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August 18, 2019

Rahal Finished Ninth in the Rain-Shortened ABC Supply 500

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 TOTAL Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “We need a little more pace. We were a little slow on the straights for some reason but we’ll keep digging into it.  I had a bad restart (went from fifth to ninth), but it wasn’t that bad actually. I was pulling up on the guys in front of me but I just got driven around and was in a position where I was a little bit of a sitting duck and lost a bunch of spots and that killed our race from then-on frankly. We were scrambling just to get ourselves back in position. I had another good restart later and went from 13th to 9th and made some of those spots back up.”

·      FAST FACTS: Started eighth based on point standings. As the field approached Turn 2 on the opening lap, Rossi made a slow start which led to Sato passing him on the high side and Hunter-Reay on the inside.  Rossi and Sato made contact, which collected Hunter-Reay.  The impact sent all three into the inside wall before the cars came back on the racing surface in Turn 2. Sato’s car then made contact with Rosenqvist and Hinchliffe hit the outside wall when he attempted to avoid the crash. All drivers were checked and cleared at the Medical Center but Rosenqvist was transported to a local hospital and later released.  A red flag came out to clean the track and the race restarted approx. 45 minutes later. The field took to the track under caution with Rahal in sixth place. He moved into fifth when Power pit for new tires and before the green flag came out on Lap 8.  He passed Ferrucci on Lap 9 for fourth and held the position until his first pit for fuel and tires on Lap 35.  He moved into fifth place on Lap 40 when a caution came out for Pigot, who crashed. When the race restarted on Lap 46 he dropped to ninth place by Lap 47 and 10th by Lap 49. As the pit cycle began, he moved up to 9th on Lap 65. He made a stop on Lap 70 and when a caution came out on Lap 74 for Herta, who crashed, he stayed a lap down temporarily. He was waved around later during the caution and ran in 11th place. He ran 10th for the majority of the next stint before he pit on Lap 104. He ran 9th by Lap 113 as the field was watching for inclement weather approaching. A caution came out on Lap 127 and a red flag came out on Lap 128 due to lightning in the area. Rain came soon thereafter and the race was declared official…  Was his seventh race here. His highest start is fifth in 2015 and his highest finish is 9th in 2017 although he has run in the top-five all but two races.  In 2018, on the start as the field approached the acceleration zone, many drivers reported front runners accelerating then quickly jumping on the brakes.  This caught Rahal off guard and he hit Spencer Pigot.  Both incurred damage but the pit didn’t open for a few laps as the field was put in order. Once the pits opened, Rahal pitted for a new front nose and was leaving the pits when a five-car crash happened that involved Ryan Hunter-Reay, Robert Wickens, James Hinchcliffe, Takuma Sato and Pietro Fittipaldi.  The race was ultimately red flagged for almost two hours while the fencing was repaired.  Once restarted, he was in 16th place, and three laps down due to a two-lap penalty for the team working on the car during the red flag as well as a lost lap due to the earlier stop. He moved up to 15th when Kanaan retired and into 14th when Conor Daly brushed the wall.  He took the checkered flag in 14th place, four laps down… His highest start of the season is second at Barber and his highest finish is third at Texas Motor Speedway… 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… Rahal moved from eighth place in series point standings to seventh with a total of 334.

 

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