Graham Finishes 19th in Pocono

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I had a good start but then the helmet pad blew out of the car right away and unfortunately I fell back. I couldn't see, I was trying to hold my head up and it took me a couple of laps to adjust. We fought back. I'm proud of the National Guard guys; we had good pit stops all day. They even did a great job getting the spare pad taped in the cockpit in a hurry. Unfortunately our luck struck again I'm not really sure what happened. The car just snapped. It swapped ends instantly. I think something broke and ended our day early. It was getting better. I feel confident that we're getting somewhere though."

FAST FACTS: Was his second Indy car race here. He started 14th and moved into 11th on the opening lap but his helmet pad on the right side of the cockpit flew out of the car and he gradually dropped to 19th. The helmet pad helps the drivers head stay upright while sustaining high G-Forces for 200 laps. Once he made his first stop and the team replaced the helmet pad he steadily climbed back up the field and ran 12th midway through the race and held the fastest lap of the race through his third stint. He was in 11th place when a problem surfaced on Lap 158/200. The car appeared to abruptly change and Rahal spun. The side of the car made contact with the Turn 2 wall and he ultimately retired in 19th place… Last year he qualified 17th, started 16th due to a grid penalty ahead and finished 18th. His highest finish on an oval is second place (Texas 2012, Milwaukee 2011).

NEXT UP: The Iowa Corn Indy 300 will take place next Saturday night, July 12 at Iowa Speedway. Last year, Graham Rahal won Heat Race 2 in Iowa to transfer to Heat Race 3 and qualified eighth. He started sixth after engine penalties were served and charged from 10th to second on his second stint. He challenged for the win and led Lap 160 until the last 20 laps where he dropped to fourth while navigating traffic and then fifth on the final lap