Ninth-Place Finish at Pocono

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Bobby Rahal Automotive Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I think we had a really good race car today. We were a little too draggy on a downforce level to win today and just fell back. We were just never able to get the wing out during the pit stops to pick up a little speed. Unfortunately as people saw on the one stop right before we lost a little bit of time, we came in and then came out in the middle of a group and got freight-trained. After that it was all about trying to recover. Everybody did a great job on the No. 15 team today. We'll go back and review strategy to see where we could have been better. Our team has worked awfully hard and we had a car that was capable of running in the top three certainly. I don't know that I had even Rossi's pace. He would have struggled to get by us but I think he was a little bit quicker and the same with a couple of other guys. When we were up with TK (Tony Kanaan), if that train could have just kept working, swapping lap-to-lap-to-lap, I would have been perfectly cool with that but sometimes that's not the way these things go. We're just going to have to work harder to be better and finish as high as we can in the championship. We will go out there and continue to push hard to end the season strong."

  • FAST FACTS: Started seventh in his fifth Indy car race here. Near the halfway point of the 200-lap race, he was running fourth on Lap 90, which he held until Lap 111 when he moved to third before his fourth of six stops on Lap 115 during the full course caution for Saavedra. He restarted the race in second place on Lap 118 and swapped the lead with Kanaan repeatedly the rest of the stint although he was only credited with nine laps led due to leading many laps in the back of the track but giving up the spot before the start/finish line. After his fifth stop on Lap 151 he returned to the track behind Kanaan and Andretti, who passed him in the pits. Right after that, he ran three-wide with Munoz and Castroneves but backed out to avoid contact. After that, a group of cars was able to carry momentum around him and he ran 13th. He climbed back up to ninth place, which he held for the final 10 laps… In 2016, he started 11th and held the position through the first caution for contact by Sato. After the restart, he was passed by Hunter-Reay but reclaimed the position a few laps later. Once the first pit stop cycle began, he pitted from fourth place. A pit issue on the inside front tire cost a few positions but he cycled back up to 12th. The handling of his car wasn't as good on this stint and he dropped to 16th place. Before his next stop, he cycled up to 10th. As he was approaching his pit box, a scary accident between Rossi and Castroneves, who was positioned on one side of Rahal's pit, and Kimball, who was on the other side made a quick stop and launch challenging but Rahal got back on track without much issue. He took the restart eighth and passed Andretti for seventh on Lap 71/200. Once leader Aleshin pit on Lap 93, he moved to sixth place, and fifth to Hinchcliffe. When Hinchcliffe pit on Lap 94, the team elected to pit with him. Once back on track, he moved up to seventh by Lap 100/200 and was passed for eighth by eventual winner Power on Lap 106. He cycled up to fourth place before his fourth pit but the handling of his race car wasn't as good on the stint and he was passed by Kanaan for eighth on Lap 129 and dropped to 11th by Lap 148/200. He pitted from 10th place for his fifth stop on Lap 150 and again from 10th place for his sixth stop on Lap 160 during the caution for points leader Pagenaud, who crashed. Hinchcliffe passed him on the Lap 162 restart. By Lap 164 he moved up to sixth place but was passed by four cars to drop to 10th place on Lap 168. The final caution of the race came on Lap 175 for debris and the majority of the field made their last stops. On Lap 189, Hinchcliffe passed Rahal and made slight contact in the process but the two continued and Rahal ultimately finished 11th… In 2015, he started fifth and ran in the top-eight until a fueling problem on his second pit stop dropped him to 20th place. On Lap 66/200, he was in 16th place on a restart and got a run on Justin Wilson and pulled inside him on track. They were two-wide until Tristan Vautier decided to dive low inside, partially on the track, and make it three-wide. Vautier made contact with Rahal and spun the two into the wall. Both were checked and released from the medical center. The DNF hindered his title bid after having entered the penultimate race in second place and only 9 points behind leader Montoya who finished third and increased his lead to 34 points entering the double-points season-finale in Sonoma… In 2014, 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 and he was unable to see as well. 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… In 2013 he qualified 17th, started 16th due to a grid penalty ahead and finished 18th… His top finishes this season are wins in Dual 1 and Dual 2 in Detroit and top start is pole for Detroit Dual 1… Rahal is sixth in series point standings with a total of 395. He is 58 points behind leader Josef Newgarden (453), 51 behind second place Helio Castroneves (446), 50 behind third place Scott Dixon (445), 41 behind fourth place Simon Pagenaud (436) and six behind fifth place Will Power (401).

NEXT UP: The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park will take place next Saturday night.