From being second here last year and being fast, the where we are now is a mystery.
GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 National Guard Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “It was a struggle today. We tried to make more changes to get the balance in the car better and then tried some bigger ones for qualifying. We are just struggling with overall grip. Oriol had a big grip gain on alternate tires and I didn’t feel it. We have a lot of work to do. From being second here last year and being fast, the where we are now is a mystery. Oriol did a great job. We will look at what they have done to their car and try to improve ours. Tomorrow we can try alternate strategy, pit early and see how far forward we can go.”
FAST FACTS: Will be his EIGHTH Champ or Indy car race here, ninth overall, and second for his father’s team. In 2013, he finished second after starting 11th. In 2012, he qualified 15th for SCCGR, started 8th due to penalties to Chevy-powered teams, ran as high as fourth but finished 24th due to contact with Marco Andretti. In 2011, he qualified 16th for SCCGR and finished 13th. In 2010 he started and finished 22nd for Sarah Fisher Racing after contact. In 2009, he started seventh and finished 12th for NHLR. In 2008 he started ninth and had a podium in sight when he was alongside third place but contact during this pass led to a 13th place finish. Started fifth in 2007 but the pit strategy of others and slow fuel flow related to teething problems for the all-new Panoz Champ Car on two stops limited his finish to eighth place. In the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series race here he started seventh and finished fifth.
ORIOL SERVIA, No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “Not that you should be happy starting 12th but considering where we were before qualifying and the gains I think we can still make on the car, I’m happy. With as competitive as the field is, going from one round to the second round is a very big achievement.
FAST FACTS: Will be his 13th race here and first with RLL at this track. His best finish is second in 2007 with Forsythe and best start is fourth in 2011 with Newman/Haas Racing… In 12 events, he has earned one podium (2nd in 2007), one top-five and five top-10 finishes. He retired with mechanical failure four times and once after contact… Servia, 39, a native of Pals, Spain, has made 191 starts in CART, Champ Car and the IndyCar Series since his rookie season in 2000. His Indy car highlights include one win (Montreal 2005) and one pole (Surfers Paradise, Australia 2005) as well as a total of 19 top-three, 51 top-five and 100 top-10 finishes. He competed for the team in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 and was in ninth place halfway through the race when a mechanical failure led to his retirement in 26th place.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing