Rahal Finishes Ninth At The Honda Indy 200

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Dallara/Honda/Firestone: "On the start, there was contact ahead and then the seas parted so we got a few spots then. Our strategy was right I think but we just couldn't hang on to the tires and got caught out in lapped traffic there in the end. The car didn't feel great which was frustrating. It wasn't the result we wanted of course but it was a top-10 finish and we'll take it. We creeped to within 10 points of Takuma but lost a little ground to Hunter-Reay but we'll be back on them in a couple of weeks' time in Pocono ad hopefully have a good race. The crowd was phenomenal here, absolutely phenomenal. There's nothing like being at home. We had a pretty ugly weekend on the track but the fans made my weekend and I want to thank them."

· FAST FACTS: Rahal started 15th and was up to 12th by the end of the opening lap as cars jockeyed for position ad some were damaged. Jones and Andretti passed him on the following laps and he was 14th when he made his first stop, pitting early for a three-stop strategy. As others made stops, he moved up to 11th by Lap 20. He moved up to fifth by Lap 30 as the two-stop-strategy drivers made their first stops. Eventual second place finisher Rosenqvist, who was on newer alternate tires, passed him for position. He made his second stop on Lap 34 from sixth place. As others pit, he moved up to 11th by Lap 39. He was running ninth when he made his third and final stop on Lap 63 of 90. As the field settled in, he ran in 10th place and tried to maintain his position as his tires wore. He was able to hang on and navigate lapped traffic and gained a position on the final lap when fourth place runner Newgarden spun off track… The 2019 Honda Indy 200 marked Rahal's 12th Indy car race here. His best start is fourth in 2009 and 2017 and his best finish is his win here in 2015 from a 13th place start. He has finished in the top-five, four times in his past five races here. In total, he has one win (2015), two podiums (2017), four top-five and six top-10 finishes in his 11 races here. He has also competed in many other series at his "home track." At the age of 16 in 2005, he became the youngest to claim the SCCA National Formula Atlantic championship at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs here by a dominant 43-seconds. He also competed in the Star Mazda race here in 2005 (S/F 4/9) and tested a Grand Am car here in 2007… 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 maintained his eighth place rank in series point standings with a total of 312 but closed on seventh place Sato who has 322.