Graham Finishes 17th in the Grand Prix of Alabama

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "At times we had a good pace. On the wet track, I was struggling with understeer and then at times I feel like we got some pace and the National Guard car was moving forward. Next thing I know, I got hit by two guys and lost about four spots there. And on the last pit stop, I'm not sure what happened. The guys weren't slow but with the strategy we lost another three spots. I don't really know how we ended up 17th but obviously I feel bad for the guys because they deserve better than this. We were creeping up there. I think the highest we got was tenth. We were kind of up into the territory that we need to be in but we just couldn't quite keep it together. (On first laps on alternate tires after running rain tires:) "Those were the most difficult laps I have ever driven. Cold, slick tires in the wet produced, honestly the most difficult laps I have ever driven. I'm glad those are over and I hope I don't see them again."
FAST FACTS: Started 18th, ran as high as 10th and finished 17th in his fifth race here. In 2013, he set a lap time fast enough to progress to Round 2 and qualify in the top-12 if he had been in Group 2 but he was in Group 1 and ultimately qualified 21st. He had to pit for a new nose on the opening lap after the field checked up and he hit Servia. Moved up to 12th place but he ran out of fuel on the final lap due to a malfunction in the fueling system and dropped to 21st… Started 8th, led 1 lap and finished 4th here in 2012 for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR). Started 10th and finished 18th in 2011 for SCCGR. Started 15th and finished 17th for Sarah Fisher Racing in '10.
NEXT UP: The team will participate in an open test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday, April 30 and the next event is the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 8-10.