car will be alright. This place has always been tough for me but I’ve had four top-10s here and hopefully we can have another one of those days tomorrow, work through strategy and make our way forward. The elevation here is tough on the tires, tough on the drivers and it will be a long 85 laps around here tomorrow but I’m looking forward to it.”

 

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· FAST FACTS: Will be his seventh Indy car race here. His best start is sixth place with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) in 2009 and best finish is fifth with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR) in 2012. He has finished in the top-10 in all but two of his six races (broken drive shaft in ’09; contact while sixth in ‘13). Rahal qualified eighth in 2013, ran as high as sixth but contact while in the middle of a three-wide situation dropped him to the back and he rallied to finish 11th. He qualified 15th for SCCGR in 2012, started 13th after grid penalties were served and finished fifth. He qualified 13th for SCCGR in 2011 and finished eighth. In 2010, he qualified 16th with NHR and finished 9th. Made the final Firestone Fast Six in qualifying six times in the seven road/street races in 2009 and started sixth in Sonoma for NHLR. Contact on the opening lap with Marco Andretti forced an early stop for a new front wing but his drive shaft broke when he attempted to leave the pits. After the car was repaired in the garage area, he returned to the track many laps down in 21st position and ultimately retired in the same place after completing 30 of the 75 laps. He started 15th and finished 8th here in 2008 with NHLR... His best finish this season is second place in Detroit Dual 1 and best start is fourth in Race 2 of the 2014 Houston doubleheader.

RLL AT SONOMA: The race will mark the seventh Indy car event for RLL here. The highest start and finish for the team here is by Buddy Rice in 2005 when he started sixth and finished second. Prior to the 2014 event, the team prepared a total of 11 Indy car entries for drivers Buddy Rice (2005-2006), Vitor Meira (2005), Danica Patrick (2005-2006), Jeff Simmons (2006), Scott Sharp (2007), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-2008), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013) and James Jakes (2013). The team has earned one podium (2nd – Rice 2005), one top-five and four top-10 finishes at the track. The No. 15 National Guard entry for Graham Rahal will bring the Indy car total to 13 entries in 2014. Last year at Sonoma, Rahal qualified eighth in Sonoma, ran as high as sixth but contact while in the middle of a three-wide situation dropped him to the back and he rallied to finish 11th. Jakes ran well in practice at Sonoma but started 19th. He gained 10 spots to run ninth but retired in 25th with engine failure after 57/85 laps.

NEXT UP: Pre-race warm-up will take place tomorrow from 10:00 - 10:30 a.m. PDT and NBC Sports Network will begin coverage of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at 4 p.m. ET. The race will also be broadcast by the IMS Radio Network and XM & Sirius channels 209 & 213.

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