Rahal Finishes Fifth in Long Beach After Early Penalty

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Total Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "I'm sorry about what happened to Simon. That's not how I like to do things. It's just like St. Pete, the rears (tires) locked up and I barely made the corner. I think Dixon bailed out because he thought I wasn't going to make it. It hurt my race too obviously with getting the penalty, having to go to the back and battle our way through. I think we had a car that could have had a shot at Rossi today. We made some changes for the race and the Total car was fantastic. I'm really disappointed in myself and disappointed in the way that it all began but I'm proud of the Total team for the way that it finished. We made a lot of passes today. I passed more cars here today that I have passed in a long time. We had a lot of fun but we want to win. Yes, it's a good start to the year and with our United Rentals Turns for Troops program, we raised a lot more money. To be third and finish all the laps so far and finish in the top-five a couple of times and get a podium so far is good but this was our best weekend yet. We deserved to be there this weekend and that's why it's a little bittersweet."

· FAST FACTS: After starting in fifth place, he passed fourth place Dixon but slid into the back of third place Pagenaud, who hit the wall in Turn 1. He was given a drive through penalty and dropped to 22 Due to being in the back of the field, the team opted for a three-stop strategy and he made his first stop for fuel and tires on Lap 12/85. As many in the field began to make their first stop, he climbed to 12th by Lap 30 before he made his second stop on Lap 33. He was forced to use much of his 200 seconds of Push to Pass to get by cars. He made another stop under caution for Kaiser on Lap 44 and was 13th when Claman de Melo brought out a caution on Lap 60. Bourdais and Dixon entered a closed pit and once the pits opened most made a stop which cycled Rahal up to seventh. Once Dixon served a drive through penalty, Rahal moved to sixth on Lap 68. He passed Andretti for fifth and held the position for 15 laps until the checkered flag… Was his 12th Champ or Indy car race here and 13th 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… In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth… 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 fourth to third in 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series standings with 93 points.