July 24, 2018

Rahal Looks Forward to Honda Indy 200 Home Race After Competitive Runs at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2017

Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Pre-Race Notes
Round 13 of 17 in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series

DATE: July 27-29, 2018

PRACTICE BROADCASTS: Live on with analysis from the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network (AAPIRN) and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel  on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. and 2:35 p.m. ET and Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. Also on the INDYCAR 18 app.

QUALIFYING BROADCAST: NBCSN will air live coverage on Saturday, July 28 at 1:30 p.m. ET, on the (AAPIRN), the INDYCAR 18 app and (timing & scoring + live analysis).

RACE BROADCAST: Live on CNBC, Sunday, July 29 beginning at 3 p.m. ET and on the INDYCAR 18 app. The race will also air live on the AAPIRN, Sirius 217, XM 209 and The race will re-air on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m. ET

TRACK LAYOUT: 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course
RACE LENGTH: 90 laps / 203 miles

RAHAL’S BEST MID-OHIO START/FINISH: 4th in 2009 (NHLR) and 2017 (RLL) / 1st in 2015 with RLL; will be his 11th Indy car race here
RAHAL’S HIGHEST SERIES START/FINISH: 3 Poles – St. Pete (street) 2009, Kansas (oval) 2009, Detroit (street) 2017 / 6 Wins – St. Pete 2008, Fontana (oval; 500 miles) 2015, Mid-Ohio (road) 2015, Texas (oval) 2016; Detroit Race 1 2017, Detroit Race 2 2017


The 2018 Honda Indy 200 will mark the 21st Indy car event for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car course, near the team’s Hilliard, Ohio base. The team also competed in the Atlantic Series race in 2003 with Danica Patrick and has competed in ALMS races here in 2007 and from 2009-2012. The team has one win (G. Rahal 2015), three podiums (3rd: B. Rahal 1997, 1998) and the highest start is pole (Herta 1997). Another front row start came in 1999 (Herta; 2nd). Prior to the 2018 event, the team prepared a total of 30 Indy car entries for drivers Bobby Rahal (1992-98), Mike Groff (1994), Raul Boesel (1995), Bryan Herta (1996-99), Max Papis (1999-2001), Jimmy Vasser (2002), Michel Jourdain Jr. (2002-03) Ryan Hunter-Reay (2007-2008), Takuma Sato (2012), James Jakes (2013) and Graham Rahal (2013-2017). The team has earned FOUR podiums (1st – G. Rahal 2015; 3rd – B. Rahal 1997, 1998, G. Rahal 2017), 13 top-five’s and 17 top-10 finishes at the track. The No. 15 Fifth Third Bank entry for Graham Rahal and No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic entry for Takuma Sato will bring the Indy car total to 32 entries in 2018.

After matching his best Mid-Ohio qualifying performance of fourth in 2017, Graham set the fastest time in the race morning warm-up. He had set the fastest overall time in qualifying in Round 2 although Round 3 times are considered the official ones. From the start of the race, Rahal pressured third place Sato and utilized a lot of Push to Pass and his tires to finally get by on Lap 14. Once by, he focused on catching back up to second place Power (-0.8) and leader Newgarden (-4.6). As the pit cycle started, he stayed out one lap longer than the top-two and cycled into the lead before he made his stop on Lap 18. He came back on track ahead of second place Power but was unable to hold him off due to being on cold tires to Power’s hot ones. He cycled into the lead again before his second stop on Lap 42 but got back on track with the lapped car of Munoz between himself and second place Power. Munoz was difficult to pass as he was using P2P on each straight to keep Rahal behind. By Lap 57, he was able to pass him but had lost a lot of track position to second place Power (-5.9) and leader Newgarden (-13.3). He had just made his third stop on Lap 66 when Jones brought out a full course caution. When the race restarted, 18th place Gutierrez was second in running order ahead of Power and Rahal which enabled Newgarden to pull away again. Both Power and Rahal were on the quicker alternate tires to Newgarden’s primary ones but were unable to take advantage of that. On Lap 73/90, Rahal was alongside Power to challenge for second place but had to back off or both would be taken out. He ultimately finished third to earn his fourth consecutive top-five finish at this track. He is hoping to continue the competitive runs at his home track.

“Over the last four years we have been really strong at Mid-Ohio. We’ve had great consistency and we finished on the podium last year which is always special. It’s going to be an important one for us again. I’m excited to get back home. Obviously we would like to continue the top-five streak but, more importantly, we’d love to get another win which is what we really need at this time. I’m definitely focused heavily on trying to make that happen.”

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