Indy 500: Rahal Letterman Racing day five report

GRAHAM RAHAL TURNS HIS FASTEST LAP OF THE MONTH IN WEDNESDAY'S INDY 500 PRACTICE INDIANAPOLIS - Despite the fact that the another Central Indiana day dawned under the threat of rain, the weather held up and allowed practice for the 94th...

GRAHAM RAHAL TURNS HIS FASTEST LAP OF THE MONTH IN WEDNESDAY'S INDY 500 PRACTICE

INDIANAPOLIS - Despite the fact that the another Central Indiana day dawned under the threat of rain, the weather held up and allowed practice for the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 to get started on time for the first time this month.

Graham Rahal and the #30 Quick Trim/Rahal Letterman Racing Special took full advantage of the six hours of track time today, posting not only its fastest lap of the weekend, but also running a very strong time by themselves in preparation for the Memorial Day classic. The 21-year-old Rahal carded a best lap of 40.0623 seconds (224.630 mph) early on in his 82-lap outing, to surpass his top time that he had set in Monday's practice session.

"We started the day in the middle of the road as far as setup goes and we were going to go into qualifying trim later in the day but the weather was such that we wouldn't have gotten much out of it, so we cranked a bunch of downforce in it and went out to run in traffic," Rahal recalled. "The car feels really good and feels competitive. The times are good and we feel good about our times when we are running by ourselves, but it's kind of hard to tell where you are overall because so many of the big times are coming as a result of being in the draft."

The day started with the sun peeking through the clouds as practice got started at high noon, but the clouds soon reclaimed the sky and blanketed the track all the way until the final 10 minutes of the session. The final minutes saw a flurry of activity as most of the teams took the opportunity to run in some traffic as the sun warmed the track. More than half of the expected 38-car field took to the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval during the final minutes of the session to gather data that had been heretofore unavailable to them because of the weather.

"It was a busy day for us, but I am very happy with how much we got done today," said Rahal. "The car feels really good and we still have some more flexibility in our setup. We haven't thrown everything we have at it yet."

The#30 Quick Trim/RLR Special picked up another sponsor for the month today as Metal Masters joined the Rahal Letterman Racing effort as Graham looks to qualify for his third Indy 500. The company, based in Mentor, Ohio, manufactures and creates a multitude of different metal products and joins RLR for the first time as a sponsor.

Practice for the Indy 500 will continue tomorrow at noon Eastern Time as the teams prepare for Saturday's pole qualifying. Fans can follow all of the action on www.indycar.com and can see Saturday and Sunday's qualifying live on Versus.

-source: rlr

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Series INDYCAR