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April 14, 2019

Graham Crosses the Finish Line Third but was Dropped back to Fourth

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 TOTAL Dallara/Honda/Firestone:  “It was kind of an unfortunate end to our day to get the penalty but ultimately I think that everybody on this TOTAL Oil team worked really hard this weekend. They knew we were here; we were competitive once again. On the penalty, I stand by my move. I’ve reviewed it, I’ve watched it.  I’ve watched the head on clip, the overhead clip. I moved right as quick as I could out of the corner and then I gave him (Dixon) a lane. By the rules you’re allowed to make your move, which I did on the exit of the corner. That was it. Look, I’m not upset about it. We had a good day. Our car wasn’t great today, but it was decent and the TOTAL Oil team pushed hard. That’s all we can say. Did I block? Yes, I blocked; you’re allowed to block in this series. You’re allowed to make a move, (and) I made a move. That’s allowed. I didn’t go back to the left; there’s a lane to the left. He had overtake (left), I didn’t. If he wanted to go (there) he could go. At the end of the day, P4. Do we deserve P3? Probably, but you know what, it was a good day and good points for us. We haven’t had a lot of luck this season, so I’ll just take it as it is and move on. We’ve got the (Indy) Grand Prix, we’ve got the 500. I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully we’ll go get a couple of wins there.”

·      FAST FACTSStarted sixth in the 85-laps race and got by Pagenaud on the start for fifth place.  He was the highest ranked driver that opted to start the race on the primary tires. He cycled up to third as the first pit stops started before he made his stop on Lap 28. He reclaimed fifth place but moved into fourth on Lap 34 when Power had an issue and fell back. He held fourth until his second stop on Lap 55 and climbed up to third on Lap 58 after previous third place runner had a fuel issue on his stop.  He held third for the next 28 laps and in the closing stages of the race, Dixon passed Hunter-Reay for fourth on Lap 82 of 85 and closed on Rahal on the final lap but was unable to pass.  After the race, the series ruled that Rahal had blocked him and he had to give up the position so he was scored in fourth… Was his 13th Champ or Indy car race here and 14th overall … His top finish is second place in 2013 with RLL after starting 11th and top start is fifth in 2007 with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and he finished eighth after slow fuel flow pit strategy… A recap of results is available upon request… He also competed in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race 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 moved from 13th in series point standings to ninth with 90 points.

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