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2017 Toronto: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Jul 17, 2017 - 06:20 AM
IndyCar Weekend Team Reports
2017 Toronto: Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar Race Recap

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Rousseau Metal Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I got the call after we passed pit in. Newgarden was just lucky because he was falling off the train of the three of us (Castroneves, Pagenaud and Rahal). He was 2.5 seconds behind us, or just enough to get the call. When they said to me ‘Pit, pit’ I was turning into Turn 9. Obviously I can’t see what’s going on in Turn 1. We played it right today but got unlucky. The three best cars didn’t win the race or finish 1-2-3. There was nobody that was a match for the three of us all day. It’s a shame but sometimes luck plays a role in these things. Congrats to Josef, he still brought it home but you could see in the first stint that Simon, Helio and myself were taking off and I felt that was a pretty easy pace for us to maintain and go from there. Obviously I’m disappointed for the Rousseau team. I’m happy for our United Rentals Turns for Troops (lap completed) program. We raised another several thousand dollars to help our veterans. But I’m frustrated because today was a day we should have easily gained a lot of points on Dixon, Newgarden and everybody else but unfortunately the way the officials have decided to close the pits these days, luck plays a huge factor and today it bit us. We got it home and got another top-10 but I’m disappointed and rightly so, and our guys are too. They know the car that we put on the track today was a car that was capable of winning this race. The guys did a great job in the pits and I think we have proven that the No. 15 is one of the cars to beat each and every single weekend and probably legitimately one of the few that can take it to Penske every weekend. I’m just extremely proud of this organization.”

FAST FACTS: Rahal started second in the 85-lap race with inclement weather a threat. On the start, he had a run on polesitter Pagenaud and went on the outside as third place Castroneves went on the inside and passed both cars. Points leader Dixon and frontrunner Power made contact behind Rahal with Dixon needing to pit and Power ultimately retiring therefore it looked to be a good opportunity to make up some ground in the title fight. While Rahal was still third with the top-three pulling away, Kanaan made contact on Lap 23 and fourth place runner Newgarden was able to dive into the pits before the Full Course Caution came out and closed them. Once the pits opened, the front runners made their stops after that and Rahal rejoined the race in 16th place. Late in the race he ran 10th but was able to pass Saavedra for ninth before the checkered flag. Newgarden won with Rossi and Hinchcliffe, who both pit right before Kanaan’s caution, finished second and third… It was his 11th Indy car race here and 12th overall including his 2006 Atlantic race… In his 10 previous Indy car races, his previous best Toronto start was third in 2009 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and his best finish is fifth in 2010 with Newman/Haas Racing. Year-by-year results are available per request… His best finishes this season are two wins in Detroit and best start is pole for Detroit Race 1. In his past three street course qualifying sessions, he has qualified no lower than third… Rahal is tied for fifth place in series point standings with a total of 359. He is 64 points behind leader Scott Dixon (423), 61 behind second place Helio Castroneves (420), 45 behind third place Simon Pagenaud (404), 41 behind fourth place Josef Newgarden (400), and tied with fifth place Will Power (359).

NEXT UP: The series will take next weekend off before returning to action on July 28-30 for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Graham Rahal won the 2015 race after having led a race-high 23 laps to win his home event. Based on his qualifying effort in Toronto, he earned the second pit box closest to pit out for that event.

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