News

June 03, 2018

Rahal Finished Fifth in Dual 2 of the Detroit GP Doubleheaders

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 United Rentals Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “I’m definitely proud of the performance and the effort that everyone on the United Rentals team put in. The guys did an amazing job last night. We had to switch to a backup and they were here until 12:30 in the morning.  Luckily it was a bit of a late start today but the guys got very little rest but again they put a car on the track that had no mechanical issues, no problems whatsoever.  It was a decent points day. We should have put it all together yesterday but that’s on me. I’m obviously still a little upset with myself from yesterday but overall it was a good rebound today.”

·      FAST FACTS: He set the fifth fastest time in Group 2 of qualifying and started ninth. After a delay of approximately 30 minutes due to the celebrity pace car driver crashing the pace car on the pace lap, the second attempt to start the race was successful.  Rahal passed Pagenaud and Veach on the opening lap for seventh place before the only caution period of the race came out for Pigot, who was spun by Ferrucci.  Once the race restarted, he held his position and moved to fifth when drivers on three-stop strategies began to pit beginning on Lap 10 including frontrunners Wickens and Hinchcliffe.  Bourdais, who had to pit on the early caution due to a puncture, and was now on the more durable primary tires to those on alternates, closed and then passed Rahal as he was about to pit. He made his first stop on L21/70 and returned to the track in 13th place. He cycled into seventh by Lap 32 and into sixth by Lap 38 after narrowly avoiding Bourdais who made contact ahead of him.  He made his second and final stop on Lap 46 and moved back into sixth by Lap 50.  He held the position until Lap 64 when he took over fifth when eventual winner Hunter-Reay pressured race leader and teammate Rossi into making a mistake and having to go into the runoff area in Turn 3 and later having to pit for tires after a flat due to locking up his brakes. Rahal took the checkered flag in fifth place… Last year Rahal was either first or second in every on-track session including qualifying and each race.  In Dual 1 last year, Rahal earned his first pole since Kansas 2009 and led a dominating 55 of 70 laps en route to his fifth series victory and first ever from pole.  He handily held the lead with the exception of pit cycles and built a gap of more than 13 seconds at one point before he ultimately won by a six-second margin over Scott Dixon.  For Dual 2, Rahal set the second fastest time in his qualifying group 2 to Sato to start third.  In the race, he passed Hunter-Reay on Lap 8 and closed the gap to pole sitter and leader Sato but could not pass. Sato pit one lap earlier than Rahal, who took the lead on Lap 23 before he made his first of two stops on Lap 24 and returned to the track behind Newgarden who was on a three-stop strategy. Once Newgarden pit on Lap 29, Rahal took over the lead and steadily built his gap to second place to 16 seconds over Sato before his second and final stop on Lap 47.  He then proceeded to build an 18 second gap over second place before he caught traffic.  That reduced his lead to new second place runner Newgarden to 5.5 seconds before a red flag came out for the car of Pigot, who experienced a smoky end. All race cars were stopped in pit lane for approximately 10 minutes while the track was cleared and an attempt to remove marbles was made.  The race resumed with a two lap shootout and Rahal utilized his 57 seconds of Push to Pass over Newgarden’s 36 to keep the lead on the restart before he was able to pull a slight gap before the checkered flag to become the first winner of both races in Detroit.  In total, he led 41 of 70 laps.  His other podiums in the race came in 2014 with second place in Dual 1 and third place in Dual 2 in 2015.  Overall, he has two wins, four podiums and one pole in 11 races here… Has SIX IndyCar Series wins (2008 – St. Pete street course; 2015 – Fontana Super Speedway, Mid-Ohio road course; 2016 – Texas Super Speedway; 2017 Detroit Race 1, Detroit Race 2) and THREE poles (2009 – St. Pete street course, Kansas oval; 2017 – Detroit Race 1 street) and his highest series season-ending standing is fourth place in 2015… He is seventh in series point standings with a total of 221 points, only 49 behind fifth place Josef Newgarden.

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